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Outdoor laptop

urbancamo

Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
28
Location
Windermere, UK
Good evening!

I was wondering if anyone could suggest a vintage laptop I could use in the garden that has a transflective display? In the past I've had a TSR-80 and Cambridge Z88 but I would like something with a display that is at least 80x24 characters, preferably large enough to read from. I'm thinking an early IBM compatible laptop might fit the bill?

Kind regards, hope everyone is staying safe! Mark
 

compaqportableplus

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2011
Messages
879
Location
USA
How about something like a Zenith Z-180 or a SupersPORT? They don’t have transflective displays, but you can turn the backlight off on them, and I think they are fairly readable in sunlight, although I haven’t tested it myself.

A few things to keep in mind with the Convertible: they can be quite pricey, they have very few built-in features, they didn’t come with the full 640KB built-in, and most of them I see have dead lines in the screen (not sure what causes it or if it’s fixable). That being said, if you can find a working one with the full 640KB (or 512KB at the very least) for a reasonable price I think it would be a cool machine.

The Zeniths I mentioned above are quite easy to find, reliable, and really aren’t worth much at all. They also have all standard ports and full 640KB of memory built-in, so no need to find rare expansion modules.
 

bifo86

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
133
Location
Virginia, USA
If we're talking potentially expensive and hard to find, how about a Poqet PC Plus? Transflective screen, 2mb memory, 16mhz V20 processor, actual keyboard instead of the HP LX type chicklet-calculator style.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poqet_PC#Poqet_PC_Plus
http://www.bmason.com/PoqetPC/faq/pcplus.html

The only problem is that they run on a NiCD battery pack instead of AAs like the original Poqet PC (which is more common and probably less expensive) so true portability might be bad. That being said, much easier than anything else available from the era these days, you could probably run it off of a battery pack with an adapter.
 

urbancamo

Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
28
Location
Windermere, UK
Thanks for the suggestions. I've also noted that there are some more modern laptops that have the ability to turn the backlight off, specifically the Toshiba Portege R500-S5003 and the NEC versa Daylite. The HP Elitebook X360 with SureView screen can also run at 1,000 nits, and I have a Panasonic CF-30 which does remarkably well in the Sun.

Not quite the same, any of that, compared to something nice and vintage!

Regards, Mark.
 

urbancamo

Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
28
Location
Windermere, UK
Somewhat a long gap between replies, but I ended up buying a newer Panasonic Toughbook, the CF-31. It has a daylight-readable display and uses LED backlights so is much more reliable and less battery intensive than the CF-30. Love it.

Mark.
 
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