The Origin of Species: How Tablet PCs Have Evolved
This early ancestor featured a stylus for on-screen writing and sold 10,000 units before a lack of software applications and a high price doomed it to extinction.
Although it was dubbed a personal digital assistant, Apple's MessagePad was a tablet precursor. The device, better known as the Newton (after its operating system), suffered from poor handwriting recognition.
MOTION COMPUTING M1200
One of the first gizmos to run Microsoft's Windows Tablet PC software, this elegant machine earned positive reviews, but the steep price, scant battery life (4 hours), and heat buildup scared away prospective buyers.
HEWLETT-PACKARD TOUCHSMART TM2 TABLET
Introduced: 2010 (January)
HP's latest sub-$1,000 tablet features a multitouch interface, a power-sipping Intel chip, and a swiveling keyboard for those who don't like the touchscreen technology.