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A museum of old computers

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Epson HX-20

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A small computer in original case, with printer, LCD display and microcassett makes it to one of the very first to be called "real laptop". There have actually been some computers previously been called portable, but with emphasis on the "luggable" and without some of the facilities that Epson HX-20 had.

The small built-in matrix printer could print up to 24 columns and 42 rows per minute in text mode. It also passed the graphics and could print all the characters in the ASCII table. It´s also of the same type found in many calculators, so spare parts and papers is easy to get even today.

The LCD panel could show 4 lines of text with 20 characters per line. Each character is shown with 5 x 7 points. In graphics mode it showed 120 x 32 pixels.

If you wanted to expand the memory, you could replace the dummy toward a microcassetten (tape recorder). This Epson HX-20 has such a microcassett. You never needed to seek out the right file. The computer itself made it by fast forward or rewind.

On the left side there´s the option to plug in an optional ROM at up to 32 KB. Otherwise there was a socket space underneath for up to 8 MB ROM.

Is there any errors? e-mail and correct me!



Former owner: Anders Westerberg, Halmstad

Technical data

Year 1982
Origin Japan
Manufacturer Epson
Name HX-20
CPU 2 xHitachi 6301 (master and slave) which essetially is a boosted Motorola 6801
Speed 0,614 Mhz
RAM 16 KB up to 32 KB
I/O ports AC in (6V), RS-232C DIN 8 pin, serial DIN 5 pin, Barcode reader, Cassette in/out remote, headphone, microphone
Text modes 20 x 4, 7 x 5 dots/sign
Graphic modes 120 x 32
Colours Monochrome LCD
Sound Beep
Built in media LCD-display, matrix printer, microcassett drive (optional), 4 x Sub-C NiCd 1,2 V batteries
Power supply Built-in battery lasting 4 hours or 6V ACadaptor/charger