It's too tempting not to pose that question as the monthlyfly.
Conjecture about future Apple products is always an interesting exercise because it requires a lot of imagination to make up for the copious lack of hard data. This is especially the case for the rumored Apple tablet, despite analyst claims about product specifications, such as the oft-repeated 10.1-inch screen.
But there is one theme that keeps popping up that is highly plausible: it will be a device to view media and book content (rumor: 30/70 revenue split between Apple/publisher) in a "better" way. Hmm...let me think for a minute: the same way many people now use their iPhone? (Certainly, the media part.) So--though not a phone per se--basically an iPhone (or iPod) with a bigger screen, faster graphics, and better interface (and/or subscription model) to view content.
Does that about cover it? That doesn't sound like a tablet to me, with all the negative connotations that the word "tablet" has in the PC industry: fat, heavy, kludgey, boring.
Which is why "media pad" sounds a lot better. That, to me at least, connotes thin, light, modern, exciting. But I'll leave the branding to Apple. So far, they have a pretty good track record.