Amstrad ALT-386SX Laptop Computer

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The ALT-386SX dates from 1988 and is a laptop computer based on the Intel 80386SX (so without the mathematical coprocessor built-in) with a clock speed of 16 megahertz. There is version on the market that is almost identical to the 386SX but based on the Intel 80286 (AT) processor, with the type designation ALT 286. I obtained one during the HCC!dagen 2006 and will investigate it (to be continued). The facts and figures on this page only relate to the 386SX version, although these can also apply to the ALT-286. The computers look identical and use, at least, the same battery pack and share the User manual and even the Service manual (that we also have) which indicates that many parts can be exchanged between the two models. The 286 comes with a 20 megabytes hard disc and the 386SX with an 80 or a 170 megabytes hard disc.

A characteristic design feature of this laptop is the single eccentrically fitted hinge on the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD screen). Instead of in the middle, as you would expect, this is fitted to the extreme right of the base unit.


MODEL                      ALT386SX
Processor                  80386SX
Speed                      16MHz (switchable !0 8MHz)
RAM                        1Mb {2Mb and 4Mb upgrades
Expansion Slot             1 x 16-bit, half length
Power Save Features        Power down of LCD & HDD after user
Hard Disk                  40Mb (25ms access time)
Floppy Drive               1 x 3.5" x 1.44Mb
External Floppy Drive      1 x 3,5" x 720Kb or 1.44Mb
Graphics                   VGA/EGA/CGA/MOA/Hercules                
Parallel Port              l x 25-pin D-type
Serial Port                2 x 9-pm D-type
Keyboard                   85-key, integrated numeric Keypad, 12 function keys                             Maths co-processor         Socket available
System Reset Switch        Available
External interlaces        VGA Monitor Port
Supplied Software          MS-DOS 3 30 Operating System         


Width                      318mm
Depth                      380mm
Weight                     7.00Kg (inc. battery pack}    6.00Kg {without battery pack                            

Type                       Backlit LCD  
Dimensions                 223 x 169rnm
Resolution                 640 x 480 pixels

Made in Japan. Our machine has a serial number of N15136136 A and was kindly donated by Tom Armitstead

Manufacturer: Amstrad
Date: 1988

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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH31788. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


Amstrad ALT-386SX Laptop Computer

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