The first laptop computers did not have the running capabilities today’s computers have. Back then, there were only a couple of companies that were involved in the making of “portable” computers to which portable would have a weight around 20 lbs or more. They started to develop as early as the 1970s and 1980s but the most significant product came in 1981. March of 81 was the year the laptop was shown to the world with it’s portable properties. During it’s premier the “Osborne – 1” by Osborne Computer Corporation would lead the company in skyrocketing sales. Not to long after, other competitors would jump into the business of portable computers.
The next portable computer to have it’s 15 minutes of fame was the “GRiD Compass 1101” by Grid which released in 1982, weighing at 10 lbs. This portable computer packed a punch being used by NASA and the military. It seemed to be the most powerful computer at the time which mean’t it was also expensive. Within, the same year Epson released the “Epson HX – 20” on November 1981. Shortly, it looked like computers were becoming more and more portable. But compared to the weight of the “Osborne – 1” the “Epson HX – 20” was 21 lbs lighter with it’s weight at 3.5 lbs.
Being light weight was becoming a normal attribute for computers. But some companies still had a hard time trying to pertain things to a set amount.
All the computers listed above are computer’s that did not have the point and click option, as we do today. Meaning, no trackball or touchpad was apart of the laptop until 1989 when Apple Computers released the “Apple Macintosh Portable” it introduced the trackball and was Apple’s first portable computer. That same year, Atari also released the “Atari Stacy” which also included the use of a trackball. Five years later, the trackpad made its first appearance becoming apart of Apple’s “PowerBook 520”.
Towards, the end of the late 80’s leading into the early 90’s companies were revolutionizing the competition for portable computers. At this instant laptops were no longer weighing 20 plus pounds instead they were weighing at a minimum of 2 lbs and some even down to ounces. Some examples include: Atari Portfolio (1989) at 17.5 oz , Poqet Pc (1990) at 1 lb, Hewlett – Packard 95LX (1991) at 11 oz and Zeos Pocket PC (1992) at 1.2 lbs.
Overtime, companies started to challenge the product by adding components like extra memory, LCD screens, Battery life, and eventually pushing technology to its capacity.