A Google, Verizon Tablet Can Win with the Right Design

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-05-13 Print this article Print

7. A slightly bigger screen

The iPad has a beautiful display. But it would have been even nicer if it were slightly larger. With some forward thinking, Google and Verizon should be able to offer a tablet with a display of, say, 11 inches, rather than the 9.7-inch display the iPad boasts. It might not be so noticeable at first glance, but that extra screen real estate will make using the device a bit more rewarding. The entire tech industry is moving toward bigger and better displays. Tablets shouldn't go the other way.

8. A
USB port

The most glaring omission from the iPad is a USB port. Apple offers an add-on accessory that allows users to connect USB devices to the device, but it costs $29. That's a problem. Apple is marketing the iPad as the computer users will have with them after a long day at work. They will sit on the couch, boot up the iPad and perform whatever tasks they want. But without a USB port, that's not so simple. If Google and Verizon really have designs on taking the iPad down, offering at least one USB port is a must. It might not be the most used feature, but it's worth having for those of us who do more than surf the Web and check e-mail.

9. Printing capability

Speaking of glaring omissions, the iPad doesn't allow for printing. Recently, Steve Jobs reportedly said that printing "will come" to the iPad, but he didn't provide a time frame for its launch. All we know at this point is that printing is not available on Apple's tablet and there's no telling when it will make its way to the device. Once again, Apple wants the iPad to be a netbook or lightweight notebook alternative. It can't be that without printing. Google needs to offer printing in its own tablet. It will give users more options and, perhaps most importantly, become a key feature that it can use to differentiate its product from Apple's.

10. A better Web browser

Safari on the iPad is nice, but it doesn't deliver the best browsing experience. In fact, it leaves much to be desired after prolonged use. Google could respond by offering the Chrome browser in its iPad. Although there is no way to know if Chrome would be a better option on a tablet than Safari, I'm willing to bet it would. Google has done a fine job with Chrome. It has made it abundantly clear that if it knows anything else besides search, it understands how to deliver a fine, speedy browser. It shouldn't have any trouble doing that again with its tablet. And by doing so, it will put real pressure on Apple to fix its own software.


Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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