Tablet Computer Info

by janevogel

A brief description of Tablet Computers. What they are, what you should consider before purchasing.


Tablet computers are becoming a very popular item. They are hot because they do almost everything that a laptop can do but at a fraction of the weight and often are far less expensive. Tablets can be bought in different ways. Tables can be purchased with a service agreement for a data plan at a lower cost. Usually this happens through a cellphone service provider. These tablets bought with a data contract usually then connect to the internet by way of 3G or some related over the air technology. Tablets not bought through a service provider typically access the web through Wi-Fi. The main input device for a tablet is a touch-screen. The touchscreen allows users touch where they would like to "click" and also allows them to enter text data through an on-screen keyboard. Because a tablet can utilize the touch-screen for input, the need for other input devices like a keyboard and mouse is eliminated. This is a major advantage of tablets because they cane be designed considerably more lightweight than other computing devices. Many tablets offer one or two cameras. The other camera is a front-facing camera used for video calling. Most tablets also feature a gravity sensor so that the device can determine it's orientation. Many tablets are marketed as eReaders or eBook Readers. These are essentially the same as any other tablet just sold for a specific use. Some of these eReaders have special features for reading eBooks for example a screen that tried to match the look and feel of a paper book. Because eBooks do not demand nearly the computing capability as watching movies and playing games, eBook Readers generally are less powerful computing devices than the media targeted tablets.

Different Kinds

There are several forms of tablet devices. The most popular now is the Slate form. As their name suggests, they look like a writing Slate. They are flat, lightweight, and use the touchscreen as their input mechanism. There are some devices called Booklet Tablets. These Booklet devices have two touchscreens and fold similar to a book. However these devices tend to be used more as eBook Readers than as game playing devices. Bookelts are usually used as daily planners and internet surfing devices. Booklets have the downside of moving parts which are subject to breaking. Convertible tablets have a sliding screen that can change between a slate-like and a laptop-like mode. This makes it heavier but provides the advantages of a physical keyboard and more processing power. Hybrid tablets are similar to slate but have a detachable keyboard that rotates and doubles as a stand.

Tablet Memory

Every tablet requires some sort of memory to hold information and programs. This is typically achieved using some sort of solid state drive because it is less likely to be damaged by movement. In some cases however, notebook style hard disk drives are used. Usually the internal storage of a tablet starts at near 8GB and increases depending on how much you would like to pay for the tablet. Almost all tablets have some sort of expandable memory in the form of an SD card (or mini SD). This memory space allows room for music, movies, pictures, eBooks, and applications.


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Types of Screens

Touchscreens are not all alike. There are numerous varieties of touchscreens. Older touchscreen Personal Digital Assistants and devices used resistive touchscreens. This technology involves two plates of conductive material over the screen (of course transparent. When any object touches the screen, it causes the plates to touch causing a resistance to occur which can then be calculated to find the location of the screen press. There is another style called capacitive touch which is popular in newer devices. A drawback to capacitive screens is that the screen must be touched by a conductive object. This means that traditional stylus will not work with a capactive touch screen, nor will a user wearing gloves be able to use the touchscreen. Because of this many accessory manufactures make stylus with a conductive tip, and even gloves with conductive finger tips. A benificial technology to look for in a tablet touchscreen is multi-touch. Multi touch means that the screen can measure more than one screen press at a time. This is very useful for many apps that require zooming and rotating using "pinch".

Updated: 07/28/2011, janevogel
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pajs64 on 10/07/2011

I am about to buy one, but with so many options it is difficult to decide.

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