What Does Tablet Mean?

A tablet is a wireless touch screen personal computer (PC) that is smaller than a notebook but larger than a smartphone. Modern tablets are built with wireless Internet or local area networks (LAN) and a variety of software applications, including business applications, Web browsers and games.


Techopedia Explains Tablet

In 2001, Microsoft introduced the first tablet prototype as the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. The earliest tablets used pen computing technology and were not built to run standard PC operating systems (OS) or applications, due to limited memory.

Tablet styles include:

  • Convertible: Rotating touch screen, stylus/digital pen, keyboard screen software and handwriting recognition software
  • Slate: Integrated electronic touch screen, i.e., Apple’s iPad
  • Hybrid: Standard notebook with a removable screen that functions as a slate tablet
  • Rugged: Slate tablet with protective casing

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.