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Building on the idea that smaller is better, many companies decided that even a laptop could be made more portable, and the era of tablets was born. While most tablets have a few buttons, they tend to utilize touch-screen technology. Tablet computers come in a range of sizes, and are manufactured by many different companies.
A sure-fire way to identify that you are holding a tablet in your hands is by checking to see if it is able to be held in your hands. Tablets are generally bigger than mobile cellular devices, with screens in the 7-inch to 11-inch range, but smaller than laptops and without the folding capabilities. Another common characteristic of the tablet is the lack of a discrete physical keyboard integrated into the device though detachable keyboards are encountered.. The touchscreen performs this function. Tablets can be divided into several types based on size and function.
The PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) is a device that is in many ways the precursor to the tablet, and can be classed as a form of a tablet, although many incorporate a small physical keyboard. It is not so much intended as a computing device as an electronic notepad.
Mini tablets usually have a screen size in the 7-8 inch range and are often derived from the larger slate type tablets.
Slates are on the larger end of the tablet class, usually with screens in the 8-13 inch range. The devices with 12 inch and up screen size blur the division between laptop computer and tablet.
Phablets are tablets that combine the functions of a cellular telephone or smartphone with the functions of a tablet and are among the smallest of the tablet type devices. They blur the line on the lower end of the size range, being much closer to a smartphone in size.
Tablets can also use a number of operating systems including Windows (especially later releases), Android, iOS, iPadOS (post 2019), and Ubuntu Touch to name a few. These are frequently based on operating systems used by desktop and laptop systems.