Does anyone remember all the big news items and video footage from ten years ago of Bill Gates demonstrating the latest and greatest tablet pc. He was convinced this was the computer wave of the future. All of the big hardware companies released models for a couple of years. Unfortunately, sales were not what anyone expected and tablet pc's more-or-less fizzled and disappeared (except for a small contingent of units).
Going back even more years than that, we had companies like Panasonic with their toughbook, Fujitsu with their stylistic, and a few others which tried to promote the device... far before Bill Gates made an attempt!
Also, far before the year 2000, Microsoft and many hardware manufacturers tried to sell the HPC devices... both with keyboards and those without. The majority of the public didn't even know they existed but those who saw them were quite fascinated by the form factor.
If you add all the pocket-pc's (symbian, newton, palm, ppc, etc) and all of the industrial touchscreens, you have this "tablet" form factor going-back many decades... without generating very much public support.
Finally... in 2010 does the public finally become interested. Perhaps it's taken the technology this long to catch-up with the concept; perhaps it's taken a top-notch media-master like Steve Jobs to convince us that this is what we really want. Who knows?
For those of us who have been promoting write-on-screen tablets for some twenty years, all we can say is, "Finally! It's about time!"