Microsoft's Surface Book Is Part Clipboard

Microsoft's Surface Book is a laptop computer with a surprise - a detachable touch screen that is a highly capable tablet computer - a Clipboard.


(Microsoft Surface Book and Clipboard Video)

The tablet portion of the Clipboard is remarkably similar to Arthur C. Clarke's Newspad, a remarkably prescient look at what we now call tablet computers, from his 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the following excerpt, Heywood Floyd is relaxing on a flight from near earth orbit to the Moon:

When he tired of official reports and memoranda and minutes, he would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. One by one he would conjure up the world's major electronic papers; he knew the codes of the more important ones by heart, and had no need to consult the list on the back of his pad. Switching to the display unit's short-term memory, he would hold the front page while he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items that interested him...

Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man's quest for perfect communications...
(Read more about Arthur C. Clarke's Newspad)

Science fiction readers waited a long time to get their tablet computers. Fans of the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey got a clear view of a tablet computer right on the film's movie poster. As you can see, it's much closer to the size of the Microsoft Clipboard. Clarke describes the Newspad as "foolscap sized" which is a paper size larger than an iPad.


(Poster from 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey)

If you're intrigued by Microsoft's Clipboard computer, you might look at the competition, as well as prototype devices:

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/6/2015)

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