In Pictures: Pocket marvels - 40 years of handheld computers

From the first pocket scientific calculator through '80s organisers to today's tablets, check out 15 ingenious devices that have driven the handheld computing revolution.

1979: Milton-Bradley Microvision game console

Ask most people to name the first cartridge-based handheld game machine, and you'll likely get the wrong answer. It wasn't 1989's original Game Boy from Nintendo; it was Milton Bradley's $50 Microvision, introduced for Christmas 1979. Advancing beyond single-game devices like Mattel's 1977 Auto Race, Microvision had swappable cartridges, making it the first true handheld gaming system.

Thanks to a quirk of design, the cartridges contained the CPU as well as a game; the console housed the display, input buttons and 9-volt batteries. It took some imagination to see starships in the chunky 16 x 16 LCD pixels while playing Phaser Strike on the postage-stamp screen, but it worked for the Pong generation.

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