Apple event 27 January

Apple has a mystery press event next Wednesday, having sent invitations that lead with 'Come see our latest creation'. The shindig is widely tipped to be the launchpad for a 10 inch+ screen tablet going by the speculative name iSlate (because Fujitsu filed the name iPad back in 2003).

Imagine a cross between the iPhone and an eBook reader. So expect colour, web access, downloadable books, video, games, etc. Sounds like a laptop or netbook to me, and I'd still want a keyboard. Piles of slates, tablets, touchpads, ePads, e-Tchasketchs (ok, I made the last one up), appeared at the CES show. Dell chief marketeer Michael Tatelman even announced they had plenty in the lab, in all shapes, sizes and operating systems. If it comes with a stylus I'm going to mock it.

Like Viagra spam mails, all companies seem to want to sell these tablets to you, but it's still a bit murky as to what you'll want to do with them.

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