First introduced by MicroData Technologies, datapads were originally developed to function simply as portable physical storage of information. Datapads could be directly tethered to a computer terminal or could optionally load HoloNet infocaches by linking to a local subspace network. Over time, datapad sorting and displaying routines improved and the devices gained personal assistance capabilities.
Common features of modern datapads include calculation, calendar management, account monitoring, graphic workspaces, and security settings. Available from a variety of manufacturers, most datapads are thin tablets with a handle on one side. The user interface is a reflective touchscreen with a row of keys above, depending on which hand grasps the handle. Most datapads accept simple voice commands, so it is possible to access stored information without needing a second hand. The very cornerstone of scholarship, datapads are the most commonly carried item by the cadets of virtually every academy in the civilized galaxy.