Personal Computers, Tablets, And Is This Market Really Dead?
Computers/tablets nowadays are common, sleek, affordable and easily available and this wasn’t always the case. Over the years, there has been a huge development in the tech market. And more recently, the developments are becoming greater and greater every year as people are using technology a lot more in their daily lives namely. Tablets and personal computers are two of the many devices that have made a huge impact on our lives and the current generation. Their history and change are extensive, as is the potential for their future. A personal computer, commonly known as a PC, is a computer that is designed to be used by one person. Tablets are, in a way, similar to PCs. They are more of a smaller, handheld computer, that is smaller than a laptop but also larger than a smartphone. Both the personal computer and tablets are very important to the tech industry today.
A PC is dependent on a microprocessor technology and has a central processing unit (CPU) on a single chip. PC’s are used for countless tasks, such as for word processing, database and spreadsheets, or even just daily use. The first personal computers, around the 1960s and 1970s used to occupy entire rooms for just one computer. Only people or groups with a lot of money had them as they were very expensive. The early PC could be accessed by multiple users via attached terminals and all the users shared resources as there were no accounts or log ins for individuals. The PC rose to popularity in the early 80s, and by then, the PC won Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1982. By just the late 80s, the PC had grown so much that it was now a lot smaller than the first ones were, and it could now be used by a single individual.
Contrary to popular belief, the iPad is not the first version of the tablet. The tablets are a little more of a recent hit than the personal computers. The first version of what we know as the modern tablet, was called the Linus Write-Top and was created in 1987. Though very simple, it created a market that had not existed yet. At that point, it was just a stylus that you could use to write on a green screen. From there, came the GridPad just a short two years later. It was a little more complex, and ran MD-DOS, but essentially was still very similar to the first one. Then came Apple’s first tablet in 1993, the MessagePad. The intent with this one was to create something sort of similar to the PC but a type of personal digital assistant (PDA) that you could carry with you. Similar to the others, this one had a stylus that you could write with as well. In 1997, the PalmPilot came out, and it was known as the first affordable PDA. Eventually, it would have touchscreens and become very popular. This was almost the first version of a hybrid between a cell phone and laptop that was easy to use and affordable. Microsoft’s attempt at a tablet arrived in 2000. They were also credited with coining the term “Tablet PC” with their early devices. Bill Gates had thought tablets would become a big thing in just 5 years, but it took almost 10 for it to start becoming popular. Following the success of the Tablet PC, Microsoft created the Windows XP tablet in 2002. It had a bigger screen and it ran a version of the XP operating system. Then in the mid-2000s more versions of the tablet started coming out with bigger screens and devices that could do more. And finally, in 2010, Steve Jobs released the first Apple iPad that was similar to the iPhone and iPod touch. In less than two years, the iPad had sold at least 100 million products. As a result of Apple’s success in the market, other competitors started releasing their version of the tablets such as the Galaxy Tab from Samsung, the Kindle Fire from Amazon, the Sony S2, the Microsoft Surface and many more.
Benefits of Tablets
All the new technology that is readily available to us is quickly changing the way that schools work. Nowadays, most students are either bringing electronic devices to schools or their district is providing them with it. Tablets are providing students with all the information they’d receive in dozens of textbooks in one device. This new digital world is introducing a whole new set of tools to the classroom that will benefit students. Tablets are allowing a whole new way to communicate, so for years students who have struggled with standardized testing, are offered new ways of test taking through an array of teaching tools. There are more interactive games, video presentations and more that are available on tablets. Studies have also shown that tablets are helpful for parents, teachers, therapists, and doctors to help students with developmental disabilities. Tablets can also hold upwards of 1,000 books and have plenty of storage options to choose from. Being able to have so much information on one device is revolutionary for students. On top of that, it can also hold learning games and tutorials to help better their understanding of any of their courses. Having almost all your information on one device means that there are a lot less pencils and notebooks needed for class. This means that back to school shopping can be cut down in half since students can take notes digitally. Tablets can also replace paper textbooks and help save millions of trees because that can be accessed digitally.
The Rise and Fall of the Android Tablet
Around 2010, the tablet market was at its peak and was thriving. Apple had just released their first iPad and so Android manufacturers wanted to break into this new market. However, Android tablets didn’t turn out to be nearly as succesful as Apple was. Though there are a few successful Android tablets still out on the market, they aren’t Androids pride and joy. Google themselves have reported that the Android tablets are dead. The main issue that lead to the downfall of the Android tablet was there was no tablet optimization. It was essentially just a large version of their smartphone. Developers didn’t want to deal with making too many changes to the operating system they had to improve the tablet experience. Meanwhile, Apple was improving the software for their tablets and a very fast pace. While Android’s main focus was simply on their smartphones, they released another tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note II. This only worsened the fate of the Android tablet. Over time, manufacturers found little room for growth in the Android tablet market as they had not put much effort into the initual products, so they beganw to withdraw. In 2018, Google was trying to make a hybrid laptop-tablet form and is trying to make a comeback into the tablet market. From the failure of the Android tablet, several Chrome OS devices has rise. This, similar to many of Android’s tablets still aren’t optimized perfectly for larger screens, but its an improvement. Somehow, after all these years of failing in the tablet market, Google is now in a much better place.
Many of our lives center around technology these days, namely computers and tablet like devices. The change between over time for the PC and tablet has been tremendous. They have evolved to meet our current usage and need for information at our fingertips. There is no doubt that these markets will keep growing at an exponential rate. Both the tablet and personal computer are very much alive and healthy despite some bumps in the road for some products within some companies.