Reporters' Roundtable Podcast: A tablet future?

2010 will probably see new tablet computers from Apple and maybe even Microsoft. What do they know that our panel does not? Featuring Ryan Block and Harry McCracken.

Next year will probably see new tablet computers from Apple and maybe even Microsoft. What do these companies know that our panel does not? Featuring Ryan Block and Harry McCracken.

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Reporters Roundtable # 5: Tablets' uncertain future

It's the obligatory Tablets edition of the Roundtable, this time with even more great and smart tech journalist entrepreneurs from Gdgt (Ryan Block) and Technologizer (Harry McCracken). Watch or listen for the content. Click to the full story to see the notes we used when recording.

Intros/news recap
Welcome to Reporters Roundtable, CNET's deep dive into a burning tech topic each week. Today, we're talking about tablet computers. Everyone is expecting Apple to roll out a tablet, or slate, or e-book, or whatever you call it, next year. Rumors are that the device will sell in the $600-to-$800 price range. And recently, we've seen videos of the Microsoft Courier interface, Microsoft's secret tablet project. It's obviously not as secret as Apple's.

Then, of course, there's the unreleased CrunchPad, instigated by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. Will it join the legion of failed tablet and slate computers released? Can it compete with offerings from Microsoft and Apple? And why don't we have tablets today? Will we finally get them next year? That's what we're discussing today, with two special guests:

First, Ryan Block, co-founder of the consumer tech community site Gdgt. Ryan was editor of the Engadget blog before Gdgt. He knows his Apple rumors.

We also have Harry McCracken, editor and founder of the new tech blog Technologizer. Before launching that site, Harry served as editor in chief of PC World magazine.

Talking points
First up: What and when?

Do consumers really want tablets?

What is a tablet? A computer without a pen? A TV? A book reader?

Which barriers need to fall: price, performance, software?

Brad Stone of The New York Times gives 5 reasons tablets have flopped:

 

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