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A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile computer with a touchscreen display, which is usually in color, processing circuitry, and a rechargeable battery in a single thin, flat package. Most tablets also have sensors, including digital cameras, a microphone, and an accelerometer so images on screens are always displayed upright. The touchscreen display uses gestures by finger or stylus to replace the mouse, track-pad and keyboard used in laptops. Tablets are larger than smartphones or personal digital assistants with screens 7 inches (18 cm) or larger, measured diagonally. However, much of a tablet's functionality resembles that of a modern smartphone, using a virtual keyboard and running a mobile operating system. Portable computers can be classified according to the presence and physical appearance of keyboards. Slates and booklets do not have a physical keyboard, and usually accept text and other input by use of a virtual keyboard shown on a touchscreen-enabled display. Hybrids, convertibles, and 2-in-1's all have physical keyboards (although these are usually concealable or detachable), yet they typically also make use of virtual keyboards. Some 2-in-1's have processors and operating systems like a full laptop, whilst having the flexibility of being used as a tablet. Most tablets can use separate keyboards connected using Bluetooth. The format was conceptualized in the mid-20th century (Stanley Kubrick depicted fictional tablets in the 1968 science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey) and prototyped and developed in the last two decades of that century. In April 2010, Apple released the iPad, the first mass-market tablet to achieve widespread popularity. Thereafter in the 2010's, tablets rapidly rose in ubiquity and became a large product category used for both personal and workplace applications.
Android is a Linux-based operating system that Google offers as open source under the Apache license. It is designed primarily for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Android supports low-cost ARM systems and others. Many such systems were announced in 2010. Vendors such as Motorola and Lenovo delayed deployment of their tablets until after 2011, when Android was reworked to include more tablet features. Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and later versions support larger screen sizes, mainly tablets, and have access to the Google Play service. Android includes operating system, middleware and key applications. Other vendors sell customized Android tablets, such as Kindle Fire and Nook, which are used to consume mobile content and provide their own app store, rather than using the larger Google Play system, thereby fragmenting the Android market. Hardware makers that have shipped Android tablets include Acer, Asus, EmperorTech, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba. Additionally, Google introduced the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets in 2012.
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