The Birth of the Notebook 5

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Lapflops? Craptops? Jokebooks? Whatever you call them, these were some of the world’s most disastrous mobile PCs ever unleashed

Data General DG/One, 1984
The 12-inch LCD was phenomenally large for its day, if only you could actually read the text on it.

Osborne Executive, 1984
How do you sink your company? Announce a next-generation product but don’t ship it for another year, leading everyone to cancel their orders on the first-generation product. Without any cash coming in, Osborne rapidly went bankrupt, barely getting the Executive to market at all.

IBM PC Convertible, 1986
Looks like a cash register, doesn’t it? This was IBM’s final, monumental disaster before getting the ThinkPad project under way.

Apple Macintosh Portable, 1989
Apple’s first foray into mobile computing was an unmitigated catastrophe, namely because this 16-pound behemoth cost a whopping $7,300. Apple quickly buried it and launched the svelte and successful PowerBook in its place.

Compaq Concerto, 1993
Consumers weren’t ready for a pen tablet with a removable keyboard, and neither was Compaq: From a design standpoint this machine is a train wreck.

IBM ThinkPad 701C, 1995
IBM’s breathtaking “Butterfly” keyboard design won raves from the press, but no one bought the freaky machine. The product was obsolete at introduction and was ultimately a disaster for the company.

Liebermann Hollywood Gold, 2004
Books could be written about Liebermann (aka Go-L Computers), which promised notebooks with unheard-of benchmarks, and prices to match. Turns out it was all a big lie: The computer never existed. Liebermann even tried to sue our sister magazine Maximum PC when it wrote a story about Liebermann.

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