2010 - year of the tablet?

Take a look at this Wired article.   

That article is a few weeks old, but was referred to in this post from yesterday about Apple's upcoming announcements.

I've thought for years that the touch screen tablet form factor was a winner - the problem is that the price has always been too high, and the performance never that great. The netbook phenomenon has shown that people will respond to "good enough" if the price is right. And smartphones - as great as they are ( I really like my Sony Ericsson X1) - don't quite cut it as a computer because the screens are just too small to replace a laptop. The Amazon Kindle is intriguing - but the black & white screen, its limited use as a book reader and tethering to a phone network, not to mention the fact that it is not available in Canada - all factor against it.

I have been using Windows 7 at work for a week (which of course has touch screen capability built in) and noticed that the changes to the taskbar at the bottom are clearly designed to be touch screen friendly. And it is much faster than Vista and has features that enhance productivity.

I've been toying with getting a netbook for use for various members of my family (myself to read the online version of the London Free Press instead of the dead tree version, my wife to take to volunteer meetings, my son to take to class) - but with Windows 7 upcoming for netbooks, the new tablet rumours from both the Apple and Wintel camps, and the new CULV chips - it's hard to know what to buy, or how long to wait to buy!

So here's what I want. A touchscreen tablet running Windows 7 similar in size to a netbook. It needs some kind of keyboard for data entry - but perhaps a screen based one is good enough. Graphics performance sufficient to play video cleanly. At least 2 gig ram. Modest hard drive. Several hour battery life. DVD drive would be nice - but perhaps creates too much of a price/size/weight penalty. And priced under $300 (well, OK - maybe $400) Can.

And can I have that now please?  Or at least by the October 22 Windows 7 launch?