On a whim I just reread the first few chapters of Phule’s Company by Robert Asprin, which we discussed briefly in Episode 39 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy. The novel, published in 1990, contains this pretty accurate prediction of an iPad:
The Port-A-Brain computer system was designed to be the ultimate in pocket computers. Its main strength was that it enabled users to tap into nearly any database or library in the settled worlds, or place an order with most businesses above a one-store retail level, or communicate directly with or leave messages for anyone or any business which utilized any form of computerized telecommunications, all without so much as plugging into a wall outlet or tapping into a phone line. What’s more, the unit, complete with folding screen, was no larger than a paperback book.
Prognostication goes somewhat awry, however, in the next few sentences:
…but there was a small problem. Each unit cost as much as a small corporation, placing it well out of the financial reach of the individual and all but the most extravagant conglomerate executive officers … As such there were fewer than a dozen Port-A-Brain units in actual use in the entire galaxy.