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- The IBM Model 5100
World's first portable computer weighs 60 pounds, is built like a tank, and runs only on AC power.
The HP 85
Almost a clone of the IBM 5100, the HP 85 is smaller, lighter, and adds a built-in thermal printer. It also runs only on AC power.
April - The Osborne 1
Floppy disk drives replace tape drives, and the keyboard is now separate. The Osborne 1 may be considered the first true portable due to its protection of the keyboard and display. A battery pack is an option.
November - The Epson HX-20
Hardly a full-function machine with its tiny LCD display, the HX-20 is the world's first "notebook" computer. It includes a micro-cassette drive and thermal printer.
November - The Compaq PC
Compaq beats IBM to the punch by producing not only a flawless clone of the IBM PC, but one that's portable to boot!
March - The Radio Shack
TRS-80 Model 100
The Model 100 has word processing and Microsoft BASIC in ROM. It sells very well and remains in Radio Shack's model lineup for years.
November - The Epson PX-8
An evolution of the HX-20, the PX-8 has a larger, flip-up display and CP/M in ROM.
February - The IBM Portable
IBM puts its regular PC motherboard in a luggable case with a monitor and IBM's first half-height floppy disk drives, to compete with Compaq. It didn't last long.
April - The IBM PC
IBM's first laptop lends legitimacy to the PC-compatible laptop industry, which was pioneered largely by Toshiba.
September - The Apple
The first portable Macintosh, and probably the first computer with an active-matrix (monochrome) display.
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Last modified: April 17, 2003