Evolution Of Laptops

Laptops 1975-2020. Major Laptop Computers Events.

Do you have a laptops at home or office? Of course, everyone knows that laptops are often called notebooks or notebook computers. This is a small, portable personal computer done in form of a book with an alphanumeric keyboard on the lower part of the book and a thin LCD or LED computer screen on the upper portion. You need to open the book to use your computer. Laptops are folded shut for transportation, and thus are suitable for mobile use. These portable computers are very popular nowadays. It’s hard to determine which one was the very first laptop in the world. There were many proposed ideas and concepts on portable computing devices, as known as laptops, but all of them were not technically feasible. Today, most laptop computers are becoming thinner and lighter to help compete with other devices, such as tablets. Some laptops may also be referred to as Ultrabooks. Here is the laptop evolution timeline briefly.

Laptop Evolution

Evolution Of Laptops

The first laptop or portable computer


According to Wikipedia, it is said that IBM developed the first portable computer IBM 5100 which was represented in September 1975. Its primary price ranged from $9 000 to $20 000. As we see in the modern laptops, there are some common elements of a laptop, such as screen, keyboard, and a single structure. The IBM 5100 also had those components! The IBM 5100 Portable Computer featured a 5” diagonal CRT screen which could display maximum 64 character and 16 lines. This 24KG machine had a 1.9MHz processor, 16–64 KB RAM and 32–64 KB ROM. However, it was discontinued in 1978.

Stage(Event) 1

Dulmont Magnum (1980)

Then we can remember Dulmont Magnum, another early laptop developed by Dulmison Pty Limited in 1980s. The machine was also known as Kookaburra. Its display could show 8-25 lines or 80 characters. There was an Intel processor clocked at 8MHz. Other configurations included 96KB-384KB RAM and 128KB-384KB ROM. It had also room for dual external 5.25” floppy disks or 10 MB external hard drive. The Dulmont Magnum was not a huge success, but it sent a signal to big companies for developing better portable computers. It was discontinued in 1986.

Stage 2

Osborne 1 (1981)

The next big leap in laptop computing came in April 1981 with the launch of the Osborne 1. Though it only supported single-sided floppy disks, the 25-pound, 64KB machine was a smash hit for the Osborne Computer Corporation thanks to its low price ($1 800, bundled with $1 500 worth of free software).Byte magazine noted that "it remains to be seen if the company can turn a profit at this price." Indeed, despite strong sales in 1981 and 1982, Osborne would declare bankruptcy in 1983.

Stage 3

Grid Compass 1101 (1982)

The first clamshell-type laptop ever sold, the Grid Compass 1101 was incredibly advanced for its time. It combined an Intel 8086 processor, 340KB of bubble memory, a 1200 baud modem and a 320 x 240 pixel display, all in one, 11-pound package. It ran its own operating system, Grid-OS. With a price tag of $8 150 in April 1982 (roughly $21 000 today), the Compass found highly limited use, primarily by the U.S. government. Thanks to its small size, the Grid Compass went places other computers couldn't.

Stage 4

Epson HX-20 (1982)

Touted by Epson as being "small enough to fit inside your briefcase," the HX-20 featured 16K RAM, 32K ROM, a scrollable LCD screen, a micro cassette drive (50K) and a built-in, 24-character-per-line dot matrix printer. Unlike the Osborne 1, the HX-20 came with nickel-cadmium batteries that lasted a full 50 hours per charge. The computer launched in July 1982 at just $795 -- the equivalent of $2 500 today. Ads for the Epson HX-20, like this one from Byte magazine in 1982, made a big deal over its little size.

Stage 5

Hewlett-Packard HP-75C (1982)

The first portable computer ever made by HP, the 75C came with a single-line display, 16K RAM and the BASIC programming language built in. It weighed just 1.5 pounds and retailed for $995 (about $2 500 today) when it was released in September 1982.

Stage 6

Compaq Portable (1983)

Reverse engineered from an IBM PC, the Compaq Portable holds the position of being the first-ever portable IBM clone - or as PC Magazine called it, "almost a full work-alike." The 28-pound, suitcase-sized machine had an Intel 8088 processor, 128K of RAM and a built-in, 9-inch green screen monitor. When it was first released in March 1983, a Compaq Portable with a single diskette drive started at $2 900 (about 7 500 today); the dual-diskette drive model seen here cost $595 extra.

Stage 7

Tandy TRS-80 Model 100 (1983)

The Tandy Model 100, RadioShack's licensed version of the Kyocera Kyotronic 85, was an especially popular computer with U.S. journalists. The 3.1-pound device lasts 18 hours on just four AA batteries. Priced at $1 100 for the 8KB model (or $2 700 in 2017 dollars), roughly 6 million units were sold. InfoWorld gave the device its Hardware Product of the Year Award for 1983.

Stage 8

Morrow Pivot (1984)

The MS-DOS-based Pivot, weighing 9 pounds and launching in November 1984, gave portable computing a new shoulder-strapped form factor. The base level machine came with 128K storage, battery, a floppy drive and built-in 300 baud modem for $1 900 (about $4 600 today).In 1985, Morrow sold licensing rights for the Pivot to Zenith for a $1.2 million flat fee. Zenith made millions selling its own nearly identical version to the U.S. government; Morrow went bankrupt in March 1986.

Stage 9

Kaypro 2000 (1985)

The aluminum Kaypro 2000, released in 1985, has the distinction of being the first device with a modern laptop form factor to run MS-DOS. The rugged machine had a removable keyboard, a 25-line-by-80-character monochrome LCD screen, and a lead-acid battery for working on the go. The computer was initially priced at $2 000 (about $4 500 today).

Stage 10

Toshiba T1100 (1985)

Besting the IBM PC Convertible in the consumer market was Toshiba's T1100 laptop line. First arriving on store shelves in 1985, the IBM-compatible T1100 boasted 256K RAM and a 640 x 200 monochrome LCD display. In September 1986, InfoWorld's Stephen Satchell hailed the company's T1100 Plus as a superior machine to IBM's PC Convertible, noting it "offers twice the computing power of IBM's laptop for less money." Indeed, the Intel 80C86 processor ran at an improved 7.16 MHz (versus 4.77 MHz) and included serial and parallel ports at no extra charge.

Stage 11

IBM PC Convertible (1986)

The first laptop from computing giant IBM, the PC Convertible (IBM 5140) had an intriguing design - its 640 x 200 LCD screen was removable, allowing you to attach an external monitor. You could even install a thermal printer ($300) on its rear. Released in April 1986 with 256K RAM and a 3.5-inch floppy drive (another laptop first), the IBM 5140 weighed 12 pounds and retailed for $1 900 (about $4 500 today). It sold poorly, however.

Stage 12

Compaq SLT/286 (1988)

Enter Compaq's first-ever laptop. Released in October 1988, when the company was confident it could place desktop performance in such a small package, the 14-pound SLT/286 had a 12MHz 80C286 processor, a 20MB (or 40 MB) hard drive and detachable keyboard. The Compaq SLT/286 started at $5 400 - about $11 000 in today's money.

Stage 13

PowerBook 100 (1990)

In 1990s, Apple released its PowerBook 100 range that included quite a few touches that had flavors of the future. It featured a 9” (640 x 400p) screen, 16 MHZ Motorola processor, 2 MB RAM, 256 KB ROM, 20-40 MB storage, trackball, mouse buttons, and keyboard. The machine was discontinued in 1992. Along with others, the above devices played the most crucial role to set the standard theme of a laptop which is now being used by major manufacturers like Apple, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, etc.

Stage 14

IBM ThinkPad (1992)

Though it wasn't the company's first laptop, the ThinkPad is definitely IBM's most well-known, best-selling, and most-acclaimed one. It launched in October 1992.Weighing just 5.9 pounds, the IBM ThinkPad retailed for $2 400 (80MB). A 7.6-pound, 120MB version with a 10.4-inch 256-color active-matrix LCD display - and the now-iconic red TrackPoint controller nub - sold for $4 350.

Stage 15

Apple PowerBook 500 Series (1994)

The next big leap forward in laptop technology came in May 1994 from the Apple PowerBook 500 Series - they were the first to feature a capacitive-touch trackpad. The PowerBook 520 model was priced at $2 300.The 500 Series was also the first with 16-bit stereo sound and built-in ethernet networking.

Stage 16

Toshiba Libretto (1996)

Enter the subnotebook. With a starting weight of 30 ounces, the 8.26-inch-long Toshiba Libretto line was hailed as the smallest Windows PC available upon its release in April 1996. The Libretto 70 seen here features an Intel Pentium 120 MHz MMX chip, 16MB RAM, a 1.6 GB hard drive and a 6.1-inch TFT display. Though tiny, the Libretto carried a huge price tag: The Libretto 70 was introduced at $2 000 (about $3 100 today).

Stage 17

Apple iBook (1999)

Notable as Apple's first entry-level consumer portable computer, the colorful iBook was launched in June 1999. It was the first mainstream portable machine with wireless networking capability built-in. With a 300 MHz PowerPC G3 processor, a 3.2 GB hard drive, 32 MB of RAM and a 24x CD-ROM drive, the iBook was purchased by a number of American schools for student use.

Present Day Inventions. Most significant laptop models.

There are too many modern computer technologies to keep up with these days! Every tech company wants to get in on the boom, and so far, many are succeeding. Pay attention to Apple, Microsoft, Lenovo, Dell, Samsung, HP, even Google. Here are just some of the highlights in recent years:

Stage 18

Apple MacBook (2006)

Apple's MacBook computer line got its start in 2006 with this 13.3-inch (1 280 x 800), 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo polycarbonate laptop loaded with 512MB RAM and a 60GB hard drive. The base model had an MSRP of $1000. This upgraded black version with a 2.0GHz processor and 80GB hard drive retailed for $1 500.

Stage 19

Chromebook CR-48 (2011)

Chromebook, the most successful line of Linux-based computers ever created, offers a personal computing experience in a simple Google-created environment. The small devices quickly grew popular with educators thanks to their low starting price. The first-ever Chromebook, this 12.1-inch CR-48 model, was given to developers and beta testers as part of the Google Chrome pilot program in 2010. The first retail versions were manufactured by Acer and Samsung ($350), going on sale in June 2011.By 2012, you could purchase a Chromebook for $199.

Stage 20

Microsoft Surface (2013)

Given how tied it was to the poorly received Windows 8 operating system in 2013, you could be forgiven for thinking the Microsoft Surface would be a similarly costly and forgotten flop for the computer giant. But years later, the fourth generation of the tablet/laptop hybrid device is selling surprisingly well with Windows 10, proving there's a serious market for two-in-ones. Microsoft has yet to announce a Microsoft Surface Pro 5, though it has just announced a new Surface Laptop line.

Why Your Next Laptop Should Be HYBRID

The best-selling systems on the market are traditional laptops, which have a screen on top, keyboard on bottom and not a lot of flexibility in between. But it doesn't have to be this way. 2-in-1s aren't new tech anymore. With four generations of Microsoft Surfaces and over a dozen Yogas from Lenovo, consumers today no longer have to cut their teeth on the bleeding edge to get a taste of transformational hybrid computing. So here are some important reasons why your next laptop should be Hybrid.


The obvious adaptability of 2-in-1s can't be emphasized enough. Whether it's flipping around into presentation mode to turn a quick discussion into an impromptu showcase or going from laptop to tablet mode for quick movie screening, 2-in-1s are at their best in situations that you didn't foresee.

Fewer Gadgets to Worry About

One of the biggest benefits of hybrid design (aside from the flexibility, of course) is that a 2-in-1 cuts the number of devices in your life from three to two. Currently, a lot of people have a smartphone for when they're out and about, a tablet for relaxing on the couch, and a laptop for when they need to get some real work done. It's time to cut out the dead weight from that equation, or better yet, avoid buying another gadget you don't need.

Today we are living in the age of lighter, faster and prettier laptops. Manufacturers are now implementing more advanced technologies into new laptops. Some of the best laptop lines of this year are Apple MacBook Pro, Lenovo Y50, Toshiba Satellite, Samsung Chromebook, HP EliteBook, Asus ZenBook, etc. Pay attention to them if you want to sell your old laptop and buy a new better model.

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