Tablet computer

A tablet computer, or simply tablet, is a one-piece, mobile version of a personal computer, primarily operated by touchscreen (the user's finger essentially functions as the mouse and cursor, removing the need for the physical [i.e., mouse & keyboard] hardware components necessary for a desktop or laptop computer; and, an onscreen, hideable virtual keyboard is integrated into the display). Available in a variety of sizes, even the smallest's touchscreens are much larger than those of a smart phone or personal digital assistant.[1][2][3] A tablet computer may be connected to a keyboard with a wireless link or a USB port. Convertible notebook computers have an integrated keyboard that can be hidden by a swivel joint or slide joint, exposing only the screen for touch operation. Hybrids have a detachable keyboard so that the touch screen can be used as a stand-alone tablet. Booklets include dual-touchscreens, and can be used as a notebook by displaying a virtual keyboard in one of them. Alan Kay's Dynabook described an information tablet in 1972: "A Personal Computer for children of all Ages".[4] The paper proposes a touch screen as a possible alternative means of input for the device. The first commercial portable electronic tablets appeared at the end of the 20th century. In 2010, Apple Inc. released the iPad which became the first mobile computer tablet to achieve worldwide commercial success. The iPad used technology similar to Apple's iPhone. Other manufacturers have produced tablets of their own including Samsung, HTC, Motorola, RIM, Sony, Amazon, HP, Microsoft, Google, Asus, Toshiba, and Archos. Tablets use a variety of operating systems

such as iOS (Apple), Android (Google), Windows (Microsoft), and QNX (RIM). As of March 2012, 31% of U.S. Internet users were reported to have a tablet, which was used mainly for viewing published content such as video and news.[5] Among tablets available in the market in 2012, the top-selling device is Apple's iPad with 100 million sold by mid October 2012 since it was released in April 3, 2010,[6] followed by Amazon's Kindle Fire with 7 million, and Barnes & Noble's Nook with 5 million. The tablet computer and the associated special operating software is an example of pen computing technology, and thus the development of tablets has deep historical roots. Electrical devices with data input and output on a flat information display have existed as early as 1888 with the telautograph.[8] Throughout the 20th century many devices with these characteristics have been imagined and created whether as blueprints, prototypes, or commercial products. In addition to many academic and research systems, there were several companies with commercial products in the 1980s. Tablet computers appeared in a number of works of Science Fiction in the second half of the 20th century, with the depiction of Arthur C. Clarke's NewsPad,[9] in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, the description of Calculator Pad in the 1951 novel Foundation by Isaac Asimov, the Opton in the 1961 novel Return from the Stars by Stanislaw Lem, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in Douglas Adams 1978 comedy of the same name, and the numerous devices depicted in Gene Roddenberry 1966 Star Trek series, all helping to promote and disseminate the concept to a wider audience