In Pictures: The evolution of the tablet PC

We live in explosively innovative times for tablet computing and mobile apps. But it didn't all happen overnight. Most attempts to build a tablet-like computer, going back to the '70s, were not successful. Yet every failure was a lesson learned that led us to the iPad. Here's a look back at how the modern tablet came to be.

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HP Windows 7 Slate (2010)

This Hewlett-Packard Windows 7 touch tablet announced by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at CES 2010 generated some looks but never went anywhere. The slates were basically color e-readers with an 8.9-inch display running Windows 7. Apple announced the iPad a few weeks later and everyone, realizing that Windows 7 just wasn't designed for tablets, quickly forgot about the HP Slate. Microsoft looked asleep at the wheel. If anything, the iPad's sudden popularity gave Microsoft the motivation to design Windows 8 from the ground up to work on touch tablets.

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In Pictures: The evolution of the tablet PC

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