The meteoric rise of Apple's iPad has caused many people to neglect their laptops, or put off buying a new one. But many tablets released for Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system next month will attempt to make peace between the two formats—they'll ship with snap-on keyboards.
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Major computer manufacturers, including Hewlett-Packard, Asus, Acer, and Samsung, are all readying convertible tablets. Of the many sleek slabs in black, white, or silvery gray shown off at an event in San Francisco on Thursday held by chip maker Intel to highlight its newest Atom processor, almost all will be available with a detachable keyboard.
Computer manufacturers are struggling to catch up with Apple, which essentially created the tablet market in 2010 with the release of the iPad. Tablets had been offered before by other companies, but Apple was the first to successfully sell consumers on the idea of a thin slab that operates somewhere between a smartphone and a laptop computer. Some analysts say there is evidence the iPad has eaten into the revenues of other computer manufacturers by causing people to decide against buying a laptop.
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