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18 milestones of mobile computing

In pics: groundbreaking portable devices

From the Busicom LE-120A calculator to the Apple iPad, we love tech gadgets that free us from our desks. Here are some of the most important portables we've carried around over the past 30 years.

1996: Panasonic Toughbook CF-25 Laptop

Milestone: The battle-ready laptop

Legacy: The Toughbook CF-25 laptop was housed in a sturdy aluminium-alloy case and designed to survive a 2ft drop. It could also perform under tough environmental conditions such as heat, dust and humidity. Battlefield commanders, police officers and emergency services were among the first to put the CF-25 to the test. The original tough-guy computer may be obsolete today, but the Toughbook line is still going strong.

Photo: eBay listing

1999: Apple iBook G3 Wi-Fi-enabled Laptop

Milestone: First consumer device to carry a Wi-Fi card

Legacy: Apple's iBook G3 was hailed not only for its candy-coloured design but also for being one of the first consumer laptops to sport a Wi-Fi card. Many other laptops soon came on the market with Wi-Fi capability, kicking off the era of wireless internet connectivity.

Photo: Courtesy of Redjar via Creative Commons

NEXT PAGE: Acer TravelMate

  1. Groundbreaking portable devices
  2. Osborne 1 Portable Computer
  3. TRS-80 Model 100 Portable PC
  4. Psion Series 3 Minicomputer
  5. Panasonic Toughbook CF-25 Laptop
  6. Acer TravelMate
  7. Samsung Q1
  8. Apple iPhone
  9. Apple iPad

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