Tablet PCs, More then Just a Trend

By Chad Gates-

Take it with you, use it here, there, everywhere.

Portable electronic devices such as tablet PCs aren’t a new thing but the number of people, including students here, show it is a trend. In 1979, Sony unveiled their landmark product the “Walkman,” which allowed people to listen to their music wherever and whenever they want. Since then, these devices have grown into a prosperous market that has captured the public’s heart and wallet.

A tablet PC, or tablet computer, is a mobile computer that is larger then a smart-phone or PDA, but smaller then a laptop. Tablet PCs often use a modified version of a desktop operating system, (ex. Windows 7) integrated into a flat touch-screen that can be navigated using either your finger or digital stylus. Additionally, the keyboard appears on-screen, i.e. virtual keyboard.

But it wasn’t until recently that tablet PCs became popular. Microsoft released a precursor to the tablet PC in 2001, and unfortunately for Microsoft, it wasn’t successful.

Then in the April of 2010, Apple released the Ipad. They sold 14.8 million units and Ipads accounted for 75 percent of all tablet sales that year.

Saying that tablets are a trend of the era is a serious understatement, but they are much more than just a trend or fad. Tablet PCs have worked their way into many aspects of everyday life. These devices are becoming prominent within businesses and education. iPads, especially have been praised for their use in home-schooling. Tablet PCs are also an ideal substitute for computers and even laptops because of their greater portability and how they retain complex features of a laptop with the simplistic size and functionality of a smart-phone.

Although Apple’s iPad seems to be the most popular it is not the only tablet on the market. Many other developers of other electronic devices have joined the competition. Here is a list of other tablet PCs.

-RIM: (Makers of the Blackberry smart-phones) Blackberry Playbook

-Dell: Dell Streak 7

-HP: HP Touchpad

-Motorola: Motorola Xoom

-Samsung: Samsung Galaxy Tab

-Toshiba: Toshiba Tablet

Sales of tablets have skyrocketed.  Apple insider projects that tablets will outsell desktop PCs by 2013.