|LASER PC4 NOTEBOOK|
WWW.8BIT-MICRO.COM ONLINE VINTAGE COMPUTER MAGAZINE
ROM: 2MB (5MB on
Centronics Printer & Serial RS-232
Expansion: PCMCIA style Proprietary
Keyboard: 2/3 scale 57 Key (QWERTY)
Display: 4 x 40 LCD
Power: 12V (2.1mm + tip) 100 ma, or 4 AA batteries
Storage: Ram Internal
Dimensions: 7.6" x 10"
x1.3" (2 lbs.)
Many good portables were built around the Zilog Z-80 processor and Vtech from Hong
Kong came out with their efforts under the branded name of Laser, from Laser Computer
Inc. in the USA. Laser was more known for making 8088 desktop PC's in the 80's and for
the most part were parted IBM PC clones. It was interesting to find portables under the
same banner. The PC-4 was the first of what was to become the PC-5 and lastly the PC-
6. The latter installment came with Voice Recognition technology.
and for the most
part an interesting
unit. Packed with
a Spell Checker, 10
Appointment Book, Alarm Clock with 16 different alarms, Personal File, Systems software,
Word Processor, Accounting/Expense Ledger, Lotus Compatible Spreadsheet, File
Transfer Utilities, Telephone Dialer.
The Laser PC has a neat little file
transfer system using a transfer
cable, (optional) or a serial cable
with a null modem (optional)
Included here are the pin
assignments for construction of
your own cables. Also, the Laser
PC supports several standard printers, including the Apple ImageWriter, Brother HR-25,
Epson FX & MX Series, an the Panasonic KXP Series.
The best feature of the Laser PC4
is the built in Basic programming
language. This is not the full
GW-Basic from Microsoft but the
command set and syntax is almost
The internal memory is
expandable from 32K to 128K
using the same memory chips
found in the NTS / Citizen CBM-
0WP and the Tandy WP-2 and
WP-3's. I upgraded by PC-4 to
128K using a chip from my Tandy
The back of the case says that
there are no user servable parts
inside. Well two screws later and a little prying revealed it to be very true. The Laser PC-
4 is soldered from one end to the other. The flat cables connection the keyboard and the
display panel to the motherboard are hard soldered with no usage of Mylar connectors.
This is a real shortfall and collectors should keep this in mind when buying faulty units.
The LCD display panel was
manufactured from ALPS
Systems (Part# MDK341V-0), and
the keyboard had no identifiable
markings. The motherboard is
clearing marked (Laser TM) and it
was signed by W.H. Leung, the
electronic engineer who designed
Overall the Laser PC4 is a very collectable unit, and for the most part rare. The only
drawback is the small 4 x 40 (actually 38) display with no back lighting. But for an avid
collector it is a must have.
(c) 2004, 2005 Brian K. Hahn
All Rights Reserved.