A tablet computer is a versatile product for students, professionals, and graphic designers. These PCs tend to be more expensive than normal computers, but they benefit users when computers are not functional.
Microsoft coined the term "tablet PC" in 2001 when announcing computers that used pens. In 2010, Apple announced its version of the tablet PC, the iPad. At this point, the ipad is not for sale, but when it goes on the market, the starting price will be $499. Most tablet computers cost over $1,000.
Types & Functionality
- Booklets open and close like books. These have touch screens, and you can write on them with a pen. Booklets are popular for day planning, browsing the Internet, taking notes, reading, and watching media files while on the go.
- Slates are computers without keyboards that have the ability to recognize and digitize handwriting. These tablets are customizable with external USB or wireless keyboards.
- Convertibles are similar to laptops and have a keyboard attached. They tend to be heavier and much more expensive than slates. The screen of a convertible tablet can turn around and fold down to create a variety of surfaces for writings. Even though convertible tablets are functional, many consumers complain that they break and jam easily. Some models have overcome these weaknesses through new designs that rely on sliding rather than turning.
- Hybrid models are a cross between slates and convertibles that uses a detachable keyboard. HP has released a hybrid model.
In 2010, Apple released its version of the tablet, the iPad. The iPad steps away from the traditional booklet, slate, convertible, and hybrid classifications. It comes in a slate styling and features a touch screen keyboard that vanishes and appears as necessary. It has the functionality of a hybrid without the hardware limitations.
In any case, the Apple iPad resembles the Apple iPhone more than a true laptop. There is no multitasking capability, so users can only run one program at a time. Furthermore, the iPad's hard drive space is much smaller than a computer's. Apple iPads are not available with Adobe Flash, and applications come from Apple's application store.
Regardless, the iPad allows users to browse the Internet, take notes, watch YouTube videos, and store information. Its starting price is lower than that of a traditional tablet computer, but its functionality is more limited.
The new Windows 7 operating system is configured with touch technology for tablet computers. With previous Windows operating systems such as XP and Vista, a separate tablet version was necessary. Now, Windows 7 comes with touch technology that is already available.
For PC-based tablets, a variety of applications are available for diverse needs. Ink Desktop enables users to write on the desktop, and snipping tool allows users to crop part of a screenshot. Ink Art is a graphic design tool, and media transfer allows users to download media files from a network. Tablet games are also available.