Ballmer Says iPad Competitor on the Way: Actually Had One in 1999 – Vadem Clio Windows CE Handheld PC

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Apple iPad (left) | Vadem Clio (right)

CNET’s Ina Fried reported that:

Ballmer says Microsoft at work to rival iPad

The funny thing is that Microsoft had an iPad competitior way back in 1999 (12 years ago) in the form of the Windows CE based Vadem Clio. You can see my Clio (still in pristine condition) next to my iPad in the photo above. You can see that it is roughly similar in size (width/height) to the iPad.

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Vadem Clio with keyboard exposed

It is a bit thicker and heavier because of older heavy battery technology as well as the fact that it was an extremely cleverly designed convertable Handheld PC. You can see its near full sized keyboard exposed in the photo above.

In my opinion, even after 12 years, the Vadem Clio is still one of the most functional and best designed mobile gadgets ever. Microsoft would do well to revisit the Clio and consider the possibilities of its design combined with modern technology.