Photo of a computer


A tablet computer, or commonly tablets, is a complete computer that is contained in a single machine that is seemingly a touch screen that can be utilised with the use of a stylus, digital pen or simply your fingertips. Tablets can often be PCs or computers and, although very similar, there are a number of subtle differences between them.

Tablet PCs are considered to be a fully functional, pen-based PC with handwriting and recognition functionality. Computer tablets differ from these PCs as they do not run a generic version of an operating system such as Linux, Windows or Mac OS, but rather a self-dedicated operating system. Due to this connectivity to another traditional Personal Computer or Laptop is advices to increase their functionality, such as backing up and/or software upgrades.

Tablet computers and the Apple iPad

Tablets are taking the world by storm and the year 2010 marked a significant change in the market. In the month of April Apple released the revolutionary iPad, which featured capabilities such as web browsing, e-mail, games, videos, music playing and many other features, which seemed to steal the market from tablets released by other manufacturers.

As a result major electronics companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Sony and Samsung, amongst others, are re-designing ranges of tablets in an effort to rival the iPad. With an already strong hold on the worldwide market and iPad's being offered at a reasonable price, there is a huge element of debate over whether Apple will always dominate the tablets market as they have with portable music devices and smartphones.

Throughout the recession the netbook became a popular choice for people purchasing computers and helped to carry the PC industry through the financial crisis. However, despite the increased popularity of the netbook, industry analysts are claiming that tablets will overtake the netbook as the must have budget-buy computer.

By 2012 it is estimated that tablets will have outsold netbooks in the United States according to a report published in June 2010 by Forrester Research, who have also predicted that 23% of personal computers will be replaced by tablets in 2015. This report echoes other reports that claim sales of netbooks have slowed considerably whilst Apple has enjoyed selling 3 million iPads in the first three months of its release.

A number of leading manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell are creating similar iPad-like tablets in order to compete with Apple's dominance over the tablets market. As more tablets become released and the fine-tuning is completed on the operating system, it is seemingly the end of budget desktop and netbook-style computers for home use.

Also, as more tablets are released with improvements to the operating system, it is estimated that tablets will be able to offer even more in the way of applications and features, this combined with the tablets already existing ease of use and stylish features is cementing their place at the forefront of the technological market. Not only will tablets be the talking-point of 2010 but throughout the following decade.