[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Cambridge Z88

January 11th, 2010 by Benj Edwards

InterAct Sharkwire Online Nintendo 64 N64 Ad - 2000There’s a little bit of Clive in every box.

The Cambridge Z88 (1987) was a slim, diskless, battery-sipping laptop computer similar to the famous TRS-80 Model 100.

Interestingly, former VC&G contributor Gnome wrote about this machine for us in 2006. He makes specific note of the Z88’s relationship to Sir Clive Sinclair of Sinclair Research fame.

I don’t have a Z88, but I love laptops in this monolithic, almost slate-like form factor. If you have one you’d like to get rid of, I’m all ears.

[ From Byte Magazine, October 1988, p.88 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever owned a laptop with a non-folding screen (i.e. not a clamshell design) like the Z88 above? What did you like or dislike about it?

8 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Cambridge Z88”

  1. Jake Says:

    Man, I discovered the Z88 on Wikipedia about the same time I found out about the Model 100, they look like really interesting machines, but quite scarce on E-Bay.

  2. Pecoramatta Says:

    Odd enough, last week I published a retro scan of a Z88’s advertising on my blog…
    I own an Olivetti M10 (1984?), made on the same platform of TRS-80 Model 100, and it still works!
    Only eight lines, forty characters, nothing more than an expensive toy; in mid ninty I saw one still used to print museum tickets in Siena’s “Duomo”, here in Italy.

  3. Moondog Says:

    I consider this type of portable to be a “missing link” in the evolution of laptops. It’s definitely task-oriented, but still reminds me of a calculator than a pc.

  4. Gnome Says:

    Former? Hah! Think again!

    Oh, and a happy 2010!

  5. Retro Computers Says:

    No Disks – NO DOS. Love it!

    It just wasn’t ‘quite there’ that machine

  6. Mattel Aquarius Says:

    Why the discrepancy of the max RAM? In the side bar it says “…expands to over 1.5 megabytes.”

    In the text, it says “…expandable to over 3 megabytes.”

    While both can be technically correct at the same time, it seems like confusing marketing to me. It makes me wonder what the true maximum is.

  7. Justin Says:

    If I was old enough, I would have bought this as soon as it came out!

    The main selling point is that it was linkable to the IBM.

  8. Olga R Hepple Says:

    I have an immaculate Sinclair Cambridge Z88 Vintage Laptop Computer. There are bids from £25.00 so far on Ebay, so what would you be prepared to pay? Olga R Hepple

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