The First Tablet Ever Made – With 259 million tablets shipped worldwide from 2011-2018, it’s hard to believe that the tablet didn’t exist before then. Or, it did.
Despite everyone believing that the iPad was the start of the tablet revolution, there was actually “tablet talk” long before this time. In fact, it can be said as long ago as 50 years ago!
The First Tablet Ever Made
Specializing in the field of education, the “KiddiComp concept”, envisioned by American computer scientist Alan Kay, is in line with our philosophies at .
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Developed in 1968, while still a graduate student, the Dynabook was designed to be a “personal computer for children of all ages”, and had the potential to become a portable device for educational environments that would offer the same functionality as a laptop or computer. . The idea was for the Dynabook to be extremely light, with the best battery life you could get. Although adults could use the Dynabook, the target audience was children.
But unfortunately the Dynabook never went into production. 50 years ago, the technology was way ahead of its time and it never caught on. But Kay didn’t give up. And the first prototype of the product was built 20 years after the first idea was born.
The list below shows some examples of instrumental developments in the history of tablet innovation over the decades.
Interestingly, some features of the original 1979 version of the Apple graphics card were seen in the Apple iPad (2010 version): https://www.computerworld.com/article/2519943/apple-mac/face-off–1979-apple -graphics-tablet-vs–2010-apple-ipad.html
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A portable handheld PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) computer system with handwriting recognition technology that took around 6 years to develop and launch.
The MessagePad was the first line of personal digital assistant devices developed by Apple Computer for the Newton platform in 1993.
The early PalmPilot was made popular due to their portability and graffiti handwriting recognition. Using a PalmPilot, the user could take notes, manage contacts, play games, and view and manage other documents.
The first generation iPad is a tablet computer designed and marketed by Apple Inc. as the first in the iPad line. In the first 80 days, three million iPads were sold. At the launch of the iPad 2, Apple sold more than 15 million iPads.
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The Fire Tablet, formerly called Kindle Fire, is a tablet developed by Amazon.com. Built with Quanta Computer, the Kindle Fire was first released in November 2011, with a 7-inch multi-touch screen.
The NOOK tablet is produced by Barnes & Noble intended to compete with both e-readers and tablets. Approximately 5 million units had been sold by mid-October 2012, making the Nook Tablet the third best-selling tablet in 2012 after Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
The iPad Mini family is a series of smaller tablets designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is based on the iPad series of tablets, with a reduced screen size of 7.9 inches, as opposed to the standard 9.7 inches.
The first Chromebook was delivered in 2011. A Chromebook is like a regular laptop (surf the web, create documents, communicate via email). But in other ways, it’s a whole new kind of portable device.
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When you run Google’s Chrome operating system and use Google applications in the cloud, your computer doesn’t depend on software stored on your hard drive. Simple and secure, Chromebooks have made it fast, easy and affordable to get things done in and out of the classroom or work environment.
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Apple’s iPad gets most of the credit for it, but the tablet wasn’t Steve Jobs’ idea. Tablets actually began decades before the iPad was launched in 2010.
It is one of the first handwriting recognition tablets. Using the pen, you can write on the green screen.
Some call this the first tablet. It ran MS-DOS and the military bought some, but consumers largely ignored it. It was expensive and heavy compared to the laptops of the time.
Apple’s Newton MessagePad from 1993 was an attempt to create a new category of device that didn’t replace the PC, a so-called “personal digital assistant” or PDA, to take your calendar/to-do list and a few apps with you.
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With a stylus you could write on it and it would recognize your handwriting (although it wasn’t particularly good at it).
This device proved that people wanted a third type of mobile device between a cell phone and a laptop if it was affordable and easy to use.
By 2002, Microsoft was serious enough about the tablet to have a version of the XP operating system designed for it and sign up PC manufacturers to build some models.
The Motion Computing Tablet PC LS800 came out in the mid-2000s and was the smallest tablet at the time.
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In the mid-2000s, there were many tablets to choose from, such as the LS800 from Motion Computing and the Lenovo ThinkPad.
But they were expensive and not popular with consumers. They were mostly used in factories, by the military and by other field workers.
In 2010, the iPad arrived, with a beautiful touchscreen that people had grown to love from the iPhone and iPod touch.
As of last October, Apple had sold at least 100 million in total and is expected to sell 33 million more in 2013, plus another 55 million iPad Minis.
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But eventually prices fell, and the free and open source Android operating system led to more variety and cheaper devices.
By 2012, Microsoft was back in the tablet game, recognizing that tablets were not only a threat to the PC empire, but also the future of PCs.
It also admitted that Apple’s model for producing the hardware and operating system was superior and jumped in with its first ever Microsoft PC, the Surface.
It was a dangerous move to compete with the PC partners like that. The jury is still out on whether that gamble will pay off.
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The Padfone 2 is the second generation of the device, released this spring to Europe and Asia, but not to the US. But if it proves popular, we’ll see.
So far, nothing has been as popular as the iPad, mostly thanks to the iPad’s top-notch hardware and amazing collection of apps.
But the development of tablets has taken several decades. No doubt it will continue to develop for decades to come.
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Erik Gregersen Erik Gregersen is a senior editor at Encyclopaedia, specializing in physical sciences and technology. Prior to joining in 2007, he worked at the University of Chicago Press on…
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Encyclopaedia’s editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, either from years of experience gained working with that content or through study for an advanced degree. They write new content and verify and edit content received from contributors.
Tablet, computer that is intermediate in size between a laptop and a smartphone. Early tablets used either a keyboard or a stylus to input information, but these methods were later supplanted by touchscreens.
The forerunners of the tablet were devices such as the Stylator (1957) and the RAND Tablet (1961) which used a stylus for input into a larger computer. In 1968, Alan Kay, a graduate student at the University of Utah, advanced his vision of a small, powerful tablet-like computer that he later called the Dynabook; However, Kay never built a Dynabook. The first true tablets were Cambridge Research’s Z88 and Linus Technologies’ Write-Top, introduced in 1987. The Z88 accepted input through a keyboard that was part of the main tablet, while the Write-Top accepted input through a stylus. Weighing 0.9 kg (2 lb), the Z88 was much more portable than the Write-Top, which weighed 4 kg (9 lb) because it came with an internal floppy drive.
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Many other models followed the Z88 and Write-Top, but tablet sales languished until 2010, when Apple Inc. unveiled the iPad, a touchscreen with a screen measuring 24.6 cm (9.7 in) diagonally. It was about 1.2 cm (0.5 in) thick and weighed about 0.7 kg (1.5 lb). The iPad was operated with the same set of finger gestures used on Apple’s iPhone. The touch screen was capable of
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