With recent reports that Apple plans to launch a Tablet PC-style Mac we asked our online readers: "Should Apple release a Tablet Mac?"

A total of 535 readers responded, 213 were in favour of Apple's reported plan.

One reader said: "I think the answer is why not? Apple has all the technology in place, AirPort, Inkwell, excellent and innovative design. It just needs a little engineering work on design and an input screen."

Another reader was emphatically in favour of such a move: "I believe tablet computers are a key step forward in computer technology development. I would buy a tablet over a laptop in a shot."

Another remarked: "If there is a market for the Wacom Cintiq there's a market for a Tablet Mac. Arguably if we're talking about stylus input that would enable naturalistic painting/Photoshop retouching, then the Mac would be the tablet PC. Why are we waiting?"

Not everyone is convinced. 34 per cent (183) respondents think Tablet PCs are just a gimmick. One said: "I am skeptical about how it is better than a laptop. Rather than being the best of both worlds it appears to be the worst of both."

And another responded: "Apple should concentrate on winning the professional market back before faffing about with tablets, unless it wants to rapidly become a niche OS for consumers.

A further 20 per cent of readers believe that Apple should wait before leaping in with a new product.

"Give it five years," said one. While another warned: "I think they should wait and see. Remember that the Newton wasn't a success."

Join the discussion on this week's reader poll topic: "Should Apple buy Universal Music?" Have your say on this in Macworld's Forum.