Most historians believe the Osborne 1, invented by Adam Osborne in 1981, to be the first real portable computer. Weighing 24 pounds, including its 5-inch screen, the Osborne 1 was never a big success.Continue Reading
Other contenders include the Grid Compass, a somewhat sleeker computer invented in 1979 by William Moggridge and used on the space shuttle, and the Gavilian SC, a 1983 model invented by Manny Fernandez. Fernandez coined the term "laptop" to describe his computer, but the design was very similar to the Osborne 1.
The NEC Ultralite, featuring a clamshell design and MS-DOS operating system, was probably the first notebook-style laptop. This 5-pound business-friendly computer was released into the 1989 market with a price point between $4,000 and $5,000.Learn more about Computer History