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A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a thin, flat mobile computer with a touchscreen display, which is usually in color, processing circuitry, and a rechargeable battery in a single device. Tablets often come equipped with sensors, including digital cameras, a microphone, and an accelerometer, so that images on screens are always displayed upright. The touchscreen display uses the recognition of finger or stylus gestures to replace the mouse, trackpad and keyboard used in laptops.

Apple's iPad (left) is the top-selling tablet with 170 million units sold by mid-October 2013, followed by Amazon's Kindle Fire (right) with an estimated 7 million sold as of May 2012.

A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a thin, flat mobile computer with a touchscreen display, which is usually in color, processing circuitry, and a rechargeable battery in a single device. Tablets often come equipped with sensors, including digital cameras, a microphone, and an accelerometer, so that images on screens are always displayed upright. The touchscreen display uses the recognition of finger or stylus gestures to replace the mouse, trackpad and keyboard used in laptops.

Tablets are typically 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, like having a virtual keyboard or running a dedicated 'mobile' operating system.

Tablets can be classified according to the presence and physical appearance of keyboards. Slates and booklets do not have a physical keyboard, and text input and other input is usually entered through the use of a virtual keyboard shown on a touchscreen-enabled display. Hybrids, convertibles, and 2-in-1s do have physical keyboards (although these are usually concealable or detachable), yet they typically also make use of virtual keyboards. 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 cult 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 2010s, tablets rapidly rose in ubiquity and became a large product category used for both personal and workplace applications.

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