A Tablet PC is a laptop PC, equipped with a stylus and or a touchscreen. This form factor is intended to offer a more mobile PC; Tablet PCs may be used where notebooks are impractical or unwieldy, or do not provide the needed functionality. Slate computers, which resemble writing slates, are tablet PCs without a dedicated keyboard. For text input, users rely on handwriting recognition via an active digitizer, touching an on-screen keyboard using fingertips or a stylus, or using an external keyboard that can usually be attached via a wireless or USB connection.
Created by vickaru on Jul 18, 2010
Last updated: 07/20/10 at 03:43 PM
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Neofonie announces the WeTab, a Linux-based slate tablet PC, featuring an 11.6 inch multi-touch screen at 1366x768 pixels resolution.
First Apple product to integrate touch technology on slate / tablet computer. This product is considered the big brother device to the wildly popular iPhone.
The HP Slate, which Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, is rumored to be released in June. The HP Slate boasts some features the iPad lacks, such as Flash player compatibility.
Google has announced it will release its own Tablet PC to rival the iPad, though there are few details and no set release date.
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The rivalry between Apple and Google has intensified as the two companies increasingly tread on each other's turf. Steve Jobs, who accused Google of wanting to 'kill us,' recently unveiled an Apple ad platform called iAd that's set to challenge Google's mobile advertising strategy.
Meanwhile, it seems a Google tablet PC, Google's answer to the iPad, is in the works.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt knocked the iPad at Davos earlier this year--"You might want to tell me the difference between a large phone and a tablet," he said--and recently leaked details about the Google tablet that is in the works.
Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, finally unveiled the Apple iPad during an event today. The name of the new tablet was revealed only a few days ago, and aims to separate itself from tablet computers such as Microsoft's new Slate PC category. Leaks have prepared us all for an "iPhone on steroids" and we recently estimated the release date to be April 2010. The "iPhone on steroids" has turned out to be a good description of the new Apple iPad, and the release date will indeed be April 2010.
on January 18th, the official word came from Apple that there would, indeed, be an event on January 27th at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco (points to Paczkowski for totally nailing the date), and the same day, Engadget pal and Fox News reporter Clayton Morris said his source close to Apple was tipping at a three-pronged presentation for the 27th: iLife, iPhone OS 4.0, and yes, a tablet. The internet indulged itself in the opportunity to read into Apple's "come see our latest creation" quote what it could (and likewise found Rorschach-style meanings in the graphic which accompanied the press release), and while it was pretty clear at this point that a product would indeed be announced.
Interest was running high enough that when another Apple patent application was slightly revised and refiled, no one noticed that it was old news -- this time it was the 10 finger multitouch screen filing that piqued our interest for the second time. Then Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times added to the strange brew by mentioning the "impending Apple slate" in a public setting during a speech about the paper's web presence. A mid-November patent application for handling "ink information" on a "pen-based input / display device" kept the rumors going, as did another DigiTimes hit claiming that the tablet would now actually be two tablets -- a 9.7-incher with an LG OLED screen running $2,000, and a 10.6-incher LCD version costing around $800. By now, Conde Nast had also confirmed its content would be available on the tablet.
the iPAD (as it was referred to in the text) was listed as an option in a Borders' Books survey about e-readers, seemingly confirming what we already knew: everybody on earth was convinced that Apple was producing a tablet which would compete with smartphones, netbooks, e-readers, and every other conceivable gadget.
AppleInsider reported on July 24th that Steve Jobs, after innumerable setbacks, had finally given the tablet the go-ahead, our editorial eyebrows were raised pretty high. It's not that we didn't want the tablet to be real, merely that we'd heard it so many times before... but okay, this time the tablet would be 10 inches, have 3G, and a custom P.A. Semi processor. Just two days later someone at Barron's (ominously referred to as a "veteran analyst") said they'd actually held the tablet... in their hands!
just before iPhone launched on June 29th, 2007, The New York Times ran a piece on the iPhone in which a former Apple employee said Steve Jobs had become sweet on multitouch when it was first proposed for a "Safari Pad" tablet, but had decided to build a cellphone with the technology instead. In September of 2007, when the first talk of the tablet really hit for the year, it was thought that Apple's "Newton successor" would be about 1.5-times the size of... the iPhone,
at the end of August, a 52-page patent filing seemed to make it quite clear what Apple was up to. The stark line drawings showed mottled, ruined and hideous hands touching and gesturing -- quite explicitly -- on a tablet PC. The "large-format" touch interfaces described within made no bones about it -- a tablet surely was on its way. Looking back on it now, however, it's clear that this new patent application is just a revised and updated version of the same patent from 2004 that still hasn't been granted.
n April 2008, as part of a larger federal court case, the gesture features of the Windows/Tablet PC operating system and hardware were found to infringe on a patent by GO Corp. concerning user interfaces for pen computer operating systems. Microsoft's acquisition of the technology is the subject of a separate lawsuit. HP releases the second Multi-Touch capable tablet: the HP TouchSmart tx2 series.
June 9th, 2008 the iPhone 3G was announced at WWDC. No, there was not a single mention of tablet computing.
Axiotron introduced at Macworld in 2007 an aftermarket, heavily modified Apple MacBook called Modbook, a Mac OS X-based tablet computer. The Modbook uses Apple's Inkwell for handwriting and gesture recognition, and use digitization hardware from Wacom. To get Mac OS X to talk to the digitizer on the integrated tablet, the Modbook is supplied with a third-party driver called TabletMagic; Wacom does not provide driver support for this device.
Another wild patent filed in November revealed a seriously multitouch surface capable of detecting all 10 fingers and whether or not a user was holding a pen.
Axiotron introduces Modbook, the first (and only) tablet computer based on Mac hardware and Mac OS X at Macworld.A sort of forerunner to the iPad, this tablet PC ModBook is a MacBook that's been converted into a tablet PC (but was not produced by Apple). Axitron charges $800 for the ModBook, but the customer has to provide his/her own MacBook, bringing the price closer to $2,000. (Physical keyboard included.)
Windows Vista released for general availability. Vista included the functionality of the special Tablet PC edition of Windows XP.
On Disney Channel Original Movie, Read It and Weep, Jamie uses a Tablet PC for her journal.
Further patent applications filed in February of 2006 (and actually dating back to 2004) revealed that Apple was working on various touchscreen-related interface ideas, most of which described using "multiple fingers, gestures and motions" plus additional methods for manipulating the user interface itself. Things were still pretty vague at this point -- remember, this is all pre-iPhone -- but it was certainly clear that Apple was up to something -- the patent applications mention "multipoint touch screens", and describe pinch-to-zoom and control elements that enlarge when a finger is held over them. (Like, say, the iPhone keyboard.) Add to that a second patent application for a virtual keyboard in April of 2006
US Design Patent No. D504,889 -- the Stateside version of that very same European patent, and our first glimpse of that now-infamous line drawing of an oddly-proportioned (and legless) man using his finger to lovingly touch a... tablet. Somewhat amazingly, virtually everyone overlooked the extremely narrow nature of design patents -- the patent is solely for the ornamental design of a tablet, and not any functional or internal components. So it's less an "Apple Tablet patent" than it is an "imaginary Apple product that looks like this on the outside" patent -- a crucial distinction that's been washed away by time. The filed document bestowed the electronic device with the sexy and exotic name "Electronic device."
The talk of the tablet was brought on by a design patent Apple filed in Europe in May of that year for a "handheld computer," and listed Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive on the application, along with a handful of other members of the company's industrial design team. This filing, detailed in The Register, added fuel to a fire that had caught spark in 2003, when a "source close to" Taiwanese manufacturer Quanta said it had been hired to build a "wireless display" for Apple.
"Fingerworks" develops the touch technology and touch gestures later used in the Apple iPhone.
Bill Gates of Microsoft demonstrates the first public prototype of a Tablet PC (defined by Microsoft as a pen-enabled computer conforming to hardware specifications devised by Microsoft and running a licensed copy of the "Windows XP Tablet PC Edition" operating system) at Comdex with this Compaq tablet PC at a tech fair in 2001, predicting that tablets would dominate the PC market within five years. The device helped popularize the term 'tablet PC.'
The term Tablet PC was made popular in a product announced in 2001 by Microsoft, where it was defined as a pen-enabled computer conforming to hardware specifications devised by Microsoft and running a licensed copy of "Windows XP Tablet PC Edition" operating system or a derivative thereof. Tablet PCs are personal computers where the owner is free to install any compatible application or operating system. Other tablet computer devices, such as eBook readers or PDAs, do not provide this option and are generally considered another category.
The 'PC' stands for 'personal communicator'. This $1,599 portable tablet, which also ran on the PenPoint OS, came with an integrated celluar phone, a modem and fax, a hard drive, speakers and a microphone. Technologizer spills what happened: "AT&T reportedly burned through $40-$50 million to buy Go, the company that created the PenPoint pen operating system, and Eo, its hardware spinoff. After the gadget flopped, Ma Bell decided to refocus its energies on devices that packed similar functionality into a more phone-like shape–which was a visionary move considering that smartphones didn’t exist yet. But months later, in July of 1994, it just gave up."
Fujitsu releases the Poqet PC the first pen tablet to use an integrated wireless LAN. This tablet was one of the very first to offer a color touchscreen.
The Momenta Pentop was released. GO Corporation announced a dedicated operating system, called PenPoint OS, featuring control of the operating system desktop via handwritten gesture shapes. NCR released model 3125 pen computer running MS-DOS, Penpoint OS or Pen Windows.
The Apple Newton entered development; although it ultimately became a PDA, its original concept (which called for a larger screen and greater sketching capabilities) resembled the hardware of a Tablet PC. Apple, Inc's first tablet. Wired writes of the device, "Released in 1993, the Newton was one of the first PDAs (personal digital assistants) on the market. Early models were bulky, expensive and bug-ridden. Apple marketed the Newton poorly, and it was widely ridiculed; a memorable Doonesbury strip by Garry Trudeau effectively doomed the device.) Later models were vastly improved, but the Newton never took off." The Newton line was discontinued by 1998.
The first commercially available tablet-type portable computer was the GRiDPad from GRiD Systems, released in September. Its operating system was based on MS-DOS.
Wang Laboratories introduces Freestyle. Freestyle was an application that would do a screen capture from an MS-DOS application, and let the user add voice and handwriting annotations. It was a sophisticated predecessor to later note-taking applications for systems like the Tablet PC.The operating system was MS-DOS
In partnership with Fujitsu, the Poqet Computer Corporation announced the arrival of the Poqet PC.
Penceptc and CIC both offer PC computers for the consumer market using a tablet and handwriting recognition instead of a keyboard and mouse. Operating system is MS-DOS.
Pencept of Waltham, Massachusetts markets a general-purpose computer terminal using a tablet and handwriting recognition instead of a keyboard and mouse. Cadre System markets the Inforite point-of-sale terminal using handwriting recognition and a small electronic tablet and pen.
Despite its consumer-friendly price, this $650 peripheral for the Apple II platform wasn't a huge success. Edible Apple writes, "Way back before programs like Photoshop roamed the earth, creating pictures on computers was far from a straightforward process. To make things a little bit easier, Apple released a Graphics Tablet in 1979 which enabled users to draw on the tablet with a wired stylus pen and transfer those creations over to their computer." Apple's been kicking around the idea of a tablet since at least... oh, 1983. From real, physical prototypes to out-there ideas such as the Knowledge Navigator -- the company (who did not, alas, invent the idea of a tablet PC) has, somewhat unsurprisingly, seen fit to investigate the possibility for almost as long as it's been around.
The tablet officially known as the Atlas DEC PDP 15 was produced for commercial consumption by schools and technology labs. It was obsolete by 1973, as new technologies and platforms became available. The 'typewriter' attached to the system produced a hard copy of the tasks performed.
Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick imagines a flatscreen tablet device wirelessly playing a streaming video broadcast in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In the science fiction television series Star Trek, crew members carry large, wedge-shaped electronic clipboards, operated through the use of a stylus.
The RAND Tablet is better known than the Styalator, but was invented later.
The first publicly-demonstrated system using a tablet and handwriting text recognition instead of a keyboard for working with a modern digital computer.
Tom Dimond demonstrates the Styalator electronic tablet with pen for computer input and software for recognition of handwritten text in real-time.
1942: U.S. Patent on touchscreen for handwriting input.
The first patent for a system that recognized handwritten characters by analyzing the handwriting motion was granted in 1915.
The first patent for an electronic tablet used for handwriting granted.