Bleeding Edge

The design and hardware of laptops continued to improve throughout the Nineties. Notable landmarks included the introduction of CD-ROM drives in laptops for the very first time. IBM's Thinkpad 755 was one of the first to do this in 1994, a full year before Windows 95 arrived on its shiny CD-ROM.

In 1995 the same firm, IBM, produced the famous 'butterfly' keyboard notebook (the ThinkPad 701C), with a keyboard that folded out from its base, origami-style, as its lid was opened.

The early Nineties saw the introduction of Apple's first 'proper' laptops and its PowerBook set a series of standards in laptop design that are still seen on machines today. The palm rest, built-in pointing device and integrated network adapters are all innovations that were pioneered by early Apple's laptop range.

The first truly pocketable laptop turned up in 1997. Toshiba's Libretto was about the size of a VHS tape, had a virtually unusable keyboard, but it was a full-blown notebook in miniature, complete with hard drive, TFT screen and the ability to run Windows 95.

DVD-ROM drives began to appear in notebooks in 1997, and the first integrated wireless adapters for laptops materialised at around the turn of the century.

Toshiba relaunched its Libretto in 2005, but it didn't have the same impact that it had back in 1997.

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