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A PADD (an acronym for Personal Access Display Device) is a hand-held computer interface technology commonly used throughout the Federation and many other civilizations throughout the galaxy, for the easy access and sharing of data. (TOS novel: The Fearful Summons)
In the 23rd century the PADDs were also refereed to as Electronic Clipboards or Data Slates. These were wedge-shaped devices. (VAN - Declassified novella: The Stars Look Down) In the 2250s Cadet James T. Kirk used one of the clipboard style PADDs while studying Captain Garth's methods and tactics. (TOS comic: "Starfleet Academy!") The 23rd century "clipboards" contained duotronic technology and was primarily used to read or compose text, they could not control ship's functions until the 24th century. (Decipher RPG module: Player's Guide)
The 24th century PADDs are constructed with layers of imbedded circuit-composite material, electronics and a multi-layer display touchscreen are bonded to the casting with a boronite whisker epoxy. The replaceable components include a sarium power loop, isolinear memory chip and a subspace transceiver assembly. The power supply can hold a 16 hour charge. The memory capacity is 4.3 kiloquads. (TNG reference: Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual) Later micromilled duranium was used for the exterior case and the power source was changed to a sarium krellide power cells. The storage memory ranged from 15.3 to 97.5 kiloquads depending upon the model. Various PADD styles were developed by Bajoran, Cardassian, Ferengi and Klingon cultures. (TNG reference: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual)
In 2376, the crew of the USS da Vinci discovered a program created by a Vorta named Luaran which, when downloaded to a PADD, created a "sonic bullet" capable of killing the user. (SCE - Wounds eBook: Malefictorum)