It was called a Newton, it had a kindle-like screen, handwriting recognition, great software, and was still smaller than a modern netbook. Check out this in-depth look at using the final model of the Apple Newton, circa 1997.
The guy is right – there’s things it can do that 2012’s iOS, Android, and Blackberry’s still can’t do.
Then again, sitting next to a loaded iPad 3, that Newton does seem about as powerful as a legal pad. Progress in fits and starts.
Upon Jobs second time running Apple, he killed the Newton product line and started work on the iTunes/iPod/Pad/Phone lines that drove the company to dominance.
Hopefully developers in and out of Apple are still working on transferring some of those great Newton features into iOS. I’d use the handwriting recognition, the text markup features, the data handling, even the play dial-tone feature on my iPad.