Epson HX-20 – Worlds First Laptop

Boy am I happy about this one.

I first saw the Epson HX-20 back when I was working a computer store in New Jersey in the 80’s. I believe I read some articles about it in Infoworld or something similar, and thought it was awesome. At some point I got to look at one / type a few characters on it, but never got to own one.

Until now!

Epson HX-20

This came to me as part of a large equipment sale not far away. It is in EXCELLENT shape, complete with carrying case, power supply, and a couple microscassettes. The printer works fine, everything is in perfect working order.

Released to mass market in 1982, this is widely recognized as the very first laptop computer. It is A4 sized, has decent battery life, a full stroke, full sized keyboard, and many expansion ports.

Specifications:

  • Released: 1982
  • Original price: $795 ($2040 in 2020 dollars)
  • CPU: Dual Hitach 6301 CPU at 614khz
  • Memory: 16k RAM (expandable to 32k)
  • Display: 4lines at 20 characters
  • Graphics: 120×32
  • Batteried: NiCad
  • Weight: 3.5lbs

The unit works perfectly, and is a true delight to type on and tinker around with. I will be a great addition to my collection. I’m looking forward to learning more about it!

Dave Shevett

About

A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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2 thoughts on “Epson HX-20 – Worlds First Laptop

  1. Hello,
    There’s a fair number of these about still, folks actually trying to do things with it. I got mine way back Dec 82, it still works, but has a few problems which I can work around. I now tend to use a connection to laptop to SAVE/LOAD to .WAV files, which works quite well, and this allows use of hxtape utility. I got the TF-20 floppy disk drive way back too, but this seems to work still but will not ‘connect’, although I can still access the disks via PC. I got the HCCS Forth ROM for mine, which worked pretty well.
    Geoff, Guisborough, England

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