Exclusive: New pics of Apple's unreleased tablet prototype from 1992 - and the Mac that flew on the Space Shuttle

Jonathan Zufi, who tracked down over 600 Apple machines for his latest book, has given Stuff exclusive pictures of some of Apple's prototypes and its early machines as you've never seen them before.
Apple's unreleased Penlite

Software engineer Zufi spent four years on the project, taking 150,000 photos in total, buying 500 products and persuading collectors to give him access to 50-60 prototypes, from answering machines to early tablets like the 1992 Penlite (above).

Apple's perfect product pictures

Zufi worked with a professional photographer to learn how to photograph the products he amassed in the 'perfect' Apple way.

'The project started in 2009, when I was reminiscing about an old game, Robot War," he told Stuff.

"I went onto eBay to buy it, and then looked for an Apple II to play it on - and thought it would be cool to see them all in the way Apple show them today in their promo photographs."

"All the prototypes were really interesting, the whole transparent design was fascinating," he said.

As a lifelong Apple fan, he believes the firm's products are unique - and that the new tubular Mac Pro, expected to be launched tomorrow, continues that tradition.

"Having touched and felt everything they've made, they are on this incredible journey."

"Samsung's Galaxy is a great phone, but you don't see the heritage there - the attention to detail at Apple is incredible, the Mac Pro really fits in that narrative, it's beautiful and consistent."

 However, he's not finished yet.

"There are a few products I couldn't get - an old box called the Lisa Cluster Controller, a Duofile drive, and a couple of printers."

"I'm going to keep looking, and people are getting in touch with some fascinating designs."

Click through our gallery to see some of Jonathan's incredible collection. You can also order his book Iconic here.

Apple's Penlite

The Penlite was Apple's first attempt at a tablet computer, coming before even the Newton.

Created in 1992 and led by Apple engineer Paul Mercer, the project was designed to bring the Mac OS to a touchscreen display - but was shelved in favour of the Newton.