How Long Has the Laptop Computer Been Around?

The laptop computer has a long history which began in 1981 when a portable computer known as ‘Osborne’ was made. Although it was rather heavy and clumsy, with a tiny screen, it had a major impact on computer technology. For the first time, business people were able to transport data if they had to attend out of town meetings.

Two years later, along came the Compaq Portable. Although hardly portable by today’s standards, and almost as heavy as the Osborne, it was the first IBM duplicate. This computer was able to run off MS-DOS but it required electricity.

The first laptop that came close to the ones we are familiar with today was the GriD Compass 1101, designed by Bill Moggridge, and released during 1982. This computer was housed in a magnesium case which is similar to the clam shell casings that we see on modern laptops.

Another two laptops that are worth a mention in this era were the Gavilan SC and the Sharp PC-5000, especially the Gavilan which was the first to be marketed using the word ‘laptop’. In 1983 the biggest selling laptop computer was the Kyocera 85 which was truly portable in the sense that it could run on standard batteries.

Three other commercial laptops that were compatible with IBM were two Toshiba models, the T1000 and the T1200, and the IBM PC Convertible. The Toshiba models were introduced in 1987, while the IBM one was launched the year before. During the next few years, there was rapid progress in the technology of laptops and by 1995 they were common place.

Now that we have reached the 21st Century, laptops have become a way of life. Just about everyone has one. Technology has advanced so fast that we forget that it was not long ago that owing a computer was considered to be a luxury. Today it is a necessity and we use our computers for everything.

With the convenience of laptops, we are not bound to our homes or offices. Just walk into any restaurant, hotel or other public place and you will see men, women and children busy on their laptops. They are used for entertainment purposes, business purposes and research purposes.

The laptop computer has certainly caused a revolution. We can sit across town and pay our bills, order furniture, or chat face-to-face with our friends and family anywhere in the world. There are many accessories that can be purchased for laptops. These include battery packs, USB cables, webcams and even joysticks for playing games.