[Sponsored] The rise of tablet computers

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I still remember the first tablet I saw: it was while I was living in London, and a local teacher brought his tablet to a church meeting. Apparently his school were trialling tablets for teachers, and he wanted to show it off. The thing that sticks in my mind is that its PC heritage seemed very obvious: it ran a version of Windows, and looked like a closed-over laptop with the screen on the outside.

After that, I only ever saw one tablet PC – in the hands of a friend who worked in a large company’s IT department. It seemed like these things were destined to live in the world of education and business… not really the sort of thing people wanted to have in their homes. So what changed?

I think if you were to take a tablet from 2005 and put it alongside one from today, like Sony’s Xperia™ Tablet, one of the first things you would notice is the size of the device. Tablets these days are much thinner and sleeker than their predecessors. The next thing is that, with a few notable exceptions, the input method is your finger – no need for a stylus, unless you really want to use one. Thirdly is that tablets are much more specialised. The tablet PC I saw was still trying to be a PC… albeit a cut-down version. Tablets nowaways are more about consuming media, reading e-mails, playing games… they have become, in short, consumer devices.

So, in this world of powerful consumer tablets, what do people actually do with them? Check out this infographic from Davide Arnesano for some insight:

Tablet Sony - Infographic
Xperia™ Tablet

Does nobody use a tablet for work, then? Well, yes – I know I do, and I know of plenty of situations where people use tablets for distributing board meeting minutes, reading manuals, powering presentations, and taking notes. But, on the whole, I think I would argue that tablets are about making life richer (a phrase I “borrowed” from the landing page of the Xperia™ Tablet.

So, how do you use your tablet? I’ve already said I use mine for work, and I know my children enjoy playing games and watching videos on it. Does that fit with your experience? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Sponsored post: I will receive financial compensation for publishing this post. Please be assured that I will never accept sponsored posts where I am required only to give a positive view – it is important to me that I am able to write what I really think, even in sponsored posts.

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