NaBloPoMo – HP 200LX Palmtop

Not a laptop,  not a notebook,  not a netbook but even smaller.  The HP 200LX. Other models in the lineup include the original HP 95LX release in 1991 and the HP 100LX the immediate predecessor to the HP 100LX.  The HP 95LX had a 1/4 CGA screen and thus was somewhat incompatible with the IBM XT.  The HP 200LX and HP 100LX had a full (but very small) CGA screen.  And thus were basically mini-XTs.   It is an MS-DOS based computer with 1 meg RAM and a 80186 processor.  It boots MS-DOS 5.0 from ROM.  This particular example was built in Singapore during week 30 of 1994.  The little HPs were powered by 2 AA batteries with a coin battery to maintain the contents of the RAM.  They had quite a few built in applications in ROM with the HP200LX having the most.

Lots of Applications Built-in

Or good old DOS

And yes it is TINY

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9 Responses to NaBloPoMo – HP 200LX Palmtop

  1. Lord Kalvan says:

    Its actually one of the newer pieces of equipment I have been posting about! Did you have an HP 200LX or other palmtop?

  2. grantalias says:

    No I never had one, but it does look cool. The closest thing I had was a Franklin Dictionary in highschool (like this one) and a ZX81.

  3. jaklumen says:

    Wow. Apparently I was totally unaware of this segment of microcomputing. But I suspected it would be classified as a PDA; at least Wikipedia (the article you linked to) confirms my notion.I do remember Apple's Newton and the MessagePad, which was released just a little earlier than this, and the early Palm PDAs. I had assumed most PDAs of the time were tablet-style devices. This really does look like a "toy" size (I mean comparative to dog breeds) laptop. I'd have to have a pair of finger styluses for the keyboard, though. My sausage fingers are just too big for those tiny keys.

  4. jaklumen says:

    p.s. this is featured at [technology is good], the way I made it here

  5. Lord Kalvan says:

    HP marketed it as a PDA when it was really a general purpose computer. That is probably why it didn't sell as well as they hoped

  6. jaklumen says:

    Even so, netbooks are still catching on, and so it's entirely possible they might not have sold well even had they not been marketed as PDAs. In this way I'd say the concept was likely ahead of its time.

  7. Charon PDX says:

    I got one of these when I went off to college. It replaced my Sharp PDA, but became a full-fledged computer to me. Yes, I used the PDA functions, but the full MS-DOS compatibility really sold me. In programming class, we used networked 386s, where we had a total of four compiler licenses for the whole class. Needless to say, there was a queue to compile your work.

    I figured out that I could write and compile my projects on my LX faster than waiting for the network compiler to become available! (I also figured out that the ‘queue’ was an insanely simple script that I opened up and figured out how to run the compiler outside the queueing script. There was no actual compiler license checking, it was purely the script enforcing it. By compiling directly, I bypassed the script and the license checking. Bad me.)

    Later I decided to test the limits of the LX. Found out it could play Microsoft Flight Simulator 4 just fine, and could even run Windows 3.0. (Using a low-power serial mouse through an adapter.) Spent many a bored class playing solitaire or reversi quietly in the back of the class, all the time apparently taking notes.

    If I could have afforded an OmniBook 600C, I absolutely would have had one of those instead.

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