No, this isn’t another rant about how stupid the iPad is, or how apple got it so wrong / right. This is just a personal note on what I’m seeking in a tablet. The form factor of the iPad looks great, and a simplified device to browse the web and send email could be a handy addition around the house. I’m not even all that upset at the lack of flash support.
There’s just one thing that I’m waiting for in a tablet, and the iPad doesn’t have it yet: a pressure sensitive touch screen.
Apple sensibly recognizes that I’m in the minority, and that adding a pressure sensitive screen would up the cost on this entry level gadget, but what I’m looking for is something I can draw on. A device that doesn’t just mimic brush stroke thickness, but actually responds to the amount of pressure applied to the screen.
My old IBM thinkpad x41 tablet had pressure sensitivity, and I can tell you the difference between drawing on it vs. a non pressure sensitive surface is night and day. I’ve seen some nice art done without pressure sensitivity, but it’s a bit like driving with square wheels. Sure it can be done, but why not just do it right? Of course the x41 isn’t actually touch sensitive, you use a stylus to draw on it, and the stylus sends the pressure information similar to the way a wacom tablet works.
The best case scenario (imho) would be a light sturdy tablet that has enough power to be responsive to drawing in multiple layers, with the ability to use fingers or styluses. Perhaps they could use something like Peratechs Quantum Tunneling Composite, though I’m not sure what that would add to the cost. I’m eager to see a proper digital sketchbook on the market. The iPad is almost there. If Apple comes out with an ‘artists version’ that enables pressure sensitivity and has enough power to run Photoshop or Autodesk Sketchbook without any lag, I’m all over it.
Oh.. And would it kill you to put an SD card slot on it?