The TRS-80 Laptop Computers
WWW.8BIT-MICRO.COM ONLINE VINTAGE COMPUTER MAGAZINE
First Released: 1985
CPU: 8 bit 80C85 CMOS
Model 600 CPU: 16 bit 80C88 CMOS
RAM: 8k - 32k (224k for Model 600)
ROM: 32K - 72K (160K for Model 600)
Ports: One serial ports, One parallel
Modem: 300 baud Internal
Display 100 & 102: 8 x 40 LCD
Display 200: 16 x 40 LCD
Display 600: 80 x 16 LCD & 480 x 128
Storage Model 100/120 & 200: Tape
Storage Model 600: Internal 3.5" 360K
Operating System: MS-Multiplan, Basic
One distinction that Tandy can still hang onto is they marketed a laptop considered a first
that is still used professionally today. Having said that, the laptop we speak of is the TRS-
80, Tandy Model 100. By today's standard this unit is considered a word processor, but it
has the ability load and run business applications, games, and yes even a web server. (we
didn't make the last one up!)
Tandy produced an impressive
line-up, they first came out with a
hefty 3lbs unit dubbed the Model
100 and upgraded the unit as a
Model 102. They had a 8 x 40
LCD display, 32K in ROM and 24K
in RAM. (The Model 100 came
out with as little as 8K RAM) They
had a full 56-Key typewriter
keyboard and ran on only 4 AA
batteries! All this running on an 8-
bit 80C85 CPU with a clock speed
of 2.4 Mhz.. The Tandy model
102 has another distinction. It is
also the first laptop to be launched
in outer space on the space shuttle.
Tandy followed up those models
with modified versions. The Model 200 and Model 600. The Model 200 had an
improved display that folded open giving it a more modern look. The Tandy 200 had 16
x 40 LCD display and an expandable ROM to 104 Kbytes.
The Model 600 was a vastly
improved unit, but with
improvement went the very small
footprint and light weight
advantage of the Models 100 -
200. The Model 600 was
designed on a 16 bit 80C88 CPU
with a clock speed of 3.07 Mhz.,
160K ROM with 32K RAM
expandable to 224 Kbytes. It also
had a full sized keyboard, 80 x 16
LCD folding display supporting
480 x 128 dot graphics It also had
an internal 3.5"
360K floppy drive. Gone was the ability to run on 4 AA batteries. The Model 600 had an internal rechargeable battery claiming 6 hours of
operating time on one charge. The Tandy Model 600 weighed in at a hefty 9.5 lbs.
Tandy produced all these units with built-in software and supporting internal modems. The software loaded was a special version of Multiplan
giving the user Microsoft Word, a calendar, address book, modem dialer and terminal program as well as a very good little spreadsheet
program. The Model 600 had improved applications which included a configurable database application and contact manager. These
programs were all preinstalled on the ROM.
Richard Hansen Co-founder of Club 100 was recently interviewed on TECH-TV about the
current usage of the Tandy 100 and 102. He hi-lights how a Tandy 102 is installed in
every scrolling traffic sign in North America.
In 1991 Tandy released the Tandy WP2 (Word processor 2) and later followed up with
the WP3. This unit was marketed as a laptop word processor and included a similar
ROM pack found in the Model 100. The WP2 ROM was 256K and the it had 32K RAM
expandable to 64K. The machine was built on a Z80-type CPU with 5.5296 MHz clock
speed. The WP2 included a built in word processor a spell checker and a
communications program. Ports were included for tape storage, serial and parallel. This
unit is worth mentioning here because it was very much like the Model 100 in size,
keyboard and operation right down to the fact that it ran for 12 hours on 4 AA batteries,
and looked suspiciously like the original Model 100 and 102. Today you can still
download a WP2DOS program from Club 100 allowing you to use your MS
DOS/Windows system for drive and RAM storage.
Overall the TRS-80 line of laptops are great computers. If you are one of those people that have these we at 8bit-micro will have support for
you. As we built this site, watch for applications to download and a forum in which you can trade and sell all TRS-80 components.
Images from top to bottom: TRS-80 Model 100, TRS-80 Model 200, Tandy Model 600 and the Tandy WP2.
If you are interested in collecting vintage unit, you can visit our vintage store to see what we offer. By: Brian K. Hahn
(c) 2004, 2005, Brian K. Hahn
All Rights Reserved.