The PipBoy (sometimes spelled Pip-Boy) is an incredibly handy information storage device in the Fallout franchise, manufactured by RobCo Industries. The Pipboy transfers data to and from holodisks and data tubes. Its screen is green (although it can be changed to amber, white, or blue) and it is roughly 5" x 3". It also has a sonar and satellite tracking system that tells the user their position. Indoors, the PipBoy will automatically track the area around it as the user moves about, creating a map on the spot. Also, the PipBoy can record sound and video footage for later playback.
The PipBoy used in Fallout 1 and 2, the PipBoy 2000, appears to be a hand-held device, but the 3000 model (debuting in Fallout 3) is fastened onto the user's left arm for convenience, its controls being designed for single-handed operation. Apparently the fastening process is permanent, characters are heard referring to the process of cutting PipBoys off of the bodies of the dead. It is possible for the player, who has a PipBoy, to wear a great variety of clothing, and long-sleeved shirts are clearly seen to go under the PipBoy without bunching up around the end of the device. It is unclear how this is possible.
The PipBoy 3000 features a radio that allows the user to tune into any accessible frequencies in the area. It also serves as a flashlight, which brightens the screen so much it actually illuminates the area around the user like a makeshift torch. In-game, the PipBoy serves as an all-purpose menu; the player can use different health restoring items such as Stimpaks through the PipBoy, and they can equip and take off weapons and armor through it as well.
The character engraved on the PipBoy 2000 is a corporate mascot, also named "Pip Boy". Occasionally the Pip Boy character is confused for Vault Boy, the mascot for Vault-Tec industries, but the character designs are actually quite different from each other. The confusion was aggravated by Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, which is considered non-canon in the Fallout franchise, where Vault Boy could be recruited as a playable team member and was mistakenly named "Pipboy". (See here for more information)
In Fallout: New Vegas there is a "blinged out" unlockable variation of the Pip-Boy 3000 known as the Pimp-Boy Three Billion. (3,000,000,000)
Amazon Pip-Boy 3000
To coincide with the release of Fallout 3, Amazon.com released a special “Survival Edition”. In addition to featuring the contents of the “Collector’s Edition”, this version included a life-size PipBoy 3000 Digital Clock. The clock was widely criticized for its cheap build quality.