Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd May 2007 23:26 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems It's the original UMPC: Epson's HX-20, announced in 1981 - 25 years before Intel and Microsoft formally launched the ultra-mobile PC category, in April 2006. Epson's machine wasn't the first portable computer - that honour goes to the Osborne 1. But while the Osborne was a beast of a machine, designed more as a desktop you could take from place to place, the HX-20 was a truly a system for computing on the move. So while the HX-20 combined not only a full QWERTY keyboard, a display, storage and even a printer into its 28.4 x 21.3 x 4.4cm casing, but also a rechargeable Ni-Cad battery.
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It was the first Portable!
by Accident on Fri 4th May 2007 00:16 UTC
Accident
Member since:
2005-07-29

I have a HX-20 and it was a true portable. The Osborne 1 was a transportable and could not run on batteries. I have the HX-20 and the QX-10 from Epson. The where very advance for their time. I wish it have a bigger screen. But hell it still run, unlike my HP Prosario X1000.

HX-20
http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=143&st=1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HX-20

QX-10
http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=200

Reply Score: 1

richmassena Member since:
2006-11-26

I'm almost certain you could by an external battery unit for the Osborne 1. I don't think it was at all practical, given the Osborne by itself weighed about 30 lbs.

I think the definition of portable is too vague to support either the Osborne or the HX-20 as truly portable, though the HX-20 would better fit the definition. From my perspective portable would mean that work could easily be done with the computer sitting in a bus or on an airplane. I can envision the HX-20 with its tape deck saving documents sitting on someones lap. You would have to hire a second seat for the Osborne.

Reply Parent Score: 1