The observation that Apple fans and the media do their marketing for them is never so true as right now - to be frank, the day where we don't see another rumour about the iPad 3 can't come soon enough.
We've posted some of these rumours - if you're a tablet user, it's hard not to wonder about the advantages that might come from having a better screen, 4G or a faster processor.
But what to do if you're actually wanting to put down money on a new tablet now? Rumours of a March 7 unveiling for an iPad 3 are all over the web. If this were true, what would make it worth waiting for? Here is a by-no-means-exhaustive roundup of some things to consider.
A smaller iPad
The question is why? We've seen a few handhelds that are bigger than a smartphone and smaller than an iPad (Dell's Streak is one, the Samsung Galaxy Note is another), but they haven’t exactly taken the market by storm. On the other hand, phones are getting bigger by the month. We're yet to see a device that we'd ditch our two separate slabs of electronics for. Our guess is a tablet-phone is still a bad idea - for one thing noone wants to look like this (see photo). The idea of Apple complicating things by having several screen sizes isn't something we'd bet on. On the other hand, having a 7in model might mean an iPad under $500.
Faster Internet via 4G
It's not often you see cynical technology writers gawp in genuine amazement at a new product, but this has been known to happen with Telstra's 4G. We have seen speeds of 32,000Kbps testing this 4G phone, which would be a major benefit to tablet users. Keep in mind that the network is relatively new and not overcrowded. And the limited coverage.
A higher resolution display
This one would prove interesting. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 already boasts a 1200x800 LCD with a sharper dot pitch than the 1024x768 iPad 2. We couldn't fault it in our review. An iPad with higher pixel density could be a drawcard though, and it something that was rumoured last year but didn't eventuate.
There's been a lot of speculation about a quad-core "A6" chip, with less constructive debate about the benefits and drawbacks of such a move. With Tegra 3 arriving on Transformer Prime, it will be interesting what effect this has on the evolution of tablet apps, if any. While the move to dual-core in the iPad 2 meant more responsive Web browsing, what was most noticeable was the benefit of the improved onboard graphics.
An iPad that doesn't cost as much
The HP Touchpad aside, we're yet to see another "cheap" tablet that people are prepared to lineup at a checkout to buy. Apple at least managed to keep the iPad 2 under the starting price of the first iPad, but they're still expensive devices, no cheaper than a bargain laptop.