The Power of the Portable
Going by the name of Osborne 1, the first machine to really be considered a portable computer (although you would need pretty big thighs to call it a laptop) was produced by Osborne Computers in 1981. Its 125-mm monochrome CRT screen was sandwiched unceremoniously between two hefty 5.25-in. floppy drives, and the thing was provided with a modem port. Weighing 10 kg and coming with a $1,795 price tag, this sewing machine-sized computer came bundled with a collection of software, and its optional battery gave around 2 h of power. A couple of years later Radio Shack’s TRS-80 Model 100 was released, a more manageable and modern-looking laptop weighing 8 kg, but with only a small low-resolution monochrome LCD display. The first true notebook-style laptop with a 4:3 LCD display appeared in 1989 in the guise of the NEC UltraLite (running the MS-DOS operating system), and later that year Apple released a competitor in the form of the first Macintosh portable.