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History of the Tablets; From Clay to Silicone


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Sep 13, 2012
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Tablets through the Ages

Apple unveiled a thinner, lighter, faster iPad at one its signature unveilings this week in San Francisco. Its latest tablet: the iPad Air.

"This is our biggest leap forward ever with a full-size iPad," Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller told the audience.

Sure, Apple's new offering looks pretty slick, but we're going to go out on a limb and say that it's not the most disruptive tablet ever created. Fully aware that we're straying into derp-territory, let the record show that long before Steve Jobs introduced the first generation iPad in 2010 human beings were displaying media on portable rectangular objects.

The tablet as a mode of recording and transporting information is, in many ways, one of the original communication technologies. Think Tim Cook flashing a clay tablet in a Sumerian marketplace and you get the picture. That's probably not the way it happened, but that's how we like to imagine it.

At any rate, rather than drowning ourselves in the incessant tweet stream about the new Apple tablets, we decided to take a lark through history to look at a few of the original tablets. What follows is an undoubtedly incomplete, but hopefully interesting, look at the tablet as it was, way, way before Apple (although history may yet remember Jobs descending, Moses-like, from the Santa Cruz mountains to bestow gifts upon humankind).

Click through for tablets through the ages.



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