Tablet PC

It goes without saying that portable computers are very popular these days. Sales of notebooks and netbooks have increased dramatically in the past few years. The convenience of having a computer available at all times is very attractive to many people. There are plenty of different types to choose from, but some types are far more popular that others. Notebooks, netbooks, and smartphones get all the attention and dominate the sales charts, but there is another type that has several advantages over these three gadgets. The tablet PC is essentially a large touch-sensitive screen that is held in one hand and operated with a finger or stylus. It typically has the same processing power and screen size of a notebook computer, but it’s much easier to use while standing up and walking around.

The tablet PC has appeared in various forms since the early days of computing. Microsoft introduced the name during a product launch in 2001 and the media grabbed hold of it. Before then, it was often called a pen computer or writing slate. Despite numerous attempts to promote the tablet PC as an alternative to the notebook computer, it has not made much of an impact in the marketplace. It’s one of those products that always seems ready to take off but never does. Once again, manufactures are trying to get the public to accept the tablet PC. But it faces tough competition from a new generation of notebooks and smartphones that are smaller and more powerful than the last generation.

The main feature of a tablet PC is its large touch-sensitive screen. Some models have a small keyboard tucked away underneath the screen but the majority have no keyboard, except for a virtual one that can be shown on the screen. The tablet PC is not often used in the home and is most commonly used for data entry in the workplace. Some of the tasks it’s used for include updating patient charts in a hospital, checking inventory in a warehouse, and taking orders in a restaurant. The tablet PC has always been a niche product but this may change with the introduction of larger and slimmer models.

A tablet PC is not a notebook computer, smartphone, or a personal digital assistant (PDA), although it shares many of their features. Most models lack the ability to make cell phone calls, but they can be used to make VOIP calls over the internet. The tablet PC is also not a desktop computer, despite the fact that there are several desktop models currently available that have a large touch-sensitive screen, such as the HP TouchSmart and ASUS Eee Top. There are also other gadgets that look and feel like a tablet PC but do not fit the definition because they were designed to perform one specific task, such as eBook readers.

The three general types of tablet PC are the slate, convertible, and hybrid. A slate does not have a physical keyboard, but it is possible to use an external keyboard and mouse with a slate. A convertible has a keyboard that can be rotated under the screen to provide added support, unlike the keyboard on a notebook which only rotates through ninety degrees. A hybrid also has a keyboard that rotates under the screen, just like the keyboard on a convertible, but it is not fixed and can be removed if required. This feature allows a hybrid tablet PC to be quickly changed into a slate or a convertible model.

The most important feature to consider when choosing a tablet PC is the touch-sensitive screen. Apart from the screen size and resolution, buyers need to determine if the screen can be operated with a finger, stylus, or both. Of course, the specifications of the processor, memory, video graphics, and hard drive always need to be checked. Other hardware features to look for include low weight, long battery life, and wireless connectivity. Most retail models use Microsoft’s Windows XP Tablet PC edition, which is a slightly modified version of Windows XP Professional, and there are also a few models that use the free and open-source Linux operating system.

This Tablet PC Review is Written/Updated on Oct 16th, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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