Re-Used Props - Mobile Computers

by Jörg Hillebrand and Bernd Schneider

Desktop ComputersHandheld Computers


Many props of Star Trek were reused, with or without modifications, to represent equipment for a different purpose or of another civilization. Here are quite a few examples of desktop and handheld computing devices. Please note that every statement made here should be taken with a grain of salt. We may want to overlook that computers are identical everywhere in the galaxy.


Desktop Computers

TOS desktop computer

Kor is using a Starfleet computer in TOS: "Errand of Mercy". Another computer of the same type can be seen on Eminiar VII in "A Taste of Armageddon".

TOS desktop console

A Romulan computer in "The Enterprise Incident" consists of the oval monitor as known from the Enterprise in the TOS pilot episodes mounted atop a console with big switches. The Romulan commander uses it to record Spock's guilty plea. This whole device, including the monitor, can be seen at Memory Alpha in "The Lights of Zetar" as well as in Flint's lab in "Requiem for Methuselah".

Desktop scanner

The identity scanner used by Data in "The Measure of a Man" appears again in TNG: "Unification I", where a Romulan is holding the prop.

Desktop box

This octagonal box was originally built for TNG: "Booby Trap", where it served as a data storage device. It then appeared as the communication scrambler used by Jonas in VOY: "Threshold". Finally, we could see the box as a communication device of the Borg Cooperative in VOY: "Unity". The device was repainted and slightly modified each time.

Klingon monitor

The first time that this type of Klingon desktop monitor appears on TNG is in "Redemption II". It is seen again as a Klingon monitor in "Unification II". After that, the prop appears as a Starfleet monitor in "Descent I" and "Sub Rosa". In the VOY episodes "Time and Again" and "Ex Post Facto" it appears on the polaric energy planet and on Banea, respectively.

Alien desktop computer

The Cardassian computer that Gul Madred uses in TNG: "Chain of Command" is a modification of the standard TNG Starfleet monitor. It later appears on Baran's ship in TNG: "Gambit II". The prop was repainted for its second appearance (curiously, in the new brown color it looks even more Cardassian). Considering that Baran is a pirate, it would be easy to explain how he got his hands on a Cardassian computer. However, Baran is only the first of many new users to come, including Romulans and Ferengi.

Holographic desktop box

This desktop box with a holographic data storage slot can be seen as a holographic enhancement module in TNG: "Ship in a Bottle" and, in a similar function, as an optronic data core in VOY: "The Killing Game II". However, it also appears 200 years earlier in ENT: "Stigma", here as a Vulcan data clip reader.

Starfleet & Dinaali desktop computer

A typical Starfleet desktop console, as seen in DS9: "Whispers", was slightly redressed to stand in as a Dinaali device in VOY: "Critical Care".

Trill desktop computer

In DS9: "Rejoined", Trill scientists take one of their monitors (among other equipment) aboard the Defiant for their wormhole experiment. The same monitor can be seen in "Sloan's mind" in DS9: "Extreme Measures", along with the alien variation of the TNG monitor.

Starfleet & Kraylor desktop computer

A Starfleet console that can be seen in VOY: "In the Flesh" and "Life Line" (albeit in a Species 8472 simulation in the first case) also appears as a Kraylor computer in "Nightingale".


Handheld Computers

21st century & Romulan PADD

The 21st century PADD seen in "Encounter at Farpoint" reappears on Romulus in TNG: "Unification I".

Starfleet & Orion PADD

In TNG: "Code of Honor", Tasha Yar uses a PADD to start a holodeck program instead of a voice command. In "11001001" two of these PADDs can be seen to the left and right of the holodeck control LCARS display. One is later seen up close as a medical PADD in "We'll Always Have Paris". Slightly modified, they also appear as Orion PADDs in the Enterprise episode "Borderland" more than 15 years later.

Aldean communicator & re-uses

A number of characteristic hexagonal communicators was built for the Aldeans in TNG: "When the Bough Breaks". The devices were used to communicate and to signal when they wished to be beamed back. The button to send the signal was located in one of the corners. Many years later we could see a modification of this prop on Star Trek Voyager, used by the authorities of an alien planet to measure the polaric radiation in VOY: "Time and Again". The color and the central area of the device had been modified, but the button was still there.

The prop reappeared in VOY: "Prototype". Here the Automated Unit disables B'Elanna with an energy blast from the device, and then signals the Pralor vessel to beam them over. The color was modified again (it is now glowing red from the inside), and the button was removed. The hole where the button was mounted is still visible if we look closely. We could also see the device as an Ubean scanner in VOY: "Fair Trade".

Fingerprint scanner & PADD

Another interesting prop can be seen for the first time in TNG: "The Most Toys". In this episode it serves as a fingerprint scanner. When Data is confirming the deal with Fajo with his fingerprint, he is disabled by an energy surge from the device. A further appearance is in TNG: "The Masterpiece Society" where it becomes a scanner. The denizens of the Moab colony use it to scan for fractures in the shell of their artificially built environment. For this purpose an illuminated window was added in the place of the former fingerprint sensor.

In two later episodes the unmodified prop serves as a display device, namely in TNG: "Frame of Mind" as a Tilonian PADD and in TNG: "Gambit" as Galen/Picard's PADD. Finally, the prop can be seen as an Enaran PADD in VOY: "Remember".

Romulan & Mari PADD

The Romulan PADD from Neral's office in both parts of TNG: "Unification" can be seen on the Mari homeworld in VOY: "Random Thoughts" as well. The display was most likely modified for its new role though.

Tyran & Numiri PADD

The Tyran PADD from TNG: "The Quality of Life" later appears in the Voyager episode "Ex Post Facto", where it is used by the Numiri.

Kressari PADD & re-uses

In DS9: "The Circle", the Kressari captain demands a thumb print from his Cardassian trade partner. His PADD can be seen along with Kressari lettering. The same equipment without any visible changes is used in DS9: "The Die is Cast". Here the Romulan Lovok, actually a Changeling in disguise, hands out a PADD to Garak and Odo that obviously carries the access code to the shuttlebay.

Also, the prop shows up in VOY: "Critical Care", now as a PADD again.

Bajoran & Vulcan PADD

The Bajoran PADD from DS9 becomes a Vulcan device in ENT: "Stigma".

Trill & Dinaali PADD

We can see the same prop as a Trill PADD in DS9: "Equilibrium" and, now painted differently, as a Dinaali device in VOY: "Critical Care". It looks like a Children's game console to us.

Bajoran PADD & Enolian device

The Bajoran tricorder, as seen in DS9: "Indiscretion" and "Return to Grace", becomes an Enolian device to unfasten handcuffs in ENT: "Canamar".

Cardassian PADD & ENT re-uses

A PADD that consistently appeared as a Cardassian device during DS9 gets a new life with different civilizations on Star Trek Enterprise.

Everlasting Ferengi PADD

We can see this characteristic prop consistently as a Ferengi PADD. But we need to wonder whether it would really remain unchanged for more than 200 years.

Nezu & Vori PADD

The handheld devices of the two Delta Quadrant civilizations Nezu and Vori look identical.

Devore & Impostor scanner

The scanner used by the Devore to examine Voyager in VOY: "Counterpoint" later appears as a "sacred" instrument in the hand of the impostor Mobar in VOY: "Live Fast and Prosper".

Qomar & Hierarchy PADD

After this strangely shaped prop had appeared as a Qomar device in VOY: "Virtuoso", we could see it again as a Hierarchy PADD in "Renaissance Man".

Penk's scanner & Lokirrim scanner

Penk's scanner in VOY: "Tsunkatse" is the same as the Lokirrim device that Seven is holding in VOY: "Body and Soul".

Quarren & Denobulan PADD

The Quarren PADD from VOY: "Workforce" later becomes a Denobulan PADD and appears in two episodes, ENT: "Stigma" and "The Breach".

Temporal control device & scanner

Daniels uses this rounded device in ENT: "Cold Front" to control his temporal observatory. We can see a display that looks much like those on the Relativity in the Voyager episode of the same name. In ENT: "Regeneration", however, the same device is a 22nd century scanner.

Earth & Vulcan PADD

Jonathan Archer always complains that the Vulcans wouldn't share their technology. But in ENT: "First Flight" his colleague Robinson uses a PADD that the Vulcans still consider state-of-the-art a couple of years later, as seen in "Stigma".


See Also

Variations of the TOS Desktop Monitor - investigation of its evolution and all variants, including TOS-like monitors in ENT and SNW

Variations of the TNG Desktop Monitor - investigation of its evolution and all variants, including the TNG movie monitors

Variations of the DS9 Desktop Monitor - investigation of its evolution and all variants, including other monitors of the series

Variations of the VOY Desktop Monitor - investigation of its evolution and all variants, including related monitors

Variations of TOS Computers - investigation of the evolution, variations and re-uses of the TOS computer props

Re-Used Props - Stationary Consoles - viewscreens, wall- or floor-mounted consoles



Many HD screen caps from TrekCore or TrekCaps. The TOS computer re-uses were found by Michael Minnick and Felix Ernie. Alex Müller spotted the Dinaali console. Thanks to Will for some of the TOS screen caps.


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