portable computer


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Related to portable computer: laptop

portable computer

(computer)
(Commonly, "laptop") A portable personal computer you can carry with one hand. Some laptops run so hot that it would be quite uncomforable to actually use them on your lap for long. The term "notebook" is often used to describe these, though it also implies a low weight (less than 2kg). A "luggable" is one you could carry in one hand but is so heavy you wouldn't want to. One that can by easily operated while held in one hand is a "palmtop".

The computer considered by most historians to be the first true portable computer was the Osborne 1 but see the link below for other contenders.

History of laptop computers.

portable computer

A lightweight computer that can be easily transported. Portable computing started in 1981, when Adam Osborne introduced his CP/M-based business computer called the Osborne I. It came bundled with a modified version of the WordStar word processor specialized for the machine's pint-sized screen. With two floppy disks for storage, its RAM memory was a whopping 64KB.

The Osborne I was soon followed by many other CP/M machines, including Kaypro, Hyperion and Otrona. One year later, Compaq introduced the first MS-DOS portable. See CPM, laptop and notebook.


The Osborne I
For USD $1795, all 30 pounds of the Osborne I came bundled with WordStar and other software. Ironic that the tiny screen would wind up being the norm on smartphones, although the Osborne's screen resolution is laughable by today's standards. (Equipment courtesy of Alfred J. Young, Danboro, PA.)







The Otrona Attache
This is the cover of the Otrona Attache brochure. At half the weight of the Osborne but three times the price, the Otrona Attache was not for the masses. Although a monitor was often plugged in for desktop work, the Otrona's small screen was very usable.
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