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Laptops through the Years

by | Aug 14, 2017 | Uncategorized

Laptops have become the preferred device for those who want to have their own computer. These devices are most efficient for those who want to save space or are on the go. However, laptops, as we know them now, are different from the laptops in the past.

The concept of a laptop or portable computer was introduced in 1971 by Alan Kay of the Xerox Corporation. He called his idea the Dynabook, but it was not realized until 1981 – the launch of the first portable computer.


The Osborne Computer Corporation’s Osborne 1 wasn’t exactly portable at 24 lbs or almost 11 kilograms. It had a 64k RAM and a 5-inch display, far from the specs we enjoy today. Today’s laptops are also known to close and open, unlike the Osborne 1. British industrial designer Bill Moggridge takes credit for creating the GRiD Compass 1101, the first laptop to have this design.

Truly portable laptops only came into existence in 1983 with the Gavilan Computer. It was the smallest and lightest computer at the time. The Gavilan featured a floppy drive, an LCD screen, and a touchpad mouse. However, Compaq was able to steal a large part of the market share by launching the Compaq Portable in the same year.

Life in Color

Laptops started having colored screens in 1984 with the Commodore SX-64, also known in other markets as the Executive 64 or the VIP-64. The Macintosh Computer was able to make history in 1991 by being the first laptop to send an email from space during Space Shuttle mission STS-43. Apple launched this computer in 1989.

By 1992, the world was able to see the first laptop to feature TFT color display with the IBM Thinkpad 700. From here, laptops started to look a lot more like the ones we enjoy today.

Today’s Innovations

HP was ahead of its time when it introduced the HP Compaq TC1000. Similar to the 2011 ASUS Transformer series, the laptop’s screen was fully detachable from its keyboard. It also allowed a stylus input. Unfortunately, it did not take off in the markets like the ASUS Transformer series.

Lightweight laptops became a trend when Apple launched the MacBook Air. Dubbed the “world’s thinnest laptop” at its launch in 2008, it pushed manufacturers to make laptops thinner and better. Now, we have a variety of laptops available for purchase. You can take a look at how much laptops have evolved when you pick your own at your local Emcor store.


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