Laptop, also well-known as notebook, is computer that easy to take with. It was created due to the needs of people on computers that are portable so they can do their work anywhere even on their lap.
Laptop is a portable computer that can be used on the lap. However, portable computer is not always a laptop since some of them is too big to be set on the lap. Therefore portable computers are slightly different than laptops
The laptops available today were not like that when they were first invented. Some of them were as big as luggage. Others were looked like a big calculator. However, efforts were made through the years, to make better and better portable computer, both in display and performance.
History of laptops below trying to describe the efforts in the 1970s and 1980s to build small, portable personal computers that combine the components, inputs, outputs and capabilities of a desktop computer in a small chassis. Not all records will be included, but especially for those who made new breakthroughs in developing a portable computer.
History of Laptop
1968 – Dynabook was invented by Alan Kay. It was considered as the first laptop. It had a very flat shape, so it was also called Tablet PC or Slate Computer. Originally created for children to give them access to digital media, but then also be useful for military operations documentation.
1974 – MCM/70 was first built in 1973 and released in 1974. It was a pioneering microcomputer, making MCM/70 as first microcomputer in the world, first portable computer, first truly usable microcomputer system (arguably) and the second to be shipped in completed form. It came only with full 46 key input, plasma display and cassette drives. There were a bus structure to allow interface to other peripherals developed by MCM such as floppy disk drive, printer, plotter, card reader, etc.
1976 – On April, Xerox Note Taker, the first portable computer, was invented by Xerox PARC Company, who also developed Dynabook on 1968. Those who involved in this invention were Larry Tesler, Adele Goldberg and Douglas Fairbaim. Only 10 prototypes were built since it had slow processing speeds and very high cost of production.
1981 – The first true mobile computer, Osborne 1, was invented by Adam Osborne. Osborne 1 came with 5” screen, modem port, 2 5¼” floppy disk drives, a battery pack and a bundled collection of software. And its weight was about 11 kgs. This computer was larger and heavier compared to today’s laptop however this is the first computer that enables professionals to bring their computers and working data to wherever they go. Osborne1 was priced at $1,795.
1982 – GRiD Compass 1101 was launched. It was designed by William Moggridge as an ultimate portable computer. It was probably the first clamshell style portable computer. Many considered that it is the grand-daddy of all present-day laptop computers. GRiD Compass is very high-tech, with its flat-black, die-cast magnesium-alloy case, and bright, sharp electroluminescent display (ELD). No other system packed so much speed and power in as small a case, and none had such a unique and large, easy-to-read screen, allowing full 80×24 text. GRiD Compass 1101 used their operating system, GRiD-OS operating system. Price : $ 8,150.
1982 – Epson HX-20 was introduced at 1981 COMDEX computer show in Las Vegas and got great attention as the beginning of powerful, battery-operated and briefcase-sized computer.
Yes, this was the first laptop-sized portable computer. It came with a full-transit 68-key keyboard, rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, a small (120×32-pixel) dot-matrix LCD with 4 lines of text, 20 characters per line text mode, a 24 column dot matrix printer, a Microsoft BASIC interpreter, and 16 KB of RAM (expandable to 32 KB).
Epson HX-20 first sold widely in 1982 and became the most popular non clamshell laptop.
1982 – Compaq Portable was introduced in November 1982 and released in March 1983. This was first Compaq’s portable computer and first 100% compatible IBM computer clone. So, it was also the first portable computer that 100% compatible to IBM computer. It was the first compatible system that was legally made. It featured Intel 8088 4.77 MHz, built-in 9” monochrome monitor (80×25 tex), dual 32K 5.25” disk drives and came with luggable style. Its weight was 34 pounds.
1983 – This was probably the first top selling early computer, TRS-80 Model 100, which produced by Tandy Corporation. It was one of the first notebook-style computers and became one of most popular model, with over 6,000,000 units sold worldwide.
Originally, this computer was made by Kyocera(Kyoto Ceramic) and sold in Japan as Kyotronic 85. It was quickly licensed by Tandy Corporation, Olivetti and NEC and released their own computer with similar features, TRS-80 model 100, Olivetti M-10 and NEC PC-8201. TRS-80 model 100 became the most popular since it was sold through the Radio Shack chain of electronics stores throughout America.
This computer was not a clamshell model and equipped with 8 line x40 characters LCD screen, full-travel keyboard, internal modem, 8 kilobytes of RAM (expandable to 24KB), 3 MHz processor and ran on standard AA batteries. Its dimension was 30×21.5×4.5 centimeters and weight less than 2 kg. With the low price as little as US$300, it became highly regarded and favorite among journalists.
1983 – On May, Gavilan SC was introduced at the Anaheim National Computer Conference. It was the smallest and lightest battery-powered MS-DOS laptop computer to date. It was the first portable with a touch-pad and probably the first with an internal modem. Gavilan SC was equipped with 3.5” floppy drive, a 400 X 64 pixel LCD screen, an innovative touch-pad “mouse”, and an internal 300-baud modem. Its user interface is a system of windows, files, menus, and interactive prompts. Although Gavilan came with some atribute as the first laptop computer, however the record is give to GRiD Compass 1101 since it was introduced a year earlier, although it did not complete as Gavilan.
1984 – On Februari 1984, IBM released IBM 5155 which was IBM’s first portable computer. This was the answer to Compaq who had cloned their PC and released it in a suitcase form factor a year earlier. IBM 5155 was basically a PC/XT motherboard which packed into a similar Compac-stlyle luggable case. It featured 9″ amber monochrome composite monitor connected to CGA card, a separated 83-key keyboard with cable, dual 5.25” floppy disk drive and 256 kB of memory (expandable to 512kB). It had no batteries and used 110V AC power.
1984 – Commodore SX-64, this is the first full-color portable computer. It was also known as Executive 64 or VIP 64 in Europe. SX 64 was designed to be a portable “luggable’ version of Commodore 64 home computer. It came with a built-in 5-inch color monitor, 5-1/4 inch floppy drive, and power supply. Although it is considered a portable computer, there are no batteries to run it and it still has to be plugged into the 110V AC power outlet.
1986 – On April 3, IBM 5140 Convertible PC was released. It became the IBM’s first laptop computer. It was also the first IBM computer that used 3.5” floppy disk format which became the industry standard. IBM 5140 used Intel 8088 CPU 4.77 MHz, 256kB of RAM (expandable to 64 kB), dual 720 kB 3.5” floppy disk drives and monochrome CGA-compatible LCD screen (80×25 text , 640×200 pixel). The screen could be detached from the unit and could be replaced with a full size desk monitor. This was the early forerunner of “docking station” concept. Its weight was 12 pounds (5.5kg) and sold at price US$ 1,995
1988 – Compac SLT/286 was released in 1988. This was the first portable computer with 640×480 VGA monitor. It was also equipped with 12 MHz 80C286 processor, 20MB hard drive, 1.44 MB 3.5” diskette drive. Its weight was 14 pounds.
1989 – Zenit MinisPort was introduced in July 1989. This is the only computer to ever use a 2” floppy drive. Originally, 2” floppy disk is used for floppy disk-based digital camera, however its tiny size make it to be the perfect choice for this portable computer. Minisport came with Intel 80C88 CPU @4.77/8MHz, 1 MB RAM (ZL1; 2 MB in model ZL2), LCD 80×25 text 640×200 graphics. Its weight was 2.7 kg.
1989 – Released on September20, 1989, Apple Macintosh Portable was the first Apple’s portable Macintosh computer. Mac Portable contained a 68000 processor 16MHz, 1MB RAM (expandable to 9 MB RAM), 256 KB ROM, 1.4 MB 3.5” DS floppy drive, 40 MB 3.5” SCSI hard drive, 10” B&W matrix LCD 640×400 pixels, built-in trackball, keyboard and 6.5-Volt, 5 amp lead acid (gel type). It weighed 16 lbs. Mac Portable was never a very popular since it was heavy and large enough to bring.
1989 – Announced in October 1989 and available in March 1990. Poqet PC was the first pocket PC. And it was probably the first “netbook” look alike. Its weight was only one pound and VHS VCR tape size, make it easily fits in coat pocket or handbag. Poqet PC was equipped with Intel 80C88 CPU, 512 KB RAM, monochrome LCD 80×25 texts 640×200 graphics and I/O expansion port. There was also an optional external floppy drive. The Poqet PC was powered by just two AA batteries.
1991 – PowerBook 100 series was introduced by Apple at COMDEX / Fall computer trade show in October 1991. PowerBook 100 series were PowerBook 100, mid-range PowerBook 140 and high-end PowerBook 170. This model was the successor of the Macintosh Portable was which was a huge and heavy. So, PowerBook was not Apple’s first portable computer, however it was an improvement in almost every way – smaller, lighter, and cheaper, while maintaining identical functionality.
|PowerBook 100||PowerBook 140||PowerBook 170|
|Price||$2,499||$2,899 to $3,199||$4,599|
|Processor||68HC000 @ 16MHz||68030 @ 16MHz||68030 @ 25MHz
|Hard drive||20MB or 40 MB SCSI||20MB or 40MB SCSI||40MB SCSI|
|LCD Display||9-inch passive||9.8-inch passive||9.8-inch active-matrix|
|Floppy drive||External (optional)||1.4MB 3.5” disk drive||1.4MB 3.5” disk drive|
|Weight||5.1 pounds||6.8 pounds||6.8 pounds|
PowerBook were the first laptop which place its keyboard towards the back, and placed trackball and palmrest in front of keyboard. It was pioneering laptop ergonomics and it was followed by all subsequent systems and became standard in portable computer devices.
The trackball was used to reposition the on-screen pointer, so user did not need move their hand from keyboard.
1992 – IBM ThinkPad was announced in April 1992 and available in October 1992. ThinkPad came in three models, 300, 700 and 700C. Although ThinkPad was not IBM’s first laptop computers, this series made an immediate hit, and received more than 300 awards for quality and design.
IBM ThinkPad 700 and 700C is the first laptop which used trackpoint controller, , a tiny joystick in the middle of keyboard, to navigate cursor point. With this feature, user did not need move their hand from keyboard when they needed to reposition the on-screen pointer.
ThinkPad, then, was bought out by Lenovo, a Chinese company, in 2005.
|ThinkPad 300||ThinkPad 700||ThinkPad 700C|
|Price||$ 2,375 – 80 MB HD
$ 2,575 – 120 MB HD
|$ 2,750 – 80 MB HD
$ 2,950 – 120 MB HD
|Processor||25MHz 80836 SL||25MHz 80486 SLC
Upgradable to 50MHz
|25MHz 80486 SLC
Upgradable to 50MHz
|Hard drive||80 MB HD
120 MB HD
|80 MB HD
120 MB HD
|120 MB HD|
64 shade monochrome,
64 shade monochrome,
|10.4-inch, 256 colors, active-matrix LCD|
|Floppy drive||3.5” floppy drive||3.5” floppy drive||3.5” floppy drive|
|Weight||5.9 lbs||6.5 lbs||7.6 lbs|
1994 – In October 1994, the first-ever laptop with integrated CD-ROM was introduced by IBM, The ThinkPad 775CD. These innovation were revolutionary because CD-ROM still was rarely integrated to the computer, moreover to portable computer which had limited space.
ThinkPad 775CD came with 640×480 TFT color display WD90C24A21MB VRAM graphics chip, 8 MB RAM (expandable to 40 MB), TEAC CD-ROM, 2.5” TravelStars hard disk and Processor; model Oct’94: 3.3V Intel 486 DX4 @ 100 MHz and model Sep’95: 75 MHz mobile Pentium.
1994 – This year, Apple introduced Macintosh Powerbook 500. This was the first portable computer with integrated touchpad, as a substitute for mouse, which soon replace trackballs on all Apple computers. It was also the first to incorporate 16 bit stereo sound.
The PowerBook 500 was equipped witjh a Motorola 68LC040 CPU (upgradable to PowerPC processor), up to 500mb of hard drive storage, a 1.44mb floppy drive, and up to 40mb of RAM. The PowerBook 500 weighed 7.3 pounds.
1999 – Apple iBook G3 was introduced. This was the first computer that include integrated wireless technology, with a wireless antenna built into the display bezel. Apple iBook was greatly influenced by the colorful, transparent plastic styling of the iMac. It’s rounded shape also mirrors the lines of the iMac.
The iBook came with a 300 MHz PowerPC processor, 32 or 64mb of memory, a 3.2 or 6 GB hard drive, and a CDROM. It weighed 6.7 lbs and had a six hour battery life.
2002 – Compac TC1000 was released in 2002. This was considered the first laptop tablet (laplet) or 2-in-1 portable computer. It was a 2-in-1 detachable type. TC 1000 came with Transmeta Crusoe TM5800 1GHz CPU, 512 MB SDRAM, 40 GB Hard Drive, 1024 x 768 (XGA) rotating touchscreen, 802.11b Wi-Fi.
2007 – June 2007, ASUS announced Eee PC 701, the first mass-produced portable computer that used the term “netbook”. It was a small and portable computer which is design to offer basic internet and email connectivity. However, it was less powerful to play modern game and was not ergonomic as prior portable devices. Asus Eee PC 701 came equipped with 7” 800 x 480 pixel monitor screen, 4 GB solid-state drive, 512 MB 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, 900 MHz Intel Celeron Processor, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. The keyboard was approximately 82% the size of normal keyboard. Its weight was 2 lb (0.9 kg) with dimension 9.1” x 6.7” (23 cm x 17 cm).
2011 – On May 11, 2011, the first two commercially Chromebooks, Samsung Series 5 and Acer AC700, were introduced at the Google I/O developer conference. And starting to be sold via online on June 15, 2011, however AC 700 was not available until early July 2011.
2011 – In October 2011, the first ultrabook was released. It was Acer Aspire S3-951. It came with Intel Core i5-2467M (1.6GHz) Processor, 4GiB DDR3 SDRAM, 320 GB HD + 20 GiB SSD Storage, 13.3” 1366×768 Screen, 36 Wh – 6 hours Battery Life, min 13.10/max 17.50 mm thickness, 1.40 kg weight.
Today, the invention is still running. We only need to wait and see..