GRiD PalmPAD 2351 
Written by AnubisTTP on 2006-09-24  

Description

The GRiD PalmPAD 2351 is a very early tablet computer that was designed for use by nurses and other people that needed to have a computer strapped to their arm at all times. The PalmPAD 2351 was manufactured in 1991, a full two years before the Apple Newton was released. The 2351 has no hard drive; a modified version of DOS is stored on a ROM, which permits it to boot without any configuration. The 2351 also has 2.5MB of battery-backed RAM, and a PC card slot allows the addition of hard drive space by means of flash memory PC cards.

More

Excluding the connector for the internal modem, there are only two other connectors on the PalmPAD, both non-standard. With no way to attach a keyboard, the only means of input is through the touch screen, by use of a special battery-powered pen. The version of DOS burned onto the boot ROM includes a special program that is loaded during booting, which provides an on-screen keyboard for text entry through the touch screen. The software burned into the ROM also includes a primitive drawing program which allows the user to test the accuracy of the pen. The backlit LCD screen is of noteworthy quality in 1991 standards. Four buttons beside the display allow control of the brightness and contrast, as well as allowing the user to activate a low-power sleep mode.

Unfortunately, power is handled in a cumbersome way. There is no DC power connector on the tablet. Instead, the socket for the power supply is installed in the side of the battery, such that it cannot be accessed while the battery is installed in the computer. Consequently, it is not possible to run the PalmPAD while the battery is being recharged.


GrID PalmPAD 2351 tablet computer.

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