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    About the Atari Portfolio Palmtop
 
            MS-DOS Compatible
 
 
 
     Remember a few years ago when desktop computers were invented?
 Computers that use to take up an entire floor of a building now takes up
 the top of a desk!  Everyone then said that one day they will invent a
 full-featured personal computer that could fit inside of your pocket!
 
 Well those days are here and Atari has stretched technology to its limits
 to bring you the Atari Portfolio Palmtop MS-DOS Compatible computer.
 
     The Portfolio features are the following:
 
 Processor:             80C88System
 Clock Speed:           4.9152 MHz
 Internal RAM:          128K (externally expandable to 640K)
 Internal ROM:          256KB
 Display:               Supertwist LCD display
                        Text mode - 40 character x 8 line
                        Graphics mode -- 240 x 64 pixels
 Keyboard:              63-key QWERTY
 Sound:                 Speaker with telephone dialing, 25 melody
                        tones from 622 to 2489 Hz and Key Clicks
 Expansion Bus:         60 pin
 Card Drive:            Solid-state with card drive for optional 32K,
                        64K or 128K memory (RAM) cards; 64K or
                        128K programmable (PROM) cards; 128K
                        masked ROM cards, 512K Flash Memory cards
 Weight:                15.87 ounces with batteries
 Size:                  7.8 x 4 .1 x 1.2 inches
 Power:                 3 AA alkaline batteries or optional AC adaptor
 Options available
 for Portfolio:         Smart Parallel Interface -
                         For printers, PC file transfer and other
                         "Centronics" parallel devices ($49.95)
                        Serial Interface -
                         For modem, printer and other RS232-C
                         serial devices ($74.95)
                        Memory Expander Plus -
                         Expands main memory by 256K RAM.
                         Includes additional card drive
                        PC Card Drive -
                         Read/write Portfolio cards. ($99.95)
                         Includes interface card for standard PC bus
                        AC Adaptor -
                         Optional power supply for extended use ($9.95)
 Extra RAM Cards -      32K RAM Card ($64.95)
                        64K RAM Card ($89.95)
                        128K RAM Card ($154.95)
                         (All prices are retail.
                         They may be lower at your Atari Dealer.)
 Software available
 on Portfolio's ROM:    Lotus 1-2-3 File-compatible spreadsheet
                        Text editor with basic word processing funtions
                        Calculator with five memories, four number formats
                         and editable "tape" of calculations
                        Address book with virtually unlimited name and
                         address storage and automatic phone dialing
                        Personal calendar/appointment book with programmable
                         alarms
                        File transfer to upload and download files from
                         compatible PC using optional Smart Parallel Interface
                        Clipboard to move or copy data within a file or between
                         files or programs
                        Operating system similar to MS-DOS 2.11
 
     Due to the popularity of the palmtop, new products are being released
 for it all the time.  Software is continuing to be developed for it and P.D.
 programs are coming in left and right.  Hardware is also being developed for
 it like a 20 Meg Hard drive and 512k RAM Expansion.  The Portfolio can also
 transmit data between an MS-DOS compatible, a Macintosh, and even an Atari ST
 computer.
 
     The following article is by Tony Thomas, a Portfolio user here on the
 Atari SIG.  This may give you more information on the Portfolio from a
 user's point-of-view.
 
 -----
 
     Atari Portfolio (Review)
     by Tony Thomas
 
     If you were to tell me a few years ago that there would be a
 full-function, 8088-based computer that you could hold in the palm of your
 hand, I wouldn't have believed it.  Yet, I'm writing this article on just
 such a marvel of computer technology - the Atari Portfolio.
 
     The Portfolio redefines the word "portable".  When I bought my first
 portable computer - a CP/M-based Kaypro 2X -over five years ago, it weighed
 in at a hefty 25 pounds!  So on thereafter, I picked up another "portable"
 - a NEC 8201 (similar to Tandy Model 100) - which was a vast improvement,
 weighing in at about 5 pounds.  The Portfolio, by contrast, tips the scales
 at just over a pound!  In fact, I was even able to weigh it myself on a tiny
 Pelouze postal scale!!  Now, the obvious question is: Just how powerful
 is it?   While the Portfolio won't do away with the desktop computer, it is
 the perfect portable supplement to it.  Since it fits into a coat pocket and
 runs for more than fifty hours on a single set of batteries, the Portfolio
 is the perfect traveling companion that will be at home, on a plane, in a
 hotel room or even at the beach.  Files can be transferred to and from the
 Portfolio to your desktop computer via the optional serial interface or to
 an IBM-PC or compatible via the optional Smart Parallel interface.
 Long term storage is also available via memory cards - an expensive medium
 (about $2-3 per Kilobyte) -limiting the Portfolio's usefulness as a stand-
 alone computer.  How compatible is the Portfolio with a PC?  First of all,
 its internal memory is only 128K, making it only possible to run the most
 miniscule PC applications.  Secondly, its operating system - DIP DOS - is
 similar to MS-DOS 2.11 in nearly every respect, except in the area of
 graphics.  Since it does not permit direct screen calls and since the screen
 is only 40 characters by 8 lines), only simple programs that address the
 screen through DOS can be used.  They mostly fall into the category of
 simple utilities.  The Portfolio, however, does contain some very useful
 application programs which replicate some of the more powerful mega-programs.
 The word processor is a simple ASCII editor with basic cursor movement and
 search and replace functions.  It is adequate for routine tasks or for
 material that will be later edited and formatted on a desktop computer
 (though the Portfolio does offer some print formatting options allowing
 material to be printed directly from that machine).  The spreadsheet
 emulates the basic functions of Lotus 1...2...3 Release 1A.  Lotus
 spreadsheets (memory permitting) can be loaded into the Portfolio and vice-
 versa.  The other applications (Address Book, Diary, Calculator) are
 similarly straight forward and simple to use.
 
     Is the Portfolio worth it?  If you need desktop power in a tiny package,
 the answer is a resounding yes!  While not as powerful as laptops like the
 Toshiba T1000, the Portfolio stands head and shoulders above PIMs
 (Pocket Information Managers like the Sharp Wizard and the Casio Boss) which
 are an electronic replacement to a Day Runner - address book/notepad/dairy.
 The Portfolio is a palmtop powerhouse that will enable you to unether the
 capabilities of your desktop computer and take it with you.
 
 -----
 
     The Portfolio as you have read is a powerful small machine.
 The days of computer systems as gifts in your cereal boxes might not
 quite be here but it's getting closer...
 
     The Atari Portfolio retails for an amazing $229.99!
 
 Updated: 01-15-94
 
 
 


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