Many people are predicting that Apple will announce a tablet-style computer this January. Most of those same people have been predicting a mac tablet for years, but this time I’ll join them.Most tablet PCs have been too bulky, trying to do too much in hardware. With the flip-around screens and built-in keyboards they tried to do everything a laptop could do because the windows OS required a real keyboard and mouse. If you’ve used an iPhone you know that you can do just about everything with a couple of fingers. If you need more of an interface there’s no reason a keyboard and mouse couldn’t be connected via bluetooth or a simple dock.Here’s what makes me think that Apple is going to announce their tablet soon:CoverFlow: Apple’s method of graphically “flipping” through a collection of albums covers (or folders and icons in the just released Leopard) would be the perfect interface for a touch-based computer. The iPhone and iPod Touch both sport it and with coverflow built into the Mac OS X Finder a general purpose computer can be navigated with a finger (or two).iPhone and iPod Touch: These are already basically mini-tablets. Just increase the screen size, CPU and RAM and you’ve got a great email/web/music/movies/drawing/video-chat/skype device that would be right at home in the kitchen, living room, or briefcase.

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