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Friday, June 12, 2009

NEC UltraLite 1989

Nec ultra lite 1989Now-a-days we use the term notebook computer.This term notebook was first used by journalists when NEC ultralite released in 1989-as this excellent machine was the size of A4 sized paper like fewer other machines at that time.Yet it was not popular for general people because two facts-Hard disk2MB,slow processor(8086).

nec logo NEC logo(1899-1992)

The NEC UltraLite

The NEC UltraLite was an MS-DOS-basedportable computer in a "notebook" size.

NEC UltraLite

The product was originally developed by an NEC Japan telecommunications engineering team that was trying to make an inexpensive lightweight terminal for programming PABX systems. In 1988, as NEC was trying to create products to update their best selling MultiSpeed, the NEC engineering team in charge of developing personal computers showed the UltraLite to a product management team from NEC Home Electronics USA.

Tom Martin, the Vice President in charge of the group asked, "Can you make this thing run MS-DOS"? When an affirmative response was received, the NEC team knew they had a hit product on their hands.

The product was launched shortly before COMDEX in October 1988 at a gala event in New York City. It was applauded by the media, who were dying to find a small lightweight computing platform that could be used for note-taking and article writing. Unfortunately the publicity surrounding the UltraLite did nor reflect itself in consumer demand. This was due to the UltraLite's two Achilles heels ... the lack of a hard drive which prevented storage of one's work and the use of a relatively slow 8086-compatible processor when the market was moving to the 80286class.

So although the UltraLite ushered in a new era in portable computing. Its original design as a telecommunications maintenance terminal proved to be its commercial downfall. Commercial success in that product category was not achieved until Compaq launched its LTE brand nearly 12 months later Compaq LTE.

PC Magazine featured the UltraLite on its cover in November 1988 and shortly thereafter journalists began referring to the A4 sized computer as a "notebook" to distinguish it from the larger and heavier laptops of the time.

nec ultralite paper cutting



  • CPU: NEC V30(8086); Speed: 4.92/9.83MHz
  • Average wait states: 0 wait states
  • No co-processor support

RAM: 640K at 120 nanoseconds, memory standard


  • SCREEN: Supertwist backlit LCD
  • SIZE: 9.5" diagonal, 640 X 200 pixels
  • DOT PITCH: .33(W) mm X .54(H) mm
  • DOT/inch: 77(W) X 47(H)


HDD (Silicon): 2MB

  • Unformatted Capacity: 1.9 MB
  • Access Time: Track to Track 2.4 ms (sequential)
  • and Average 2.0 ms (random)
  • Transfer Rate: 87 KB/s

Interface: Proprietary 8-bit

HDD Controller: Standard XT

Interleave Factor: 1:1

Logical Configuration: 58 cyl.

Heads: 4

Sectors/Track: 17

Bytes/Sector: 512

Sectors/Cluster: 8


  • Seek: Typically 120 mA (active)
  • Idle: Typically 120 ma (active)

ROM/RAM Card Slot

Accepts optional 256KB/ram, 512KB or 1MB/ROM cards.

Access Time: Sequential: .025ms and Random: .025ms

Transfer Rate: 534 KB/s

Power Combustion: 10 mA

Portable Floppy Disk Drive (optional)

3.5" 1.44 MB Floppy Disk Drive

Access Time:

Sequential: 192 ms (720K); 193 ms (1.44MB)

Random: 192 ms (720K); 193 ms (1.44MB)

Data Transfer Rate: 21.6 KB/s

Number of Bytes/sector: 512 bytes

Size: 4 3/16" (W) X 6 7/8" (D) X 2" (H)

Weight: 1.78 pounds


* One 68 pin expansion port (connects to


* One 25 pin parallel printer port

Expansion Port (NEC Proprietary Bus)

Power Supply: +5V @ 500mA, 1.2 A (peak Current)


Modem: Internal 2400 BPS modem located on the

mother board


Style: Desktop equivalent PS/2 derivative

keyboard (without the center sections); 78 keys

12 function, imbedded numeric keypad, separate

cursor keypad. LED Indicators: Red indicators

are integrated in Caps Locks and NUM lock keys.

Laptop Ports

* One 68-pin expansion port (FDD)

* One 9-pin serial port (9-pin DIN)

* One DC-IN plug

* Two RJ-11 modem ports (TEL and LINE)

* RAM/ROM card slot

System Software

* MS-DOS 3.3

* Lap-link Version 2

* Microsoft DOS Manager Version 2.0


Power Supply:

Modular lightweight 120 V A adapter with

rechargeable batteries (one Molicel Battery and

one NiCd Backup Battery).

AC Adapter:

Voltage: 12.6 V

Capacity: 800 mAH

Watt-Hours: 6.75

Battery Life/Charge: 2 hours or more depending

on use

Recharging Time: 10-12 hours

Total Recharge Cycles: 400

Size: 4" X 2" X 0.5"

Weight: .397 pounds

Location: Compartment on bottom side of the


NiCd Backup Battery:

Voltage: 3.6 V

Capacity: 850 mAH

Watt-Hours: 3.06

Battery Life/Charge: 7 days

Total Recharge Cycle: 300

Size: 7.75" X 5/8" X 5/16"

Weight: 0.213 pounds

Location: Compartment on bottom side of the


The UltraLite's disk based SETUP config. allows

for intelligent power management. It is possible

to set the LCD backlighting to Auto-Power-Down

Mode. This programs the UltraLite to turn the

backlighting OFF after 5 minutes of keyboard

inactivity. The UltraLite can also be programmed

to use the LCD with full brightness or with only

half the brightness to conserve power.

System Unit:

Size: 11.75" (W) X 1.4" (H) X 8.3" (D)

Weight: 4.4 pounds (not including AC adapter)

System LED Indicator:

LOW POWER Indicator: The LOW POWER indicator on

the leftside of the LCD screen. It turns ON to

indicate low power.



Temperature: 32 deg. F to 122 deg. F (0 deg. C

to 50 deg. C)

Humidity: 20% to 80%


Temperature: 41 deg. F to 95 deg F. (5 deg. C to

35 deg. C)

Humidity: 20% to 80%


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