GRAY LINE OF EVOLUTION
Welcome to a guide and list of the different types of tablet computers. Once upon a time in the mid-2000s, smartphones suddenly became very popular and took the market by storm. It was also at this point in time that some smart geeks thought it would be a good idea to create an “oversized smartphone” using similar mobile technology.
That “oversized smartphone” came to be known as a tablet computer these days, and it has since evolved quite a bit over time… Even fundamentally changing our traditional laptops. Just what do we consider as a tablet, and how many different types of tablets are there? Read on to find out!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
| Section A
Types of Tablets
| Section B
TYPES OF TABLETS
First, here is the list of the different types of tablets and hybrid tablets.
1) SLATE TABLET
WHAT IT IS
The slate is the most “traditional” form of a tablet computer and the common Joe that you find everywhere. Slates are built for portability, and so, are usually lightweight, sleek, and does not come with an attached keyboard.
But depending on the design, tablets will usually have a number of expansion ports, allowing you to plug in a keyboard, mouse, external hard disks, and whatever gadget you have. They may not function as well as a “full-sized” laptop, but they definitely offer plenty of flexibility.
- Slim, lightweight, and ultra-portable.
- Flexible usage.
- Generally not quite as powerful as a “full laptop”.
- Not quite suitable for office work “out of the box”, requires an external keyboard and mouse.
2) CONVERTIBLE TABLET (2-IN-1 ATTACHED)
WHAT IT IS
Convertible tablets are essentially touchscreen devices with an attached keyboard that can be folded 180 degrees around; They work as a laptop and converts into a tablet when flipped around. These are specially made for people who want a functional laptop, but with an option to use it as a tablet as well.
- Generally has the same level of performance as any other laptops.
- Laptop and tablet, 2-in-1.
- You do not need to carry an extra keyboard and mouse with this one.
- A bit heavier than the regular slates because of the mechanism.
- Not quite as portable. Uncomfortable for handheld usage for long periods of time.
3) HYBRID TABLET (2-IN-1 DETACHABLE)
WHAT IT IS
The hybrid tablet is another variation of the convertible. But instead of having a fixed keyboard, it is totally detachable on hybrids. Well, you can also think of it in another way – This is essentially a slate tablet with an optional keyboard that you can attach.
- Super flexible device. It is a slate tablet, and also a laptop with the keyboard attached.
- Depending on the design of the hybrid, the keyboard can kind of function as a dock as well.
- Kind of a hassle to attach/detach the keyboard.
WHAT IT IS
The term “phablet” comes from the combination of phone and tablet. Yep, phablets are bigger than the usual smartphone but smaller than the usual tablets… They are in-between but neither.
- Can be used as a mobile phone.
- Good for those who like big screens.
- A very awkward phone that is oversized.
- While the screen is generally bigger than the rest, it is still too small to be used as a laptop.
5) RUGGED/TOUGH TABLET
WHAT IT IS
The rugged tablet is the right one for you if you are always dropping stuff. They are specially made to survive harsh environments, take some punishments with shock-proof “armor” and “extra rubber padding”.
- Shock-proof. Usually waterproof as well.
- Reliable, does not break easily.
- Heavy and bulky.
- Usually costs more than the regular slates.
6) FOLDABLE SMARTPHONE
WHAT IT IS
A smartphone that can be folded out to become twice the screen size. Some people may not consider this as a tablet, but personally, I will consider this to be a smartphone-tablet hybrid.
- Foldable and fits into deep pockets.
- A flexible device that could act as both a smartphone and a tablet.
- Limited screen lifespan.
- Very expensive gadget.
Now that we are done with the list of tablets, here is a small section of trivial information for the beginners, and for those who are interested to know a little more.
WHAT IS A TABLET COMPUTER?
A tablet PC is a portable PC that is a hybrid between a personal digital assistant (PDA) and notebook PC. Equipped with a touch screen interface, a tablet PC usually has a software application used to run a virtual keyboard.
This one is actually hard to determine, as tablet computers have kind of evolved and blurred the line with laptops. In the early days, the general consensus is that tablet computers are simply larger mobile devices with a touch screen and no keyboard; Which is otherwise also known as a slate.
But as mobile technologies become more mature and popular over time, some of the laptops also begun to adopt touchscreens, making them “partial tablets”. To make things even better, some computer manufacturers came out with designs where the keyboard is completely foldable, literally transforming a laptop into a tablet.
So just what is a tablet computer these days? Well, while the distinction between laptop and tablet is blurring, I will personally say that a tablet computer is a mobile device that has a reasonably large touch screen. It could work as a traditional laptop but a keyboard is otherwise optional.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A TABLET COMPUTER
So what exactly makes a tablet computer? It is hard to come up with the “exact specifications” as computer manufacturers continue to push the limits of technology. But here a few of the general characteristics that a tablet computer has:
- Designed to be lightweight and portable.
- Usually has a screen size of at least 7″, larger than most smartphones, but smaller than laptops.
- Uses the touchscreen as the primary input, although it is also possible to connect a keyboard.
- Offers plenty of wireless connectivity – 802.11, mobile networks, Bluetooth, and NFC.
- Has little or no moving parts at all. Uses passive cooling instead of fans, and SSD instead of mechanical hard disks.
THE USES OF A TABLET PC
The early versions of the tablet computers don’t really have a lot of processing power and are pretty much used for browsing the Internet, listening to music, reading emails, and just for doing some light computing tasks altogether.
But as more processing juice is packed into the device, tablets have become more of an interesting mix – Tablets can pretty much do whatever smartphones can do and more. With an attached keyboard, tablet PCs can pretty much function as a laptop for general office use. Some tablet hybrids even have enough processing power to be used for video encoding and production.
That’s all for this guide, and here is a small section on some extras and links that may be useful to you.
LINKS & REFERENCES
Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this guide. I hope that this has helped you to better understand the types of tablets, and if you have anything to share with this guide, please feel free to comment below. Good luck and happy computing. May the cyber force be with you.