Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tablets? Slates? Which is correct?

With many manufacturers introducing tablets/slates in the next few months, the terms “tablets”, “slates” and “___pad” will become more common.  However, I want to take this opportunity to clarify exactly what is the difference between a “tablet” and a “slate.”  Unfortunately, the media (including ourselves at TabletConnect) and manufacturers themselves are loosely using the term “tablets.”

A tablet is a laptop PC equipped with a touchscreen and at times a stylus.  It is a broad term.  On the other hand, a slate is a type of tablet PC that does not have a dedicated keyboard.  Interface is accomplished using a touchscreen keyboard using ones fingers or a stylus.  An external keyboard may also be used.  An iPad is a slate.  However, everyone is using the word tablet to actually mean a slate.

Photo of HP Tablet PC running MS Windows Table..."Convertible Tablet" - Image via Wikipedia
Here at TabletConnect, we admit that we are using the term tablet to mean a slate.  We do not follow convertibles which are tablets that have a keyboard in addition to a touchscreen – for example, a notebook that has a touchscreen which swivels around to become a slate.  Our concentration is purely on slates which do not have a dedicated physical keyboard.  Since other media outlets and manufacturers are using tablet to describe their devices, we will continue to use the term tablet to mean a slate.  In order to ease hardcore techies, we will try to use both terms (i.e. “tablets/slates”). 

We apologize in advance for following everyone and incorrectly using the general term instead of the specific term.  Hope this clarifies the terminologies. 
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