History of Laptop Computer

History of Laptop Computer


It is hard to say which was the first laptop or portable computer because the earliest portable computers did not exactly look like book-sized folding laptop computers as we see today. However, they were both portable and as well as sit on a person’s lap which led to the development of notebook-style laptops.

Here we go in-depth to learn about the History of Laptop computers.

History of Laptop Computer

What is a Laptop?

A laptop is commonly known as a notebook or personal computer(PC). A machine smaller than a briefcase containing a battery or AC power supply. A laptop is a unique and useful machine that can be easily carried out anywhere. It can be carried out in airplanes, libraries, official meetings, offices, etc. It is also called a laptop computer. Compared to a desktop computer, a laptop is easy to use and more convenient to carry.

Let’s further discuss the History of laptops, types of laptops, and much more!

History of laptop Computer

IBM 5100-(1975)

In September 1975 the first portable Computer named IBM 5100 was invented. At the time of invention, the IBM 5100 was much lighter than others. It weighed 55 pounds and was more portable than other computers. As compared to the present laptops it was not a Laptop, but it provided a way to develop a true laptop which is officially known as a Laptop today.

The Dynabook-(1976)

It was the first laptop Computer that was introduced by Alan Kay when he was working at Xerox PARC in 1976. Its shape was flat, that’s why it was known as a slate computer or tablet PC. Initially, the main purpose of Dynamic was to gain access to the digital media for the children. Its official name was Xerox Note Taker.

GRiD Compass-(1979)

Bill Moggridge, in 1979 designed a most portable Laptop computer which was known as GRiD Compass. It was also a closet example of a laptop at that time. NASA also used GRiD Compass in its space shuttle program in the early 1980’s.

Flip Form Factor-1980

In the early 1980s, the first laptop that used a flip form factor was invented. In Australia 1981-1982 the Dulmont Magnum released this laptop but this was not marketed internationally at that time until 1985. GRiD Compass 1101 was released in 1982 and its price was US$ 8,150 ( equivalent to $25,817.43 in 2023).

Osborne 1-(1981)

The invention of portable computers led the way for different computer corporations. The first truly portable computer was invented by Osborne Computer Corporation in April 1981. It was named Osborne1, by the name of Adam Osborne who officially designed it. It weighed 24.5 pounds with 5” display, which was comparatively less than the Xerox Note Taker. Then it was used as a commercially portable computer on a large scale. In the same year, Epsonn also released its first model of a portable computer, the “Epson HX-20” with a built-in printer.

TRS-80 Model 100-(1983)

In 1983, Radio Shack invented the portable computer “TRS-80 Model 100 in the United States. The first LCD feature was used in this portable computer. This computer was originally manufactured by Kyocera and was sold in Japan.

SX-64 Commodore(1984)

The first full-color display screen feature was introduced in Commodore SX-64 the first portable computer. It was invented by Commodore and was sold for 995$. It weighed around 20 pounds at that time.

Bondwell 2-(1985)

Bondwell 2 Laptop was launched in 1985, based on the first portable computers such as the Xerox Note Taker and Osborne 1. It contained a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, a z-80 CPU with four megahertz, 64K RAM, and CP/M as an operating system.

PC Convertible-(1986)

IBM launched its first laptop in 1986, which was PC Convertible. Its weight was 12 pounds and this was the first laptop that weighted 15 pounds at that time.

Zenith Data Systems-1987

In 1987, the U.S. Air Force purchased more than 200,000 laptops. This contract was taken by Zenith Data Systems who was responsible for the manufacture and purchase of laptops. This type of purchase of laptop Computers at a large scale by the Air Force brought a change in the invention of the laptop computer technology.

Vectra Portable CS Laptop-(1987)

Hewlett-Packard invented this laptop in 1987. Vectra Portable CS Laptop came with a 3.5 inch floppy disk feature which was capable of using 1.44 MB diskettes. It was the first laptop ever that was using such features.

Compaq SLT/286-(1988)

Compaq launched its first laptop “Compaq SLT/286” in 1988. In laptop history, Compaq launched its first laptop with an internal hard drive and battery-powered features.

Macintosh Portable(Mac Portable)-(1989)

Apple launched its first laptop in 1989, named Macintosh Portable (Mac Portable). It was an ordinary one. Its cost was 6500$ and it didn’t sell well at that time.

NEC UltraLite-(1989)

Like Apple, in 1989 NEC also launched its NEC UltraLite laptop. Its weight was hardly less than 5 pounds and it was considered as the first notebook-style laptop.

Apple Powerbook-(1991)

After launching the Macintosh Portable, Apple didn’t achieve the desired results. So Apple revised their policy and reworked the concept of a laptop. At last in October 1991, Apple released the Powerbook. Its main features included a trackball for navigation and palm rests. The PowerBook introduced other models within years, like a touchpad, 256 colour display having built-in ethernet networking port.

Advanced Power Management(APM)-1992

Intel and Microsoft developed and released an APM Specification for laptop computers in 1992 by working together. APM stands for advanced power management. The first touchpad-featured laptop Computer was also developed and released in the same year by Olivetti.


In 1994, IBM launched the Thinkpad laptop 775CD which contained an integrated CD-ROM Drive feature.

Toshiba Portege 2000-(2002)

In 2002 Toshiba launched its first laptop Computer, which was the thinnest laptop in the history of laptops. Its name was Toshiba Portege 2000. Its size was only ¾ of an inch at the thickest part. Its main feature was a 1.8” hard drive.

Toshiba Portege M100-(2003)

Toshiba Portege M100-(2003) contained a slim DVD-ROM Drive. It was the first laptop to have this feature. This laptop was launched by Toshiba in 2003.

ASUS Eee PC 701/ Netbook-(2007)

In 2007, ASUS launched its first-ever unique model Eee PC 701. It is a kind of laptop Computer. Netbook is designed to run only web applications. This netbook was first created to develop the nation as part of one laptop per child program. It contained an Intel Celeron M-Processor,4 GB SDHC Storage disk, and also a 7” screen. It was the first notebook to be available.

MackBook Air-(2008)

In January 2008, Apple launched its first MacBook Air Laptop, the thinnest laptop Computer available at that time in the market. The first two-in-one laptop named TouchSmart tx2 launched by HP has multi-touch features. It can be used as a stylus or multiple fingers for input.


In May 2011, at the Google I/O conference, SAMSUNG and Acer released their first Chromebook.

Samsung OLED-(2023)

Samsung is going to launch an advanced technology-based laptop Computer. They announced in January 2023, that they are going to manufacture the first organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens for the laptops. These screens will be 13 inches and 16 inches having touch screen features. Moreover, their resolution will be 3K and up to 120 HZ refresh rate.


At present time, with the advancement of technology laptops have become more advanced and efficient as compared to older ones. New ideas and inventions made them more precise and useful. That’s why laptops are playing a very important role in every field of life. Laptops have lots of advantages in every field of life. New technology creates new and advanced versions of laptops as compared to older versions. New models are smaller in size and also more lightweight than the old versions. These improvements will continue as the new technology develops.

You May also Like to Read!

What is a Computer?