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Apple Tablet with books, music, movies by Christmas?

There’ve been rumours swirling for a while, but the FT reports that Apple is

racing to offer a portable, full-featured, tablet-sized computer in time for the Christmas shopping season… will have a screen that may be up to 10 inches diagonally… probably without phone capability but with access to Apple’s online stores… “It’s going to be fabulous for watching movies,” said one entertainment executive… Book publishers have been in talks with Apple and are optimistic about their services being offered with the new computer

Coming from the FT and with third parties apparently in the know, it sounds like it’s finally close.

What does it mean outside entertainment? With Google Docs, NetSuite and other web applications, will you be able to leave your laptop behind for business trips? Quite possibly – which means people on the move will be able to use their time much more efficiently: laptops need seats and tables, but the tablet could bring full-access computing to the hands, allowing you to do meaningful work in airport queues etc. Or just watch a movie more easily…