In about a week, Apple will likely announce its new slate device, and some are predicting we'll be up to our armpits in these things by year end. Since most of you will probably wait until the end of the year to either ask for or purchase one of these things, you have a lot of time. But some of you will feel the need to buy sooner, and it is always best to think about what you want to do with one of these things before the feeding frenzy kicks in, when many people run out and buy something that they'll either regret or never really use. The factors to consider are size, connectivity, battery life, book reading, application store, accessories, and price. Let's take each in turn.