Data General-One; notebook machine features full-size LCD. John J. Anderson.
The DG-1 the first entry by mini-computer manufacturer Data General into the world of microcomputing, is a 10 lb. notebook portable that outperforms all but the mightiest desktop machines. The system sports a full-screen liquid crystal display of 80 columns X 25 lines in the text mode. This, along with 128K RAM and a single built-in disk drive, is very competitively priced at $2895 list.
This new model is the first personal computer to incorporate an LCD capable of displaying text and graphics with the resolution and in the exact proportions of a conventional computer terminal screen. In bit-mapped display, resolution is 640 X 256 pixels, and graphics capability is standard. The unit sports a 79-key, full-size, full-stroke, Selectric style keyboard. It has rudimentary diagnostics telecommunications, and text editing programs is ROM, and a clock/Calendar. Dual serial ports are standard.
Built around a CMOS 80C88 processor, the unit runs industry standard operating systems such as MSDOS, CPM-86, and Venix (an AT&T licensed implementation of Unix), and is claimed by Data General to be fully compatible with the IBM PC. As usual, we offer standard caveat: a potential buyer should make sure that the software he wants to run will in fact run on any compatible, before a purchasing decision is made.
The DG-1 can be fitted with up to 512K of RAM and two 3.5" double-sided microfloppy drives of 737K each. In addition, an optional external 5.25" IBM compatible drive makes thousands of existing applications programs available. DG is planning to offer a PC-compatible expansion chassis for its new portable, providing users with additional features such as color and monochorome terminal support, memory expansion, hard disk capability, and bus space for up to five full-size expansion cards.
Also offered as options are an internal 300 baud modem, rechargable nicad battery pack, and external 1200 baud modem. DG also plans to offer a $500 portable thermal printer, capable of 40 cps on roll or single sheet paper. It weighs 4 lbs., measures 3" X 12" X 4", and can be powered by AC or batteries.
Designed and develop jointly by a team of engineers from Data General's Japanese subsidiary, Nippon Data General, and U.S. engineers, the DG-1 is manufactured on a specially designed automated assembly line near Tokyo. The unique LCD screen is manufactured by Epson.
We will provide a definitive review of the product in an upcoming issue.
Data General Corporation, 4400 Computer Dr., Westboro, MA, 01580, (617) 366-8911.