But the first commercial tablet PC appeared in 2001 when Microsoft attempted a product line with Microsoft Tablet PC, though it did not prove to be a successful venture then.
The tablet concept first originated as prototypes and concept ideas - prominently, Alan Kay's Dynabook of 1968.
The device featured a new slate-like computer using the Windows XP Professional operating system, optimised for mobility and designed to be convenient, light and ergonomic.
However, the companies announced the availability of tablet PCs on November 7, 2002.
On November 13, 2000, in his Comdex/Fall 2000 keynote address, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates demonstrated a prototype of a Tablet PC, a major evolutionary step in PC functionality and usability.
Microsoft was the first company to come up with commercial tablet PCs, back in 2001.
On March 26, 2001, Bill Gates announced that companies including Acer, Fujitsu and Intel had committed to work with Microsoft to develop next-gen laptop computers based on the Microsoft Tablet PC platform.
Since then many new companies have forayed into the tablet market. In April 2010, Apple released the iPad, its first tablet PC. Following this, many new companies have been coming up with tablet PCs ranging from high-cost to low-cost.