We've already posted our iPad 3 event preview, rounding up all the rumors and outlining what we think Apple's likely to do with their next generation tablet. We've also asked you what you, our readers, expect from both the hardware and the software as well. Okay. Fine. Done. Good for us. Now it's time to have some fun. Now it's time to forget practical, forget realistic, and go full out, balls-to-wall, sky's-the-limit gadget porn.
Georgia and I, along with kickass product designer John Anastasiadis, brainstormed what we'd love to see in our dream iPad 3. We didn't go entirely Iron Man or Avatar transparent aluminum on it, but we didn't hold back much either. John then fired up his imagination and his rendering engines and brought it to vivid, virtual life.
The driving principle was emersion. We wanted to get even more of the device out of your way and really let the content shine. A Retina display that big, that expectantly beautiful, deserves to be the absolute star of the show, bar nothing. (And definitely bar 3D. Yuck.)
The chipsets to make a single SKU don't exist yet but they're getting closer. Even though 4G LTE is a bag of frequency hurt, and Gigabit Wi-Fi is still a ways off, they're on the horizon. Likewise with 24nm 128GB NAND Flash storage at affordable prices. (Yes, even our dreams need to maintain the $499 entry point.)
Keeping the Home button was essential (our moms would find gestures utterly undiscoverable) but making them capacitive instead of physical seemed like a fair middle ground. Apple bought the rights to Liquidmetal, so why not put it use? It could maintains structural strength while still letting the frame flatten out and better match the current (and perhaps future) iPhone aesthetic.
Carbon Fiber was a tougher choice for the rear. John pointed out right away that it's not a radio-friendly material. This is fantasy though, and we wanted something that was really strikingly different. (So just imagine the antennas run through the Apple logo in the back -- which is why it's not yet glowing in this version! -- and around the Liquid Metal edges.)
Better cameras were a no-brainer, and Georgia insisted it was time Apple pay equal attention to better audio. Making the speakers surround sound and turning the to face front means they'd rock hard enough to make Dr. Dre run home and rethink his beats.
And yeah, the micro-dock, just because.
For more of John's work, check out his terrific BlackBerry 10 concept with a wrap-around screen and then head on over to the Anastasidias Portfolio for even more amazing design work (including a bonus render of our dream iPad 3).
Once you're done ogling, come back here and tell us what your dream iPad 3 would look like, or better yet -- jump into our Designers Forum and show us!