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Testing the Portfolio, first DOS-compatible palmtop computer

technofile  by al fasoldt

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Testing the Portfolio, first DOS-compatible palmtop computer 

By Al Fasoldt

Copyright © 1990, The Syracuse Newspapers

I finally had a chance to try out the world's smallest MS-DOS-compatible computer a few weeks ago at the Consumer Electronics Show. I came away impressed and disappointed.

I was impressed that the little computer, Atari's Portfolio, is as powerful as many larger PCs. It has a built-in text editor, a spreadsheet, a scheduler and more. It also has nearly all of the familiar MS-DOS commands. It didn't take any time at all for me to feel comfortable with it.

And the tiny computer—smaller than a VHS video tape—has a wonderful keyboard in every way but one. It's solid and has a great feel, and it's obviously well made (none of the tackiness that you'll find, for example, on many cheap laptops).

But that one deficiency is a big one. My hands just couldn't get used to the size of the keyboard, which is about one-third the size of a normal one. I kept missing the space bar when I tried to type.

Try it out anyway.

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