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My best find ever?


Veteran Member
Apr 21, 2011
I was browsing eBay looking for a parts unit to fix the broken hinge on my Compaq LTE 386s/20, and stumbled upon this:


But that's just a standard LTE 386s/20 with a bad screen, isn't it? Oh no, it's much more than that. Let me explain.

First off, let's take a look at some more photos fo it next to my other LTE:


Wait a minute, why are the Compaq logo and keyboard light embossings gray? Why doesn't it have any serial/FCC ID stickers on the back? Why does the screen bezel look different? Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

You know what they say; if it walks like a prototype, talks like a prototype, it's a prototype!

That is correct, this machine is a prototype Compaq LTE 386s/20! My heart skipped a beat when I found this for a whopping $50! If you can't tell by my username, I'm a HUGE fan of old Compaqs, so this laptop means a lot to me, and is a permanent part of my Compaq collection now.

I should also mention that the screen bezel is smooth, untextured plastic. Very typical of a prototype.

The brightness and contrast controls are also unmarked (see pic below):


Another thing, Compaq LTE 386s/20s came with 2MB of RAM on the motherboard; this unit only has 1MB of RAM on the motherboard!


It also came with a 1MB memory expansion that bumps it up to 2MB like a normal one, but this card is special because the plastic on it is clear! Never seen another like this before:


As for the screen, I think I'll just find a broken regular LTE 386s/20 and steal the screen from it. I don't think the LCD panel is any different.

I was so glad and amazed that this machine fired right up with the power supply from my other one! It also has a hard drive in there, but it is seized. I'm going to try my ass off to get it working, because this may have one of the elusive demo programs on it that I have never found before. No telling what else is on it either.

Pretty amazing, huh? I'll add more to this thread as I make progress on getting this machine back to full-functionality.