This page is dedicated to Toshiba range of PC compatible laptop computers.
The T1200 is first described model. More models will come soon (see 'Read more' section).
The Toshiba T1200 was a very advanced laptop for it’s time, being able to run many powerful programs only a proper PC could use at the time. It has an 8 Inch screen that can only use scales of Green and Blue.
Another Feature was the first “Resume” Feature, kind of like suspend or Standby on today’s computers. This laptop was the first ever to use this feature.
It outclassed the other laptops, like the Datavue spark because of it’s competitive price and lower weight. The buyer could choose between a standard and backlit LCD Screen.
Their were 2 Main Models available at the time, 1 With two 720K 3 ½ Floppy Drives (T 1200FB) and the other one with 1 720K 3 ½ Floppy and a 20MB Hard Drive (T 1200HB). It came with an official MS-DOS 3.3 floppy disk or with MS-DOS loaded onto the hard drive for hard disc versions.
RAM above 640 KB can be used as a fast, battery-backed RAM disk drive (Toshiba Hard RAM) and / or expanded memory (LIM-EMS).
Another popular feature was that some models came with an internal 1200 Baud Modem, the first of its kind in most computers.
More information from Mal:
I had one of these when if first came out - without the hard drive, and used it as my main computer for several years. From a processor standpoint it was an 8086 PC XT.
It was one of the first, if not first machine with a back-lit supertwist LCD screen. This was a big improvement over the plasma screens - which were difficult to read in bright light environments. I was amazed at the quality of the LCD monitor - and I likened it to reading from paper when compared to using the fuzzy CRTs of the time. The supertwist technology also allowed you to read the screen without being directly lined up with it - not as good as todays LCD monitors - but revolutionary for its time. (Today my whole network contains LCD monitors because of my experiences as a student with this machine back in 1987)
While it is true that the system included MS DOS disks - they were mainly useful as a backup. This machine featured DOS on a ROM chip - so when the system booted it would load DOS and you would be at a command prompt. It also came with an early version of 'Microsoft Works' that you could use with a mouse to select menu items, manipulate scroll bars, and position the text curser etc - kind of an n-curses style window control. (My father-in-law had an Amiga - so I was already familiar with basic window controls and use of a mouse).
Another interesting thing about this model was it had a feature that allowed you to designate a certain amount of RAM as a ramdisk. The ramdisk was also not volatile when you turned off the power - as long as you kept your battery charged up. I would load WordPerfect and other utilities into a small ramdisk, and have them always at my fingertips as soon as I powered on the machine (I also carried a floppy disk that had a copy of the ramdisk on it, so I could re-initialize it if I ran out of battery 'juice' inadvertently).
The very best feature of this machine, in my opinion was the keyboard. The keys had a very springy and clicky tactile feel that made typing on it a breeze - actually better than the 'full size' keyboard I am using right now. The size is also a misnomer - because it was very close to being a full size keyboard - especially compared to some of the smaller laptop keyboards today. I took it to college and used it in class to take notes - this was when you rarely saw laptops at all. I was poor - but I had a very cool computing platform :)
This was a great machine, and I would buy a beefed up version of something like this today if it were offered on the market (the speed of having everything in RAM was phenomenal - launching apps faster than even my high-end machines do today). The achilles heel of this machine was the battery technology - the batteries degraded quickly and would not hold a charge after 1 year (or less) of use.
I bought the 1200HB in the summer of 1988. The backlit screens were on backorder at the time. One of my buddies with the dual floppy T1200 thought I was crazy to have the hard-disk. This laptop worked great for me as I started up power plants in India, Pakistan, Caribbean. GE didn''t supply laptops for field engineers at the time. It worked great for me for 3 years. My only gripe was the 9600 baud speed limit on the serial port. I installed a combo board which gave me 2MB RAM and the 1200 Baud modem. I still have it and every once in a while boot it up. I upgraded it to MS-DOS 6.2, which was difficult since it was only available on 1.44MB disks.
I Found my old T1200 purchased in ''88. Still functioning mounts windows 2.0. Battery is completely dead. I have to turn it on fiddling a bit with the two switches behind it
Wednesday 26th October 2016
Found my old Toshiba T1200 in a closet. Not turned on for 10+ years. It want to see a system disk, which I no longer have. Can anyone help?
Saturday 29th August 2015
Harry (United States)
END OF PRODUCTION
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Full Stroke 82 Keys with Numeric Keypad Overlay
4.77 MHz / 9.57 MHz
1 MB (2 MB max.)
64 KB (Holds Memory Test and BIOS)
40 or 80 Columns x 25 Lines
640 or 320 x 200 dots
Monochrome backlit LCD display 16 Grayscales (Blue and Green) / CGA compatible through external display
SIZE / WEIGHT
12.1 (W) x 12 (L) x 2.9 (H) Inches / 11.5 lb (With HD) or 10.6 lb (With 2 FDD’s) 309 x 305 x 73 mm / 5.2 kg (With HD) or 4.8 kg (With 2 FDD’s)
RGB color monitor port (9 Pin ), RS-232 serial port (9 pin), Composite video port, Numeric Keypad port, Centronics parallel port (25 Pin), External Floppy Drive, RJ-11 Phone Line Connector, HDD Power, 15V DC Laptop Power, Toshiba 8-bit expansion slot
BUILT IN MEDIA
T 1200FB : two 720 KB 3 ½ floppy drives T 1200HB : one 720 KB 3 ½ floppy drive + 20 MB Hard Drive
MS-DOS 3.3 or PC-GEOS
Built-in rechargeable NiCad batteries / external 12v DC 2.2 amp power supply unit.