Poqet PC, Prime and Plus

When the Poqet PC came out in 1989, it literally set the computer world on it's collective ear!  Who would have thought you could make a portable computer this small and still be this powerful.  Sure, there had been other portable DOS compatibles out, but nothing even approached this level of sophistication.  The most notable was the Atari Portfolio, but the Pofo, as it was nicknamed, had a much smaller screen, only 128K of RAM and memory cards were totally incompatible.

The Poqet was almost 100% compatible with just about every DOS program out there.  A full 80 X 25 screen and 512K of memory and battery life out the wazoo assured the Poqet would be a smash hit, and it was.  It was such a revolutionary computer PC Magazine awarded it their Technical Excellence Award.  And  Byte Magazine gave it an Award of Distinction.

The Poqet utilized a CMOS 7MHz 8088 with 512K of RAM.  It ran what seemed like forever on 2 AA batteries.  The display was a standard CGA compatible and instead of floppy drives, 2 PCMCIA card slots were available.  Cards up to 2 Mb could be used provided they were Type I.  Memory was also divided up to include a 22K RAM Disk.

A second version, called the Prime, was introduced and bumped RAM up to 640K.  Power management utilities were significantly upgraded and other tweaks.  The ways to tell the difference between the Classic and the Prime were to look on the top of the display.  The Classic has a raised logo and the Prime is flat.  The inside display bezel also has "The Poqet PC" in gold on the top left corner and "Poqet" in red on the lower right.  The Prime has "The Poqet PC" in white on the top right.  A small stop to prevent the screen from being opened up more than 180 degrees was also molded into the Prime's case.  DOS remained the same, 3.30, for both.

The Poqet PC Plus is an entirely different creature.  Created after Poqet had been bought out by Fujutsu, it was a quarter pound heavier, the Plus went with DOS 5.0, a much thicker case and changed the batteries to a rechargeable NI-CAD pack.  The cpu was changed to an NEC V30 clocking at 16 MHz.  The display was updated to include backlighting.  However, this greatly shortened battery life.  Probably why they went with a rechargeable pack.

The Plus could also utilize Type 2 PCMCIA cards up to a capacity of 20 Mb.

Unfortunately, unless you were an insurance agent, you probably weren't going to find a Prime or a Plus.  Poqet/Fujitsu determined this would be the primary market for these 2.  Not sure why, but by doing so, they really restricted their market for these.  Eventually, Fujitsu gave up on this particular market and sold their remaining stock to California Digital.  Fact is, if you want a Plus, you can still get it today from them.  Check it out!  Of course, there's always ebay!

Before giving up entirely on the Poqet nameplate, Fujitsu did come out with something called the PoqetPad Plus.  Sort of a PDA/workslate type of computer, it had a virtual keyboard and a stylus.  Essentially, it was a Plus without a keyboard.  There's not a whole lot of information on the web about this particular item.

The original Poqet PC.  You can see the gold logo on the top left and the red logo on the bottom right.

The Prime.  Logo is down to white on the top right.  Little more memory, but essentially the same machine.

The Plus.  It even looks heavier.  Actually, it's only a few ounces heavier, but battery life is MUCH lower.  But the display is easier to read!

Yep, Poqet even had an external battery powered floppy drive if you needed it.

Now this is a pain in the rump!  This is the parallel interface.  You have to screw this heavy clunker into the expansion bus.  Not a very intelligent design.

The parallel and serial ports on the Plus.  Somewhat better, but like I said on the Zeos Pocket PC, where in the heck do you find these connectors!?!?!?

The PCMCIA card slots.  Looks the same for both the Classic and the Prime.  Type I only here folks.

The Plus got the ability to use Type II cards with a greater capacity.

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