Scifi-Scifact #7: The Tablet Computer1 min read

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The tablet computer is currently revolutionizing the gadget world. People are finally embracing the lightweight, fast, mobile nature of tablets, and electronics companies are scrambling to create the best one on the market.

Believe it or not, the tablet computer did not truly start with Apple’s iPad. Bill Gates introduced a “Tablet PC” back in 2002. You might be asking, “Well, why didn’t the tablet become popular then?” There are probably quite a few reasons, but I suspect that, as the internet was really just starting to take off, people were rather attached to the keyboards and functions of the desktops and laptops that they were already used to.



However, things change and technology evolves, and now the demand is for gadgets that are slim, sleek, and super-portable, a desire that has spawned a trio of mobile products – the smartphone, tablet, and mini-tablet – that are currently on everyone’s wish lists.

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The sci-fi inspiration for the tablet computer can be traced back to Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film2001: A Space Odyssey.” The novel’s sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke, who collaborated with Kubrick on the film, called the device in the story a “Newspad,” visualizing an electronic newspaper for his astronauts to use on their long space trips.

Here is the clip from the film where the astronauts are using their “newspads.” It’s pretty easy to see the similarities between the device in the story and today’s most popular gadget.

 

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