Tablet computer

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Tablet ( listen ? / I ) ( English tablet , slate ' , US English. Tablet "notepad") or tablet computer , tablet PC , rarely flat computer , is a portable, flat computer especially light version with a touch screen , but , unlike notebooks , without a fold-out mechanical keyboard . A tablet is a special type of personal computer that is a handheld device . Audio file / audio sample

Tablets are easy to use because of their lightweight design and touch-sensitive screen. The devices are similar to modern smartphones in terms of performance, operation and design and mostly use operating systems originally developed for smartphones . Because of the on- screen keyboard , which is only displayed when needed, tablets are less suitable for writing large amounts of text.

Tablets are usually equipped with built-in batteries , which often cannot even be changed by qualified personnel, which means that inexpensive devices that are equipped with inferior batteries can very quickly become hazardous waste.

The wired connection to external devices is only provided for a few tablet PCs, so Bluetooth and WLAN are standard equipment. In addition, many devices are also offered with an integrated modem (including UMTS or LTE as radio data transmission), which means that they can be used on a mobile phone without having to rely on an external mobile modem ( e.g. via a USB port).

Tablets are also increasingly being used for remote control of digital devices, such as cameras , AV receivers , televisions or quadrocopters .

Apple iPad with on-screen keyboard

The functionality of a tablet can be expanded with additional programs (called apps , from English applications ). Tablet journalism is becoming more and more important , with the tablet being used as an information medium in order to consume journalistically prepared media content or to create it yourself.


Concepts and design studies for this type of device have existed since the late 1980s. One of the first devices of this type was the GRiDPad from GRiD Systems in 1989 , which, however, did not achieve great market importance. At the beginning of the development, the devices known as Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) were mainly limited to calendar, address and task management due to the technical possibilities and the lack of broadband mobile Internet access. For a long time in the 1990s, the PDAs and organizers from Palm (such as the Palm Pilot ), which were operated using a pen and handwriting recognition , dominated the market.

Pen tablet PC from 1996: Stylistic 1000

In 2001, the SIMpad , a Microsoft tablet PC launched by the German manufacturer Siemens in Switzerland , was marketed under the name Surfpad . This device was introduced in Germany by the network operator Telekom under the name T-Sinus Pad . The name was chosen to identify mobile internet devices with or without multimedia capabilities , e.g. B. mobile phones with WAP support to be distinguished. The booting of the operating system ends in a web browser and loads user- specific web content into the user interface that has been adapted for surfing the Internet during system start-up . But none of these devices could hold their own on the market.

In 2010, the US manufacturer Apple brought out the iPad and achieved the breakthrough for this product category with a great sales success. Numerous other manufacturers then followed with similar devices, which ultimately led to significant market changes in the field of portable computers. In particular, sales of notebook PCs and netbooks fell significantly in favor of tablets.


The design is sometimes also referred to as a pad or surfpad . One-chip systems with embedded operating systems are often found in this device class . The device consists of a monolithic block that contains the display and all other components. There are only a few interfaces for peripheral devices . In some cases, there is only a single interface that provides standard interfaces such as USB or VGA via adapters . The displays are often capacitive touchscreens, which is why the devices can only be operated with the fingers or special input pens. The manufacturer Lenovo uses an integrated projector as an additional output device for the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro model .

Convertibles and Detachables

Since around 2013, manufacturers have also been offering devices that have a keyboard and are therefore intended to replace a classic notebook. Among these one finds two different types: one is the Convertibles (of English convertible convertible ' ) and on the other Detachables (of English detachable , separable' ).

With the device design of the convertibles , the keyboard is firmly connected to the display and can be folded up like a notebook. The specialty is that the hinge allows a 360 degree rotation so that the keyboard can be opened up to the back of the display. The keyboard is no longer visible and the device can now be operated like a normal tablet computer. Disadvantage of this design: the additional weight of the keyboard makes the tablet a little heavier and more unwieldy - and thus worsens its main features a little.

With detachables , the display can be removed from the keyboard. So you can decide for yourself whether you want to have the keyboard with you or not. The device can be used as a normal tablet and if you want to write longer texts, the keyboard can simply be docked. There are different versions of the mechanical connection. Some devices can be connected very securely and firmly with a mechanical locking latch, while others are only held together magnetically. The execution of the data connection is also very different. Some connect using plug contacts, others only establish a Bluetooth connection. The disadvantage is usually that the display unit is heavier than the keyboard. This means that the device tips backwards if the display is opened too far. To prevent this from happening, the opening angle of most devices is kept small due to the design - which often leads to viewing angle problems in bright surroundings. There are even devices (e.g. Lenovo Miix 2) where the angle of the display to the keyboard cannot be adjusted at all.


The touch-sensitive screen of a tablet is operated with a finger or a stylus . If necessary, a virtual keyboard appears on the display for entering text . With some devices it is also possible to connect an external mechanical keyboard and other devices via radio, e.g. B. Bluetooth possible. Voice input and gesture recognition can be used well depending on the area of ​​application.

Portable tablet computers with displays of 8 to 12 inches are very common. Tablet computers are mass-produced with displays of up to 84 inches. From 42 inches they are used as InfoPoints , digital boards or drawing boards .

In contrast to notebooks, servers , workstations and regular PCs , where x86-compatible microprocessors dominate, these form a minority in tablets, such as the Microsoft tablet PC . Equivalent to smartphones, processors with ARM architecture currently dominate the tablet market (2019) .

Instead of a hard drive , tablet PCs usually use flash memory as mass storage . However, some tablets from Archos and Sony are equipped with a hard drive or SSD .

Operating systems

The operating systems used are Android , iOS , Windows 10 and Google Chrome OS.

Market share by operating system

Devices with the Android operating system had a market share of 62% in 2013 (2nd quarter 2016: 65%), while devices with iOS held a share of 36% (2nd quarter 2016: 26%). The Windows market share rose from 1% to 9% (2nd quarter 2016).

Use in Germany

According to a survey commissioned by Bitkom in 2015, tablet computers are mainly used at home in Germany: every third tablet user (30%) states that they only use their device at home. And another third (31%) mainly use the tablet computer at home. Only 6% use their device exclusively or mainly on the go. At home, the most popular locations for tablet computers are the sofa (82%), the bed or the balcony or garden (50% each), the desk (47%) and the kitchen (39%). 7% take their device with them to the bathroom.

See also


Web links

Commons : Tablet computer  album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Tablet  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Tablet computer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Vocabulary - query result. Flat calculator. Retrieved June 29, 2018 .
  2. Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro in the test. In: , accessed on March 17, 2015.
  3. Stiftung Warentest: Notebook and tablet in one: What the new hybrid computers can do. In: , August 28, 2014, accessed October 8, 2014.
  4. Gartner: Android overtakes iOS in tablet sales. In; , March 3, 2014, accessed October 8, 2014.
  5. Interest in tablets continues to decline. In:
  6. Tablets are mainly used at home. Bitkom press release of July 6, 2015, accessed on July 14, 2015.
  7. Tablet use: Better at home than on the go. In: , July 7, 2015, accessed on July 14, 2015.