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C > COMPAQ > Portable III   


Compaq
Portable III

When Compaq launched its Portable III, the lauch was timed to occurs simultaneously in twelve countries around the world, in keeping with Compaq's showmanship style.

The Portable III previously rumoured to be the smallest, lightest and fastest 386 machine but Compaq only had a 286-12 mainboard ready to be mass produced. The 386 version would follow about one year later.

Compaq actually released a 286 version to restore its Number One spot in the portable market, under the pressure from Toshiba with its T-1100 and T-3100 and Zenith with its Z-181.

The design of the Portable II had been deeply improved over the earlier Compaq portable machines. It was half the size and its footprint occupied half the space of the first Compaq Portable. The most remarquable feature was its neat gas plasma display wich lifted up and swiveled so that it could be placed in a good position for reading.

The machine shipped with either a 20 MB or 40 MB hard-disk. Two internal cards could be added, a RAM card (up to 2 MB) and a 1200-baud modem card. An external expansion box allowed to add two standard IBM-AT cards and carry them along with the computer.

_______________________

Ryan Schweitzer adds:
It also has a proprietary graphics mode that allows it to run at true 640 x 400 mode. I ran both a copy of Windows/286 2.11 (yes, 2.11 :) ) that had a Compaq Portable display driver for 640 x 400 (if I recall correctly), and also had an installation of GeoWorks Ensemble 2.0 on it, that could make the display run perfectly at 640 x 400 if the display drivers for the AT&T 6300 (also 640x400) were used!!!
I think ensemble's AT&T driver might of used the same calls/registers/interrupts/whatnot to the Portable's graphics chipset, or maybe even possibly the Portable used the same graphics chipset as the AT&T 6300.


Nancy Hackett's bad experience:
Oh, did this machine have problems! I went through four of those nifty plasma monitors, several hard drives, two factory rebuilds, and an uncounted number of motherboards trying to track down internal error codes that Compaq said didn't exist!
It came (not so) lovingly to be known as "The Compaq from Hell" with the motherboard rumored to be numbered "666". Both the maintenance manager's and the Compaq regional rep's hands would sweat every time I lugged it in. The spectacular finale was when the power supply blew, shooting blue flames 18" out the side! LOL! That was an experience!


Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to Old-Computers.com or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


 

I have one of these, the 286 model. It works fine, mostly. Now and then it will not boot as if the CMOS battery is dead, but then pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del will fix the problem somehow. In addition, the display driver seems to have some bad capacitors. If I don''t run the computer often, after a few weeks the screen will show some glitchy vertical lines. Then if I let it run for a few hours the lines will fade away and they don''t come back if the machine is off overnight. I only have 640K in the computer, but would like more memory. Does anyone know where I can get information about how to do an upgrade? Thanks. basicforge@gmail.com

          
Friday 20th May 2022
Carl Gundel (United States)
https://www.libertybasic.com

I have this computer in working order except missing operating system, anyone interested?

          
Tuesday 8th June 2021
Chad (USA)

This was my first student computer and * was fond of it!
Who would be interested in it?

          
Monday 14th September 2020
OLEK CHRISTOPHE (France)

 

NAME  Portable III
MANUFACTURER  Compaq
TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  1987
END OF PRODUCTION  Unknown
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  None
KEYBOARD  Typewriter type 92 keys with 12 function keys and numeric keypad
CPU  Intel 80286
SPEED  12 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  Socket for a 80287 math coprocessor
RAM  640 KB up to 2 MB
VRAM  Unknown
ROM  16 KB
TEXT MODES  40 or 80 columns x 25 lines
GRAPHIC MODES  640 x 200 dots (CGA resolution)
COLORS  Monochrome orange
SOUND  Beeper
SIZE / WEIGHT  41 (W) x 19.2 (D) x 24.8 (H) cm / 11 kg
I/O PORTS  Serial, Parallel, Video RGB, expansion bus
BUILT IN MEDIA  1 x 1.2 MB FDD, 20 or 40 MB HDD
OS  MS-DOS 3.1
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit - No battery
PERIPHERALS  Expansion box with two IBM-AT card slots
PRICE  $4,990 (20 MB), $5,790 (40 MB)




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