Laptop, 1982

A sturdy lap was required to support the earliest portable computers. The Osborne 1, released in 1981, often stakes a claim as the first laptop but it looked more like a sewing machine than today's sleek machines, and tipped the scales at more than 10kg. Introduced a year later, the GriD Compass 1100, designed by Brit Bill Moggridge, is a more likely contender. It was the first laptop to sport the now standard "clamshell" case and its lightweight build (5kg) made it a hit with Nasa and US paratroopers. 

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