Through television commercials or everyday conversation you are probably hearing more and more about tablets. Seeing an iPad in action for the first time can be an exciting experience and even if it didn't leave you wanting one immediately it probably got you wondering what you might use one for.
A tablet is a portable computer that's smaller and more portable than a laptop, based off the touchscreen and user interface they are more larger cousin to the smartphone than they are smaller cousin to the desktop or laptop computer. While they are not as powerful or flexible as a traditional computer they are smaller, thinner, lighter and more focused. When used in their specific niche they are faster and more accessible than a computer.
The standout feature of all tablets is the touch screen, most tablets look like a glass screen that you carry around with you. There may be a few touch sensitive buttons around the screen on the front of the device and a few jacks or buttons around the edge most of the interaction is done via direct selection with the touch screen. These high resolution screens excel at displaying video, photographs, web sites or casual games and being able to just touch what you want eschews the need for menus nested in menus.
Wireless networking is another feature you will find in any tablet computer, all of them come equippied with WiFi for getting online and many are available with 3G capability for connecting over mobile phone networks. 3G access will often require a contract with a wireless provider and may even add a second bill to your wireless contract.
The portability offered by a tablet is one of it's most appealing features. With no keyboard or mouse required and all the hardware behind the screen, most tablets are barely larger than the viewable area of the screen.
by JM Butler