Computers 101 – Tablets and Other Mobile Devices

The last post in this series discussed some of the components that laptops are made of. Today, we’re going to talk about tablets and other mobile devices like e-readers, smartphones, and wearable technology.

What is a mobile device?

Mobile devices are typically an extremely portable device that can fit into your hand. Sometimes these are called handheld computers, but they can be anything a tablet to a smartphone. More recently, there has been a lot of talk about wearable technology. Wearable tech, or wearables, would be Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and more. The implementation of wearable technology in the future will be very far reaching from smart clothing and head-mounted displays, to smart glasses, and even medical implants.



Tablets, like laptops, are designed to be portable computing systems. However, tablets are even more portable than most laptops. Tablets are known for having touch sensitive screens instead of a keyboard and mouse. You interact with and control the tablet by touching the screen. Tablets are not a computer replacement but they can be ideal as a second computer or a portable computing device. Because of their limited performance resources and proprietary Operating Systems, tablets are unable to perform certain tasks or run certain software programs. The software programs that you use on a tablet are typically called Apps.



Smartphones combine the computing power of a tablet with the phone capabilities of a traditional cell phone. You can make phone calls and send text messages, but you can also send and receive e-mails, browse the internet, and do a variety of other tasks such as social media, playing games, and online shopping. Smartphones get their internet wirelessly from your home router or from a place of business, or they can use the cellular network from your service provider.

Smartphones, like tablets, use a touch-sensitive screen so there isn’t a physical keyboard that you have to interact with. You control your phone by touching the screen. Smartphones also have cameras integrated into them so you can take pictures or record video.



E-readers are similar to tablets, except that they typically have one function: reading electronic books. E-readers typically have a different type of screen (called e-ink) that allows you to be able to read in a variety of lighting conditions, even in bright sunlight. To use an e-reader, you purchase and download books from a variety of sources like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, among others.

Wearable Technology


Wearable technology is the latest craze in the technology world and for good reason. Wearable tech, or wearables, allow you to enhance certain daily tasks like tracking your fitness or steps or monitoring your heart-rate. The implementation of wearables hasn’t been as natural as Smartphones, so it leaves a lot of people wondering if it’s really worth it. Over the next few years, you’ll see many new devices coming out that will take advantage of this technology.


Stay tuned for our next lesson: What’s Inside of Your Computer


Thanks for joining us through these lessons. Our philosophy is that technology shouldn’t be difficult. Our goal is to help you understand technology better and educational guides like these are one way that we can help educate on the different forms of technology. If you have a suggestion for a topic for a future guide, please Contact Us.


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