Tablet Computers – A Modern Technology
Tablet computers, or simply tablets, are a fairly new type of technology. Modern tablets are slim and lightweight, with touch screens and downloadable applications, are mobile wireless or Wi-Fi enabled, and they work in a similar way to smartphones. They are basically mobile computers with a display and battery in a single unit. The difference between a tablet and a smartphone or a laptop is that a tablet has a faster processor than a smartphone, but usually falls short of the processing power found in a laptop. All tablets have sensors in them to detect touch, which allows the user to control the unit without a computer mouse and keyboard. Most tablets are equipped with cameras, microphones, and accelerometers. In addition, some tablets have physical buttons to control basic features such as returning to the home screen, changing the speaker volume, and powering the unit on and off.
The first commercially available tablet, the GRiDPad, was released in 1989. This MS-DOS based touch screen tablet, manufactured by Samsung, was even used by the United States Army. Many tablets followed throughout the years, including the AT&T Hobbit, the Palm Pilot, the Pocket PC, the Nokia 770, and the Archos 5, but these tablets were simplistic and nothing like the tablets we see in mass market today.
The first mass-marketed tablet was the very first Apple iPad launched in 2010. Apple's attention to detail for the touch interface distinguished the tablet as a new class of portable device, different from a netbook or a laptop. This mass-market production of the iPad has become a milestone in the history of technology, as it revolutionized the idea of tablets. Consumers began considering a tablet as a necessity in addition to a laptop or smartphone. Apple's iPad has been characterized as a tablet that focuses on media consumption, since most users utilize the iPad for web browsing, photos, videos, games, e-reading, and email.
Today, there are four main types of tablets: Apple's iPad tablets, Android tablets, Blackberry tablets, and Windows Tablets. The main differential between the four tablets is the operating systems that they run. Android tablets offer full Adobe Flash support, as well as true multi-tasking (you can do multiple activities at one time on the same screen). Blackberry tablets also offer full Adobe Flash support, as well as wireless connectivity to existing Blackberry smartphones (which means you can use your phone's data plan to access the internet from your tablet). iPad tablets do not have Adobe Flash support but the newer iPads feature retina display (very high resolution), Wi-Fi or mobile network connectivity, and Siri. Windows tablets feature a full operating system and most features of a complete laptop.