1983: RadioShack Model 100 - The First Truly Usable Notebook Computer
Radio Shack introduced the TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer in March 1983. This was essentially the first notebook-size computer that had a built-in display, regular keyboard, and could run on AA batteries. The unit had a 8 line by 40 character LCD display with BASIC and a word processor built into ROM. It initially sold for $800 in an 8K version and $1000 in a 24K version. Since the machine can run on disposable batteries it has continued to be used as a portable word processor in remote locations long after similar size but far more powerful notebook computers have appeared. Indeed, the machine continues to see use to the present day, with the active Club 100 on the Internet.