One of the big surprises from CES 2010
last week was the sheer number of tablets
. Perhaps, what with the persistent rumors of Apple's imminent entrance
to the segment, that shouldn't be seen as too unusual, but as many commenters seem to have conveniently forgotten, this isn't exactly a new niche in the tech world. Microsoft, however badly they subsequently managed it, lent their weight behind compact tablets (aka UMPCs
or Ultra-Mobile PCs) back in the days of Origami, and more recently we've seen PMPs
first grow large, video-capable displays and then borrow internet functionality from notebooks as WiFi proliferated.