Laptop Timeline

  • Osborne 1

    Released in 1981 by the Osborne Computer Corporation, the Osborne 1 is considered to be the first true portable computer - it closes-up for protection, and has a carrying handle. It even has an optional battery pack, so it doesn't have to plugged into the 110VAC outlet for power.
  • Grid Compass

    Designed to be the ultimate portable computer, the clamshell-style GRiD Compass 1101 is the grand-daddy of all present-day laptop computers.The 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 80x24 text.
    Of course, all of these great features raised the price significantly.
  • IBM PC Convertible

    IBM's first laptop computer is a big improvement over their earlier portable computer, the giant IBM Portable PC from 2 years earlier in 1984.Is the IBM 5140 "Convertible" really a convertible? Yes - even the top (display) comes off.Why would you want to remove the LCD display? With the CRT Display Adapter attached, you can use an external monitor instead.
  • Mac Portable

    The Mac Portable is Apple's first portable Macintosh computer. Although there were already PC laptops on the market, few were as fast or powerful. The Portable has a 68000 processor running at 16 MHz, comes with 1 MB RAM which can be expanded to 9 MB RAM, has an optional internal 9600 baud modem, and includes a PDS slot (Processor Direct Slot) for direct access to the system processor. This allows for faster and more powerful expansion cards.
  • PowerBook

    While similar in appearance, the 140 and 170 were designed by Apple, with the 100 designed by Sony.
    Apple contracted with Sony to miniaturize the original Macintosh Portable from 1989, itself a huge, heavy, beast of burden. The resultant PowerBook 100 is an improvement in almost every way - smaller, lighter, and cheaper.
  • ThinkPad

    The revolutionary ThinkPad introduced, or at least popularise, the TrackPoint controller, a tiny joystick built into the keyboard in place of a touchpad or a trackball. The user can now reposition the on-screen pointer without moving their hands from the keyboard.
  • Ipad

    Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core A5 chip. 10-hour battery life.1 Over 200 new software features in iOS 5. And iCloud. All in a remarkably thin, light design. There’s so much to iPad, it’s amazing there’s so little of it.
  • Lenovo Tablet X41

    Tablet is thin, light, and convertible; more than five hours of battery life; sturdy case and hinge; great screen for writing; top tablet security; excellent screen controls.