MARK Wednesday January 27 in your diary now - it could prove to be the biggest day in technology during the whole of 2010. And the year hasn't really even begun.
At 6pm British time, 10am US time in San Francisco, Apple boss Steve Jobs will take to the stage of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to fire the starting gun on what everyone believes will be a new generation of portable computers.
After leading the way with the iPod and iPhone, Apple are certainly in pole position to change the way we use media on the move and its so-called iSlate - that's the rumoured name - should do just that.
So what's all the fuss about? Well, slates are pretty much like the tablet computers already on sale in the UK, except they don't have a keyboard attached. It will simply consist of the large touchscreen panel, probably around 10 inches in size.
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer hinted at this change in computer styles by showing off an HP slate device, while other manufacturers at the Las Vegas event revealed their versions.
Dell had an exciting concept, a five inch slate which was running on the Android platform allowing you to watch movies, play music, do work and mess around with thousands of apps. It was a little bit like the company's own version of the iPod touch, just a bit bigger and far more powerful.
But the kind of slate device Apple could be set to launch will define the standard for others to follow.
Sitting alongside netbooks, slates will offer a different type of experience, based far more around multimedia fun than work. Although, you'll still be able to check emails on it, edit documents with the touchscreen keyboard and plan your diary.
Connected by Wi-Fi, with many sporting an embedded SIM card too for an always-on 3G connection, this next-generation of devices will run mobile-style operating systems such as Android, perhaps a more powerful iPhone OS or maybe even Google's new Chrome OS currently in development.
Microsoft has also been thought to be working on a device called the Courier, a dual-screen slate that folds up like a book with two seven inch displays.
So what would we use them for? Well, applications would be key. Apple has already passed THREE BILLION downloads with its apps so imagine how having a larger screen could make such a real difference to what the development community could think up. Especially with games, that's sure to become a huge talking point when slates finally do arrive.
Movies and music would of course be included, streaming content from the likes of YouTube to its high-definition screen over Wi-Fi or 3G. They'd also double as an eBook reader, with a proper colour screen to show off pictures from newspapers, magazines and books, blowing Amazon's grey Kindle out of the water.
With a Bluetooth headset you could use them to make calls via Skype or send and receive text messages while mobile TV could finally get a boost, even if it's just watching BBC iPlayer on the move.
There could be plenty of uses for businessmen and women too, as well as students, with voice controls allowing you to dictate rather than type, which would make the absence of the keyboard not such a big deal.
It's unlikely they'd kill off netbooks though, so many companies have put so much effort into those, they'll be around for a long while.
But slates will be far more about communication via social networks, using applications to keep us up-to-date, in touch with what our friends are doing and connected to the world happening in real time around us.
You won't be able to fit a 10 inch slate into your pocket, that's for sure, but it would certainly be more use on the train than your mobile if you wanted to sit back and watch the latest blockbuster you've downloaded.
The truth is, slates are still so new, that no-one really knows what they will be for. Apple might be able to fill in a few of the knowledge gaps next week.
They do sound extremely exciting though, and we'll be sure to bring you all the latest news of them in the coming months.