Gateway Late Night
Hitchhiker’s Guide Entry
A “tabterm,” short for “tablet terminal,” is, essentially, a portable computer terminal. Tabterms very widely with regard to their capabilities, but a typical model is designed as a terminal interface to a mainframe of some kind — a ship or household’s central computer, for example. Most tabterms also have some built-in processing and storage capacity of their own, as well as a wireless uplink to their associated mainframe. Other tabterms are designed to be more standalone.
A typical tabterm is the size of a sheet of paper, though smaller models are not uncommon. There are so many tabterms in operation and circulation that, given access to all the planets that produce them, just about any configuration and capability a user could possibly want is available.
Tabterms are ubiquitous, acting as an individual’s communications and entertainment nexus. They are, however, better suited for passive consumption rather than active work, as a common complaint is that they are difficult to type with.
Tabterms start appearing in T-1 cultures, and remain very common up through T2. Once T3 has been achieved, tabterms start falling by the wayside in favor of personal holographic devices and low-impact cybernetic implants.