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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved

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Portable 68k Amigas

At one time or another the majority of Amiga owners have wished that a portable Amiga had been released. Its omission from the Commodore line-up has been puzzling, most of its competitors have developed a portable machine at one stage or another. Even Atari had some success in the laptop market! Unfortunately, the Amigas custom chipset has proven to be a hindrance to those who want a cost-effective 'Classic' Amiga laptop. For the moment, the only viable alternative is to use a Mac or PC laptop and a copy of UAE.

SX-Amiga

SX- 64 Prototype Model
The first portable Amiga was built by one of the Amigas creators, Dale Luck, while he was still working for Commodore-Amiga. The machine was built into an old SX-64 case but he indicated the small screen was far from satisfactory.
 
Retail Price (circa 1988?): Unreleased
Source: AmiExpo, Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York, 1989

Edotronic
Edotronic
A second portable SX64-inspired machine was demonstrated by the German-based Edotronic in Munich during 1989. The SX-64 casing features a standard Amiga 2000 motherboard.
 

Retail Price (circa 1989?): Unreleased
Source: AmigaHistory.de

The JourneyMan

JourneyMan- Portable Amiga
The second portable Amiga to be created was sold by Micro Momentum during the AmiExpo 1989 show. The emphasis is upon a 'luggable' machine rather than a laptop. The Amiga fits into a briefcase design and uses an amber monitor for display. Reports of the show are surprisingly skimpy on the exact specifications of the machine, although a standard A500 motherboard would be the most likely candidate.
 
Retail Price (circa 1989): 2495 US Dollars
Source: AmiExpo, Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York, 1989

Gigatron

A German company called Gigatron announced their aim to launch a portable Amiga at the Hanover 1990 computer fair. Reports indicated that the machine was based upon an entirely new motherboard that the company had created. Expansion was via a single expansion slot, presumably Zorro, that would allow the use of all A2000-compatible peripherals.
The machine was planned to use an gas plasma or 16 grey scale LCD display. The cost would vary according to the individuals' choice: the LCD display would cost £1,700, while the more expensive gas plasma would retail at £2,500. In addition, there was a choice of 20, 40, or 100Mb 2.5-inch hard drive. The machine was expected to go on sale between April and July 1990, but Commodore intervened and threatened to take the company to court if they released the machine.
 
Retail Price: (circa 1990): LCD display: £1,700
Gas Plasma: £2,500
Source: Amiga Computing March 1990

Newer Technologies Model-10

The Model-10 was the only portable Amiga to have development completed. The machine was based upon an entirely new motherboard design but used the existing Amiga chipset and operating system to ensure compatibility. The $1,800 portable was developed by Kansas-based Newer Technologies and was due to be distributed by Briwall. The machine was slightly smaller than an A3 piece of paper and about 2-3 inches thick, which would unfold to reveal a 10-inch colour or mono screen. A high end version was quoted as using a "fast" version of the 68030 processor.
Reports at the time suggest that the company denied Commodore access rights to the portable design. In turn, Newer Technologies was refused a licence to manufacture the required Amiga chips and ROMs. Both companies were within their rights to pursue these actions, but they both lost.
 
Retail Price: (circa 1990): $1,800
Source: Various Amiga titles, especially Amiga Format No. 32

Silent PAWS

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The PAWS (Portable Amiga Workstation) from US-based Silent Paws was an hardware upgrade to the existing A1200 system. The kit rehoused the Amiga motherboard and keyboard inside a portable case and used the LCD display via some tweaking of the VGAOnly monitor driver settings. An interesting effort to utilise existing PC technology and avoid licencing difficulties. The A4000 version turned the machine into a luggable unit.
 
Retail Price: (circa 1996): ?
Source: Various Amiga magazines, Internet

Puma

After developing the PAWs upgrade kit for existing Amigas (see above), Silent PAW Productions  cited their desire to produce a true Amiga laptop called the Puma.  However, a lack of funding prevented them.
 
Retail Price: (circa 1996): Unreleased
Source: Various Amiga magazines

A4030L and A4060L Portable

Amiga 4060L
The portable Amigas in development were a source of great excitement for Amiga owners towards the end of 1996. The 'luggable' systems, developed by Quikpak, were the first official Amiga clones to be aimed at the portable video market. For a time it even appeared that Quikpak would buy the Amiga itself. Unfortunately, the Gateway purchase and a lengthy legal battle with Escom representatives shrunk the company to a one-man operation. Read more.
 
Retail Price: (circa 1997): A4030L (030 version) - $3997
A4060L (060 version) - $4497
Source: Quikpak web site

SUZANNE

suzanne
Suzanne is the product of an article by Simon Archer on his efforts to create an Amiga laptop. The DIY machine is based upon an expanded A600 motherboard and the combination of cheap PC hardware. Since the article was written, Simon has replaced the greyscale screen with a colour unit. Read more.
 
Retail Price: (circa 1996): Under £500
Source: CU Amiga Magazine, October 1997

BoXeR Laptop

A rumour quotes Joe Torre as saying the BoXeR development team were working on a Boxer-derived Amiga laptop during 2000 .
Retail Price: (circa 2000): ?
Source: Amiga Network News- August 2000

 

Wooden Amiga laptop

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In the same creative spirit that produced the Suzanne, Volker Mohr created a portable A1200 unit that fits inside a wooden case. Read more.

Retail Price: (circa 2002): ?
Source: Aminet

BACK

Last Update: 1/11/2001


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Latest updates to the Amiga History Guide. (more)


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· Amiga Hardware
· Amiga History.de
· Amiga Magazine Rack
· Amiga-news(en)(de)
· Amiga.org
· Amiga World
· AmigaOS 4.0
· Amiga University
· Commodore Retrobits
· Dave Haynie archive
· Lemon Amiga
· MorphOS Support
· morphos-news.de

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