A futuristic vision of the tablet computer, courtesy of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick in the seminal 2001 A Space Odyssey.
The GRiDPad was a touchscreen computer manufactured by GRiD Systems Corporation in 1989. It was the first of its kind, and served as the inspiration for the Palm Pilot
The US Robotics Palm Pilot, introduced in 1996, paved the way for affordable, easy to use handheld computers
Thanks to Tech Republic for the information.