Vintage tech

Vintage tech: Toshiba T3100

Portable computers were the up and coming thing back in the late 1980s. The release of the Toshiba T3100 in 1986 struck a fine balance between strong computing power, whilst also being durable and portable – though some may say it wasn’t technically ‘portable’ as it still required an external power source.vintage

It featured a 10 MB hard drive, 8 MHz Intel 80286 CPU and a monochrome 9.6-inch gas-plasma display with a resolution of up to 640×400 pixels. This resolution, for the time, was especially high.

Upon initial release, there were two expansion accessories available. One was an internal 1200 baud modem; the second an expansion card and chassis that housed five standard 8-bit ISA slots. In time, other third-party compatible accessories were made available, such as an Ethernet NIC, a faster (2400 baud) modem, and a 1MB memory card, further extending the system RAM beyond the original 2.6MB limit.

The device was 12.2 inches wide, 14.2-inches long and 3.1-inches thick, and it weighed a hefty 7.5kg; hardly ‘portable’ in today’s world. However, it did have a built-in handle to help make it easier to carry, which also doubled as a stand when the device was in use.

In the wake of T3100’s release, four other models followed swiftly behind it, namely the: T3100/20, with a larger 20 MB hard drive; the T3100e, which had a 12 MHz 80286 CPU, 1MB RAM and a 20MB hard drive; the T3100e/40, which was the same as the T3100e, but with a larger 40MB hard drive; and the T3100SX, which included an internal rechargeable battery for true portability.

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