Contrary to what you may think, portable computers didn’t simply pop up on the market in the late 90s. Now, let’s have a quick history lesson!
First, it was Alan Kay’s Dynabook concept, developed in the early 70s, at Xerox PARC, currently simply known as PARC (Palo Alto Research Center, Inc.). Despite of not ending up with a product of its own, the Dynabook concept set the guiding lines for the things to come…
A decade later, in 1981, the Osborne 1 became the first commercial portable computer, with a 5-inch CRT display, 65 kilobytes of memory, a 4MHz Z80 CPU, a price tag of $1795 and a weight of over 23 pounds (10kilograms). Despite the commercial success of the Osborne 1, Osborne Computer Corporation filed for Bankruptcy in September 1983…
By the end of the 80s, portable computers got much closer to what we have today, the NEC UltraLite being probably the first notebook, with a weight a bit over 2 kg. Released in the summer of 1989, the UltraLite wasn’t quite a market hit, due to the lack of a hard drive and its old 8086 CPU, but set the foundation of a new portable computer class, the notebook (due to its A4 size).
Apple entered the portable computer market the same year, with the Macintosh Portable, which had a lot of problems, and was rated in 2006 by PC World as “the 17th worst tech product of all time”. No need to say more!
Despite the Portable’s failure, Apple came back in 1991, intoducing the PowerBook series and, together with it, pioneering changes that became standards, like the placement of the keyboard, the room for palm rest, and the built-in pointing device (trackball, in that case).
From that moment, things started moving faster and faster, so today we have a PC market where laptops sales have just exceeded the amount of desktop computers sold, and the portable computers market keeps growing…
If you’re here, than you should know that if it’s a mobile computer, then its place belongs to LaptopsArena! From tiny ultra-mobiles (UMPCs) to powerful desktop replacements, we try to bring you all the hot news about them, as well as related devices, such as tablets, PDAs or handheld computers.
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