GBM InkShow: Evolution of Toshiba’s Mobile Devices
I recently met up with Chris Casper of Toshiba in San Francisco to see some new PCs. While I’m always up for a look at new PCs, the most interesting thing at the meeting for me was the lineup of old Toshiba devices that Chris brought along as part of the company’s 25th anniversary of selling laptops.
As you’ll see in the below video, portable computing’s come a long, long way in recent years. While we didn’t get to see a comprehensive collection of Toshiba devices, they were representative of points in computing history that I remember fondly.
GBM InkShows are sponsored by MobileDemand, a company that makes rugged tablet PCs.
The first device we look at in the video is a Portege 660, which was released in 1996 with a $3,199 price tag. Sometimes younger friends and relatives can’t believe that I was one of the only students at my University to carry a laptop back in 1997. Back in those days, portable computing was something generally reserved for professionals and geeks.
Towards the end of the video, Chris shows off the Libretto W105. It’s going to be sold in limited quantities and is priced at just $1,099.
06/21/2010 at 9:06 pm
The Grid Compass was introduced in 1982, arguably the first clamshell portable. I remember reading about it in BYTE Magazine when I was young. The Wikipedia article contradicts my memory (and pretty much everything else online) by stating it had an electroluminescent display though (my recollection: plasma; web: gas plasma).
I did lust over the Librettos back in the late-90s, we engineers were lugging 10+ pound laptops (I think almost 20 pounds in the heavy leather bag + extra battery(s)) while the executives had these teensy sub-notebooks. Note the first Libretto, the 20, was introduced in 1996 with a 486 and a 6″ display.