By now you know that the iPad mini you hold in your hands is very different from other computers.
You also know that these slate-style machines are rewriting the rule book for mainstream computing. How so? For starters, iPad minis don't come with a mouse or any other kind of pointing device. They lack traditional computing ports or connectors, such as USB. And they have no physical or built-in keyboard.
iPads even differ from other so-called tablet PCs, some of which feature a pen or stylus and let you write in digital ink. As we point out (pun intended) in Chapter 1, the iPad relies on an input device that you always have with you: your finger.
Tablet computers of one form or another have actually been around since the last century. They just never captured the fancy of Main Street. Apple's very own Newton, an ill-fated 1990s personal digital assistant, was among the machines that barely made a dent in the market.
What's past is past, of course, and technology ...