Epson PX-8
Price:US $995
Weight:5 lbs, 2.3kg
CPU:Z-80 @ 2.45MHz
RAM:64K, 128K max
Display:80 X 8 text LCD
480 X 64 graphics
Storagemicro tape-drive
Ports:RS-232, serial
audio in/out, bar code
OS:CP/M 2.2 in ROM

In 1982, two years before the PX-8, Epson released their HX-20 portable computer, what many consider the first so-called notebook computer ever.

Now, in 1984, we have the PX-8, a similar but very different notebook computer system. While the earlier HX-20 ran BASIC, the PX-8 is one of the only handheld computer systems which runs CP/M. The PX-8 can also run BASIC, as it also exists in ROM.
This particular PX-8 has the optional memory expansion unit attached to the bottom of the system. It adds an additional 128K of RAM which can be used as a RAM-disk.

Seen below is the optional external floppy disk drive PF-10. Like the PX-8, it also can be run on batteries.

There is no room in this system for the micro-printer of the HX-20, but the micro-cassette drive is still present for data storage and retrieval. It can even play taped material such as voice or music through the PX-8's speaker.

Small ROM modules can be installed in the bottom of the unit which can including Wordstar, Supercalc, dBase II, and others. These ROM appear as drives to the operating system, and are accessed as such.

There are two slightly different versions, the "PX-8" and the "Geneva", with the later being intended for the American market. Some sources indicate that the Geneva ran at 4Mhz, but other sources dispute this claim.

Related Links

  • Review from Classic Computer Magazine Archive
  • PX-8 from "Oh no, not another computer museum!"
  • Epson CP/M Computer Technical Manuals from Classic-Computing.Net
  • PX-8 from Erik S. Klein's Vintage Computer Collection

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