The idea of tablet computing is generally credited to Alan Kay of Xerox, who sketched out the idea in 1971. The first widely sold tablet computer was Apple Computer's Newton, which was not a commercial success. Technological advances in battery life, display resolution, handwriting recognition software, memory and wireless internet access have since made tablets a viable computing option.
Today, the most common type of tablet is the slate style, like Apple's iPad, Microsoft's Surface or Amazon's Kindle Fire. External keyboards are available for most slate-style tablets, and some keyboards also function as docking stations for the devices.