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What is tablet PC
Tablet is portable computer whose primary input device is touch screen. Other characteristics are tablet shape and size, wireless connection to Internet and local area networks. They are powered by variety of operating systems. Some are proprietary ones like Apple iPad iOS, Amazon FireOS or HP webOS, but majority of tablets are running on various Windows 8 editions and Android operating system.
History of tablets
Tablet pc computers are derivate of many different technologies and ideas from the past. A digitizer or graphic tablet with handwriting text recognition was presented back in 1956 as a replacement for keyboard. The concept of tablet pc is also related to pen computing, where pen or stylus is used as a user interface instead of mouse or keyboard.
One of tablet predecessors was PDA device, a handheld personal computer used for taking notes and storing data like phone numbers. These devices date into 1980 when Psion launched its first PDA model. The idea was taken by Apple with its Newton and by US Robotics with Palm Pilot. Revolutionary idea and products were way ahead its time and they sank into history almost unperceived.
Next major step was introduction of special Microsoft XP windows OS named Windows XP Tablet PC edition in 2001. This edition incorporated support for pen-sensitive screen and handwriting. Microsoft's contribution is also the name "Tablet PC" as this was the first time it was used. Various attempts from different companies were made since then. But final breakthrough came again from part of Apple in form of iPad in 2010. Comparison of tablet PC computers in 2011 shows that iPad and iPad2 had the biggest market share among tablets. It is expected that Apple will hold its leading position with The New iPad in 2012 as wel.
It is estimated that tablet pc share will grow and soon surpass a popular netbooks. Forrester Research is predicting that over 20 millions of units will be sold in 2015. This means more then 40% growth per year and thus most rapidly growing market among personal computers devices.
Forms of tablet pc
We can find different types of tablet PCs on the market. Tablet pc comparison can be done according to their form. These are standard forms of tablet computers:
- Slate tablet pc - A classical tablet pc form of pad with one touch screen and without keyboard.
- Convertible tablet pc - Basically a notebook with touch screen capability. They come in form of base and a screen that can be rotated around swivel for 180 degrees.
- Hybrid tablet pc - Convertible tablets with detachable keyboard
- Booklets - A dual screen tablets that can be folded like a book.
- Rugged tablet pc - Tablet pc resistant and adapted to hard atmospherically conditions. Used as a platform for using pc on terrain.
Hardware especially screen is prone to damage as they are carried around and used in various situations and environments. Compared to other personal computers as notebooks and PC's they have weaker capabilities. Especially video with its low resolution is a draw back comparing it to its big brothers. Minimalist ergonomic can be a trade off regarding typing experience. Traditional keyboard with wrist rest is much more comfortable.
Advantages of tablets pc compared to notebooks are their size and weight. Due to their portability, they are very practical and can be used while sitting in sofa, lying in bed or walking around. With a size of a book and special ereader application they can replace this traditional reading source.
Since the iPad first launch in 2010, tablets are going very strong. They found their place between mobile phones and laptop computers. As prices are dropping and number of applications for tablets is growing these gadgets have a bright future in years to come.