A Netbook Tablet is a portable, pen-operated computer which is operated by a stylus and application of a finger directly on a touch-sensitive screen. This allows the device to be used while standing and with only one hand. A Netbook Tablet extends the technology of conventional notebooks and is usually provided with special software for handwriting recognition.
The idea of a pen-operated computer existed long before the Netbook Tablet. The term Netbook Tablet itself was introduced by Microsoft. The first concept for a portable computer with an intuitive user interface was incepted in the 1960s and 70s, and was called the Dynabook. In the 1980s the first software for handwriting recognition was developed by Charles Elbaum. One of the first computers with a real pen was introduced in 1993; it was the Newton from Apple, the forerunner of today’s PDAs.
In 1991 the alternative pin was seen for the first time as a serious mouse, whereupon Microsoft’s Pen Extensions such as for Windows 3.1 were brought to the market. Between 1992 and 1994 several manufacturers (such as Compaq, Fujitsu, IBM, NCR, Samsung and Toshiba) published appropriate hardware. The DynaPad T100X Toshiba Was the first real precursor of the Netbook Tablet. The ThinkPad was the originally planned name. Since no large market opportunities were given to these concepts, they disappeared. Pioneers for pin and hardware applications such as grid and the Go Corporation were acquired or liquidated. Compaq, IBM, NEC and Toshiba featured all the pen-based products for consumers in 94/95. Pin-to-use computers were still manufactured and sold in the industry. An example was SIMpad (2001).
In addition to the devices based on Microsoft’s Netbook Tablet standard, there are also devices with Linux or MacOS. Due to the use of open hardware architecture, operating systems are generally interchangeable. In addition to the Netbook Tablet, a similar device category has been established, consisting of finger-to-use embedded systems in a slate design. These devices are based on closed hardware architecture with a fixed operating system that is contrary to Tablet PCs intended primarily for media consumption. Introduced in 2010, the iPad device category by Apple has begun a new era for tablets.
Tablet PCs provide a device category between laptops and PDAs. Tablet PCs in the classical sense, such as notebooks, have the same functionality and are structured similarly. The differences are mainly in the construction of the housing and in the over-use pen and touch screen. The remaining components such as processor, hard drive and memory are consistent with normal PC standards to ensure full compatibility with software for x86 processors. Recent developments such as the iPad, however are based on the technology of smart phones and transfer them to the class of a tablet computer. Since Tablet PCs are designed for mobile use, primarily, they are roughly the size of sub-notebooks or netbooks. Compared to PDAs, the biggest difference is the larger and heavier design. Also, tablet PCs often come in a digitizer instead of the touch-sensitive displays in PDAs.
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