Face-off: 1979 Apple Graphics Tablet vs. 2010 Apple iPad

30-year-old technology struts its stuff beside today's state-of-the-art tablet computer

Checking the manual

manual for Apple II Graphics Tablet beside iPad

The Apple Graphics Tablet comes with a 123-page manual that's roughly the same dimensions as the iPad's display. Note the image in the lower-left corner of the manual — is it foreshadowing the eventual release of Mac OS X and its "big cat" mascots?

The iPad's "manual" consists of little more than a postcard-size information sheet; further instructions are available online. With touch-screen gadgets far more commonplace today than the Apple Graphics Tablet ever was, the iPad's intuitive interface requires little explanation; few users will miss the paper manual.

Thanks to Mark Frischknecht and Computerworld's Ken Mingis for the loaned hardware.

Can't get enough of old Apples? Keep reading:

Ken Gagne covers Macs, retrocomputing and electronic entertainment. Follow Ken on Twitter at @IDGagne, read his Computerworld blog, or subscribe to his news and features RSS feed.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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