Kyotronic clones
Released:1983
Price:US $799
Weight:1.7 kg, 3.8 pounds
CPU:80C85, 2.4MHz
RAM:16K, 32K maximum
Ports:RS-232, printer port
Display:40 X 8 character LCD display
Power:4 'AA' batteries
External 6vdc power supply
Storage:Audio cassette in/out
optional external floppy drive
OS:Menu operation to select apps.
Microsoft BASIC built in


In the early 80's, Kyocera (Kyoto Ceramics) of Japan designed an excellent portable computer based on the 80C85 CPU. This computer was so great in fact, that Tandy, NEC, and Olivetti all licensed the design from Kyocera and released their own computers with similar features.

These can be considered the world's first laptop computers, and were very popular due to their full size keyboard, great portablility, and large display. Newspaper reporters loved them!

The Tandy TRS-80 model 100 "Micro Executive Workstation" was by far the most popular, due to the Radio Shack chain of electronics stores throughout America.

From the KC-85 BASIC Reference Manual: "The large LCD screen gives it extremely advanced graphics capabilities for a portable computer (240 X 64 dots)."

There are no internal storage capability other than the battery-backed RAM, and a cassette recorder or external 5 1/4-inch floppy drive must be used for permanent data storage.

The built-in BASIC programming language was the last computer system of which Microsoft's Bill Gates wrote a significant amount of the code. Read more about it in the Bill Gates Interview from the Smithsonian Institute.

Similarities include:
  • Four "AA" batteries are all that are required to run, for up to 18 hours
  • There is no removable data storage, but the battery-backed CMOS RAM retains all data when the computer is off, even if the computer batteries are removed
  • Built-in applications include Microsoft BASIC, a Text editor and a Telecom application for modem communications.
  • Internal RAM and ROM socket(s) for additional application installation

    System differences:
     
    System: Kyotronic KC-85 Tandy TRS-80 model 100 NEC PC-8201a Olivetti M-10
    Memory : 16K - 32K 8K - 32K 16K - 96K
    (includes 32K battery-backed
    RAM cartridge in 'system slot')
    8K - 32K RAM
    32K - 64K ROM
    Built-in applications: BASIC
    Text
    Telcom
    ---
    ---
    BASIC
    Text
    Telcom
    Address
    Scheduler
    BASIC
    Text
    Telcom
    ---
    ---
    BASIC
    Text
    Telcom
    Address
    Scheduler
    Internal expansion: 1 ROM socket 1 ROM socket 2 ROM, 6 RAM sockets 4 ROM/RAM sockets
    Internal modem: none 300 baud none 300 baud, US version only
    External ports: RS-232
    Printer
    Cassette
    ---
    ---
    ---
    ---
    RS-232
    Printer
    Cassette
    Phone (modem)
    BCR (Bar Code Reader)
    ---
    ---
    RS-232
    Printer
    Cassette
    SIO1 (19200 baud serial)
    SIO2 (19200 baud serial)
    BCR
    System slot for RAM
    RS-232
    Printer
    Cassette
    Phone
    BCR
    ---
    ---
    LCD display: stationary, flat stationary, flat stationary, flat moveable, tilts 30
    Fame: The Original Most Popular Most Expandable Most Beautiful
    Descendants: None Model 102, 200 NEC 8300, 8401a None


    From the manual:
    "The Olivetti M10 is a small, portable, personal computer of such versatility that it is ideally adapted for use in the office, the home, or in the field."

    Related Links

  • Web 100 - The Internets First Tandy Portable Resource
  • Club 100
  • Ira Goldklang's TRS-80 Revived Pages
  • Kyocera Nec M100/102/200 Olivetti portables FAQ from Blinkenlights Archaeological Institute
  • Tandy Catalog Numbers from Tim Mann's TRS-80 Pages
  • WEB 8201 - Dedicated to supporting the NEC PC-8201A & PC-8300 laptops


  • Note: The 80C85 CPU is the same as on Sojourner, the rover sent to Mars! Here's why:

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