Thanks to Torin Darkflight for this complete information
Of all the early portable computers manufactured by Toshiba, the T3100 series is, by far, my favorite of
them all. The T3100 series were a perfect combination of computing power, durability and portability (All of
these in late 80s terms, of course). I am such a loyal fan of the T3100 series that I currently own one, and
just purchased a second.
There were five models (That I am aware of) in the T3100 series: The base T3100 (Which I shall discuss here), the
T3100/20, the T3100e, The T3100e/40 and the T3100SX.
The base T3100, released in 1986, consisted of an 80286 CPU running at 8MHz, but could be slowed to
4.77MHz using a keyboard shortcut. It also had 640KB system memory, which could be upgraded to 2.6MB. It shipped with
Storage included a standard 3.5" 720KB floppy diskette drive, and an internal 10MB hard disk drive. An
optional external 5.25" floppy diskette drive could also be connected through the parallel/printer port.
The T3100 also had a special optional "floppy link" cable, which allowed the T3100 to connect to and use
the floppy drive on an IBM desktop system.
The T3100 had an interesting display adapter. It was fully CGA compatible, however it also had a special
high-resolution (For the time) 640x400 display mode which is similar to and partially compatible with the
Olivetti/AT&T 6300 graphics. The T3100 display was a 9.6" monochrome orange gas plasma panel capable of
displaying this special hi-res mode, and other low-res modes. An external monitor could also be connected via
a 9-pin RGB port.
The T3100 included a single proprietary expansion slot. Upon initial release, there were two expansion
accessories available. One was an internal 1200 baud modem, the second an expansion card and chassis that
housed five standard 8-bit ISA slots, thus allowing greater expandability. Eventually, other third-party
compatible accessories were made available, such as an ethernet NIC, a faster (2400 baud) modem, even a 1MB
memory card that further extended the system RAM beyond the original 2.6MB limit (Thus, 3.6MB is the
actual maximum system RAM). Other miscellaneous peripherals included an external numberpad (Which was
actually a reversed left-handed version of the standard numberpad) and an ExpressWriter 201 portable
Although portable for the time, the T3100 is a beast in comparison to today's portability standards. It was
12.2" wide, 14.2" long and 3.1" thick, and it weighed a hefty 15 pounds, quite a burden to carry around.
Luckily it has a built-in handle (Which doubles as a stand when the system is in use) to help make it
easier to carry, a plus if one had neglected to purchase the padded carrying case. Although classified
as portable and regardless of the "clamshell" design of current notebooks/laptops, the T3100 was simply
just a luggable computer. Except for the T3100SX, it had no internal battery, thus it required access to an
AC outlet to operate.
Quick info about the other T3100 models:
• The T3100/20 was essentially the same as the base T3100, except it had a larger hard disk drive (20MB
instead of 10MB).
• The T3100e had a 12MHz 80286 CPU, 1MB RAM and a 20MB hard disk drive.
• The T3100e/40 was the same as the T3100e, but with a larger 40MB hard disk drive.
• The T3100SX had a 16MHz i386SX CPU, 1MB RAM and a 40MB or 80MB hard disk drive, and also included an
internal rechargeable battery for true portability.