Compaq Concerto 2840A
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The Compaq Concerto was a laptop computer made by Compaq, introduced in 1993. Concerto was the first tablet computer manufactured by Compaq on a large scale.
There were three Concerto models, varying in hard disk capacity, and processor speed. All had 4 MB of RAM soldered to the motherboard, which was expandable to 20 MB using proprietary memory modules.
There were two processor options: Intel 486SL @ 25 MHz or 33 MHz. The 25-MHz model was available with either a 120-MB or 240-MB IDE hard disk drive, and the 33-MHz model had a 240-MB IDE hard disk drive. Both models had a built in 3.5-inch 1.44-MB floppy disk drive.
All models shipped with MS-DOS 6.2, with Compaq's unique set of DOS extensions for power management, configuration and model specific help. Windows for PEN Computing Version 1, which was Windows 3.1 with necessary add-ons for pen operation, including handwriting recognition, was also pre-installed.
The laptop had two Type II PCMCIA slots, which could also be used as a single Type III PCMCIA slot. An internal modem was available as an add-on. A Concerto-specific docking station was also available.
The Concerto was not a very successful laptop, but it did have some special features: a detachable keyboard, and a pen and touchscreen (the touchscreen only worked with the special pen). It could be considered to be ahead of its time. The pen had a button which could indicate double-click or right-click. (Touching the screen gave a single-click.) The position of the pen could be detected, and the correctly placed pointer could be displayed, even when the pen was up to 1 cm away from the screen. This could e.g. trigger tooltip text display in newer operating systems.
Its screen had Wacom functionality, giving it some pointing properties which are still (in 2012) unique:
The Concerto was a unique design, in as much as it was "upside-down" - the main body including the motherboard, hard disk drive, floppy disk drive, and expansion slots were behind the screen. The detachable keyboard was used as the lid but could be completely removed, at which point the Concerto became what is known today (2012) as a slate PC. The pen was connected to the Concerto through an RF link, and there was a compartment in the Concerto for the pen.
Operating system MS-DOS 5.0 / Windows for PEN Computing 1.0
CPU Intel Intel 80486, 25 or 33 Mhz
Storage capacity 100Mb harddrive; internal 3,5" floppy drive, 1,44Mb
Memory 1 Mb
Display VGA: 640×480 grayscale
Touchpad 83 keys, QWERTY
SYSTEM RAM 4 MB
HARD DRIVE(S) 120 MB (total)
Screen surface Matte / anti-glare
Processor speed25 MHz
Our Compaq Concerto is a Series 2840A machine and is complete with a soft carry case, manuals and software. It was kindly donated by Grant Mackenzie.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH22981. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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