Brad Stone and Ashlee Vance survey the history and future of the tablet form factor. Some great stuff, including a rare on-the-record statement from a former Apple engineer who’d worked on prototypes back to 2003:
“It couldn’t be built. The battery life wasn’t long enough,
the graphics performance was not enough to do anything and the
components themselves cost more than $500,” said Joshua A.
Strickon, a former Apple engineer whose name is on several of the
company’s patents for multitouch technology.
Another former Apple executive who was there at the time said the
tablets kept getting shelved at Apple because Mr. Jobs, whose
incisive critiques are often memorable, asked, in essence, what
they were good for besides surfing the Web in the bathroom.