Tadpole SPARCbook 3

The SPARCbook is a line of laptop computers based on SPARC microprocessors produced by Tadpole Computer (now General Dynamics).

These machines are compatible with other SPARC-based systems from Sun Microsystems and can run the Solaris operating system.

Tadpole was the first company to market a SPARC portable, which they called the SPARCbook. It was released in 1992. In the early 1990s Tadpole had the SPARC notebook market to itself.

Sparcbook3: 50Mhz MicroSparc, Weitek P9000 framebuffer, 9.5 TFT display at 640x480
A matched pair of low profile 60ns 72pin parity SIMMs are located under the panel in the battery compartment and are user replaceable.
The SparcBook 3 will run Sunos 4.1.3-u1 and any Solaris version up to Solaris 2.6.
14.4 fax/modem builtin (not upgradable), ISDN (needs a NT1 to work) and 10mbps ethernet (which needs a special cable to go to a AUI interface on the 3GX. The mini-26 to AUI cable is the same type that is used by Sparc5s and Sparc10s.)

"22 February 1994

From its US base in Austin, Texas, Cambridge-headquartered Tadpole Technology Plc yesterday introduced the Sparcbook 3 family of upgradable workstation-class notebook computers. Powered by a 50MHz Texas Instruments Inc microSparc processor delivering 59.1 MIPs, and weighing 2 lbs less than the company's earlier Sparcbook models, the new family consists of the Sparckbook 3 with colour thin film transistor screen, removable 2.5 disk drive, PCMCIA slots for two Type I/II devices or one Type III device, 2Mb frame buffer, 16-bit audio, and on-board ISDN capabilities; and the Sparcbook 3LC, a lower cost version with mono passive display, removable 2.5 drive, PCMCIA slots, 1Mb frame buffer, and 8-bit audio capability. They come pre-loaded with SunSoft Inc Solaris 1 or 2 and Version 2.0 of Tadpole's Nomadic Computing Environment. The system board, memory and disk drives can be upgraded. With SunSoft's WABI or Insignia Solution Ltd's SoftWindows, the Sparcbook 3 can run any Windows or MS-DOS software. The come with on-board Weitek P9000 graphics accelerator; IBM Corp Thinkpad keyboard with an integrated Pointing Stick and internal 12V Nickel Metal Hydride or external 12V Nickel Cadmium battery pack; the Sparcbook 3 costs $10,950, the 3LC costs $7,500, and they arrive next month."

Our SPARCbook has a serial number of S3A30302 was very kindly donated by Ian Spray.

Manufacturer: Tadpole
Date: 1994

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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH32324. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


Tadpole SPARCbook 3

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