apple-tablet-patent-400Apple to ship tablet device in March,” says the Wall Street Journal. The report, which cites unnamed “people briefed by the company” on the tablet’s existence, uses analysts to guesstimate its price at around $1,000. The March ship date is said to be subject to change.

The Journal’s description of the tablet’s purpose in our lives is fairly detailed:

The tablet is expected to be a multimedia device that will let people watch movies and television shows, play games, surf the Internet and read electronic books and newspapers. People briefed by Apple also say the company believes it could redefine the way consumers interact with a variety of content. Textbooks and newspapers, for example, could be presented differently through color screens, a touch interface, and the integration of live up-to-the-minute information from multiple sources.

One of the Journal’s sources said Apple had tested two different external casing finishes for the tablet, but the WSJ didn’t say what they were. It’s unknown whether Apple will pick one finish or offer two.