In 1990, HP acquired the patent for a 3-ring tablet styled portable computing device that had means for transport of the device in a 3-ring binder to optimize portability and security. The patented device was,”especially designed for the scientist, educator or business person who requires a computer which is extremely easy to transport in a safe and secure manner,” according to a description included in the patent documentation. This device was known privately as the “Vectra” and, had made it to the market, it might have given HP a head start in the laptop and tablet industries that help rule today’s technological markets.
HP constantly refers to the device as a “portable computer system,” which it doesn't appear to be from a layman's perspective, but if you look closely you can tell that the device is different from a tablet, featuring a full miniature keyboard and separate number keypad.
Reminders of the patent’s age are included throughout device specifications including the depth, weight of 12lbs, memory capacity, and hardware used for data storage. The “Vectra” had a 7.16HMhz NEC V30 micro-compressor processor, only 640KB of RAM, and tapered in thickness (starting at keyboard) from 2″ to 2.5″ to 1/2″ at the 3-ring segment of the device. Also, the “Vectra” was designed prior to the existence of hard drives, so it relied on a 1.44MB floppy disk for storage. In spite of its bulky shell and old components, the device measured at 10″ long, matching the most common size of modern tablets.
This might be considered a prediction because the only full-blown computing device capable of being packed into a 3-ring binder is, of course, a tablet. HP predicted well, so well that there is even a mechanism today that does better than mimicking such functions. This device does so by innovating beyond the patent’s reach to create the ultimate 3-ring binder ready mobile computing device. This device happens to be an iPad case. Designed by the team here at ZooGue, the BinderPad Pouch turns the iPad into a modern-day “Vectra” by offering the same 3-ring functionality whilst, in addition, featuring the benefits of an iPad including a touch screen keyboard, dual-core processor, and a starting capacity of 16GB. Alike the “Vectra,” the BinderPad Pouch was designed for students, business persons, and doctors that require an extremely portable and functional device fastened securely in a 3-ring binder. The BinderPad Pouch runs $29.99 (USD) and is the perfect accessory to complete your mobile computing experience.