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The Birth of the Notebook 4

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13 CRITICAL MACHINES

1975
IBM 5100 Portable Computer
The first computer with a built-in display, this 50-pound monster was swept under the rug after the PC came out in 1981.

1981
Osborne 1
Adam Osborne’s labor of love was an overnight success … and an overnight failure. Today it is remembered fondly as a pioneer in portability.

1982
GRiD Compass 1100
The first mobile computer with a folding screen, the GRiD Compass was a coveted survivor for more than a decade.

1982
Epson HX-20
The world’s first “laptop,” designed as a slate with no folding display.

1983
Gavilan SC
An early form of touch pad (that’s it between the keyboard and the screen) made the Gavilan a pioneer. Alas, bankruptcy came calling inside of a year.

1983
Compaq Portable
The first 100-percent compatible IBM PC clone, the “luggable” and its successors were business standbys for years.

1984
Commodore SX-64
The first color portable computer, the “Executive” had a 5-inch color TV built into the case. Commodore SX-64s are still prized collectables.

1989
NEC UltraLite
The first true notebook, the original UltraLite had no hard drive; instead it used solid-state storage with no moving parts.

1991
Apple PowerBook 100
The keyboard should be to the rear of the notebook and the track ball up front? You don’t say! This design has been the standard for nearly 15 years.

1992
IBM ThinkPad 700C
The birth of the IBM revolution. It could have been a disaster: The TrackPoint’s early names were “Pogo Stick” and “Whiskers” (instead of “mouse,” get it?), according to the book ThinkPad: A Different Shade of Blue.

1994
Apple PowerBook 500
The 500 offered the world’s first true touch pad on a notebook, not to mention a handful of other innovations that set the stage for a decade of portable computing.

1999
Sony Vaio C1 Picturebook
Sony’s team of miniaturizers got the industry thinking about ultratiny notebooks, including this machine, which included a built-in camera.

2004
OQO Model 01
The smallest self-contained PC ever built, the OQO hints at a future where technology literally goes anywhere you do.

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