By 1992, once fast-growing Amstrad was struggling. Its reputation as a PC maker had been undermined by a batch of dodgy Seagate disk drives at the same time that bigger-name vendors were engaged in a price war, squeezing Amstrad out of the market.
The NC 100, NC 150 and NC 200 were three products that its founder Alan Sugar was hoping would help revive the company's fortunes.
Cutting edge, they were not. Both were based on old eight-bit Zilog Z80 microprocessors. Curiously, both machines came with a BBC Basic interpreter on which users could develop their own applications.
The NC 100 was a £199 notebook computer the size of a piece of A4 paper, with a full size keyboard and a "letterbox" screen at the top, offering 80 columns by 8 lines.
It had a RS232 serial port and a Centronics parallel port for printer and communications. Built-in were 64 kilobytes of memory, expandable to 1 megabyte with the addition of an add-on memory card.
"If you can't use this new computer in five minutes, you'll get your money back," boasted the company in its launch advertising. For ease of use, it had four colour-coded keys giving instant access to a number of built-in applications, including a word processor, calculator, diary and address book.
Our 1992 unit has a model number of NC100 and a serial number of 23107711 A2UK-N and comes with a soft case and power supply.
This exhibit has a reference ID of CH49463. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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