History of Laptops
The concept of laptops developed when more and more people were clamoring for a portable computer they can work with while traveling and carry it to different locations. The laptops that were initially introduced were somewhat crude and lacked the sophistication of the laptops as we know and see them today. They were very bulky, had very small displays, without hard drives and everything ran from the RAM or floppy disks.
In 1981 the Osborne Computer Company released the first portable computer and called it Osborne 1. This laptop computer, when not https://www.ckmserver.com in use and closed up, resembled a locked up sewing machine. It was powered by an electrical connection with an optional laptop battery backup. It had two 5 ¼” floppy drives (mounted to the right and left of the display), and included a modem port. The biggest drawback was the display was only 5-inches wide and could show only a limited 52 characters per line.
Then in 1983, Gavilan introduced the Gavilan Mobile Computer. It was peculiarly built and the screen folded over the keyboard when closed. It weighed 9 pounds, and could run on nickel-cadmium batteries for close to 9 hours.
Three years later in 1986,Radio Shack released the TRS – 80 Model 200 This model was more compact, had a much larger display and more effective laptop battery power, and included built-in software. People used this model for creating simple documents and considered it to be pretty high tech at that time.
A year later in 1987, IBM released its version of a laptop computer calling it the 5155 Portable Personal Computer. It had two double-sided 5 ¼” drives and 640K RAM. The 5155 however did not support graphics and was used for the limited processing of text-based information only.
During 1988, Compaq introduced the SLT/286 Laptop which had overcome the graphics barrier. This model however weighed a hefty 14 pounds, had a 1.44 floppy drive and ‘286’ processor. NEC joined the fray with the NEC UltraLite, which weighed just 4.4 pounds and had overall dimensions of 11.75″ (W) X 1.4″ (H) X 8.3″ (D).
Macintosh entered the laptop scenario in 1989 with their Portable that weighed around16 pounds and had a 9.8-inch 640 x 400 active matrix screen. Its redeeming feature was an operation time of close to 10 hours on a lead-acid battery. These early laptops from Macintosh later evolved into the PowerBook line and now the MacBook line.
It was only in the 1990s we saw the faster, sleeker machines with more storage, more ports and connectors, improved displays, and weighing much less and comfortable enough to carry around. The Apple Macintosh PowerBook line and the IBM ThinkPads became major competitors in the laptop market.