Compaq Portable III
Price: US $4,999.00 w/ 20meg HD
US $5,799.00 w/ 40meg HD
Weight:20 pounds.
CPU:Intel 80286, 12MHz
RAM:640k, 2048k max.
Storage:20 Meg hard drive
1.2Meg 5-1/4 inch floppy
Display:10" gas plasma screen
640 X 400 resolution
80 X 25 text
Ports:RGB, serial, parallel
Expansion:Optional external expansion
OS:Compaq DOS 3.31

The Portable III is a very handy, IBM compatible portable computer. Attractive and easy to lug around, it has a bright and easy-to-read gas plasma screen.

The screen pivots for a comfortable viewing angle, and the keyboard attaches to the system during transportation.

The built-in 20Meg hard drive means no floppy disks are required to run it. Sorry, there are no batteries, you have to plug it into a 110VAC power outlet.

An optional internal 1200 baud modem and additional memory are the only internal expansion capabilities.

Originally listed for $199, an external expansion chassis (model 2662A) capable of holding two full-length expansion cards can be attached to the back of the Portable III for additional capabilities.

Unlike modern computers, there is no BIOS or set-up screen in the Compaq Portable III computer (and many other old Compaq 286 and 386 systems). You can download and create "Compaq Diagnostic" disks here, but they aren't really that useful:
  • = 360K 5.25-inch floppy
  • = 720K 3.5-inch floppy

  • Download this PDF file for system jumpers, switches, part numbers and upgrade options.

    Related Links

  • Compaq Portable III at Silicon Heaven
  • Compaq Portable III at Net 2000 Plus
  • Portable III from PC Museum

  • History of the Compaq Computer Corporation

    • 1982: February - Compaq Computer Corporation is founded by Rod Canion, Jim Harris, and Bill Murto, all former senior managers of Texas Instruments who were unhappy with how TI was running it's computer business and they thought they could do a better job.
    • 1982: November - Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Portable PC.
    • 1983: March - Compaq Computer begins shipping the Compaq Portable PC.
    • 1983: October - Compaq Computer introduces the Portable Plus.
    • 1983: December - Compaq Computer makes its first public stock offering, raising US$67 million.
    • 1986: February - Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Portable II.
    • 1986: April - Compaq Computer joins the Fortune 500 list faster than any company in history.
    • 1986: April - Compaq Computer ships its 500,000th personal computer.
    • 1986: September - Compaq Computer introduces the first 16-MHz Intel 80386-based PC, the Compaq Deskpro 386.
    • 1987: October - Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro 386/20.
    • 1987: October - Compaq Computer introduces the 20-MHz Compaq Portable 386.
    • 1987: November - Compaq Computer makes its 1 millionth personal computer.
    • 1988: February - Compaq Computer reports sales for the year reach US$1.2 billion, setting the record as the fastest company to reach that mark.
      Source: Chronology of Events in the History of Microcomputers

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