Windows 7 Tablets: Wheat and the Chaff


  1. I wish everyone would stop calling iPad-like computers “tablets.”

    The iPad (and all computers like it) are “slate” computers.

    A “tablet” PC is basically just a notebook, but with a screen lid which will, when opened, swivel 180 degrees so that the screen lid can be closed back down over the keyboard with the screen (a touch screen, obviously) facing out so that it all becomes “slate-like”… albeit thicker than a slate because, after all, it’s actually a notebook, just with its screen turned “inside-out,” so to speak.

    Of course, all that said, the English language — particularly with respect to fast-moving technology — is constantly evolving; and so what describes a specific thing today can become a category tomorrow, and vice versa.

    If so, though, then perhaps “tablet” should become the category, and then “slate” is a type of tablet (in other words, “slate” sits within the “tablet” categor); and a notebook with swivel screen lid can become yet another type of tablet.

    Who knows. All I *DO* know is that under the current set of generally-accepted definitions for the terms, iPad-like devices are “slate” computers, not “tablet” computers. And wishing won’t change that.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  2. @Gregg
    There is a reason that ‘slate’ isn’t widely used for devices with a certain form-factor. This is since ‘Slate’ is also the product name of devices from several manufacturers – HP, ExoPC, etc. and hence loses the generalisation.

    Although tablets started as the devices you mention, specially with pen computing interface, the term has evolved to be a generic term of handhelds with natural interface.

    Of course, the technology jargon is evolving 🙂

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