If you found a shiny new tablet computer in your Christmas stocking only to have it appropriated by another member of your family, you’ll feel for the 100 members of the judiciary who took part in a recent pilot of ebooks.

Obiter has learned that they were recently equipped with new tablets at a total cost of £42,900, which suggests they came from the Apple Store rather than Tesco. The idea was to allow the judges to compare electronic books with Gutenberg equivalents.

But no sooner had they learned to appreciate the benefits of accessing a world of information (not least the Gazette) at the swipe of a finger, the tablets were taken away. They still have access to ebooks, but through their desktop computers.

At least we can be sure that no one is playing Angry Birds in court.