Hewlett-Packard HP-100LX

Datasheet legend
Ab/c: Fractions calculation
AC: Alternating current
BaseN: Number base calculations
Card: Magnetic card storage
Cmem: Continuous memory
Cond: Conditional execution
Const: Scientific constants
Cplx: Complex number arithmetic
DC: Direct current
Eqlib: Equation library
Exp: Exponential/logarithmic functions
Fin: Financial functions
Grph: Graphing capability
Hyp: Hyperbolic functions
Ind: Indirect addressing
Intg: Numerical integration
Jump: Unconditional jump (GOTO)
Lbl: Program labels
LCD: Liquid Crystal Display
LED: Light-Emitting Diode
Li-ion: Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
Lreg: Linear regression (2-variable statistics)
mA: Milliamperes of current
Mtrx: Matrix support
NiCd: Nickel-Cadmium rechargeable battery
NiMH: Nickel-metal-hydrite rechargeable battery
Prnt: Printer
RTC: Real-time clock
Sdev: Standard deviation (1-variable statistics)
Solv: Equation solver
Subr: Subroutine call capability
Symb: Symbolic computing
Tape: Magnetic tape storage
Trig: Trigonometric functions
Units: Unit conversions
VAC: Volts AC
VDC: Volts DC
Years of production: 1990-? Display type: Graphical display  
New price:   Display color: Black  
    Display technology: Liquid crystal display 
Size: 6"×6"×1" Display size:  pixels
Weight: 12 oz    
    Entry method: Spreadsheet calculation 
Batteries: 2×"AA" alkaline + 1×"CR-2032" Lithium Advanced functions: Trig Exp Lreg Grph Solv Fin Cmem RTC Snd Mtrx BaseN 
External power: HP adapter   Memory functions: +/-/×/÷ 
I/O: Serial port, IR port, PCMCIA     
    Programming model: Spreadsheet data 
Precision: 16 digits Program functions: Jump Cond Subr Lbl Ind  
Memories: 1(0) megabytes Program display: Formula display  
Program memory: 1 megabytes Program editing: Formula entry  
Chipset: Intel 80x86   Forensic result:  

*512kB model also available

hp100lx.jpg (49494 bytes)Second in HP's line of MS-DOS compatible pocket computers, the HP-100LX offered numerous improvements over HP-95LX. Most significant among these is the display: the HP-100LX was the first pocket computer with a screen capable of showing 25 lines, each a full 80 characters in width. The display was, in fact, software-compatible with IBM's CGA (Color Graphics Adapter) specifications, which made the HP-100LX instantly compatible with a large number of third party MS-DOS applications.

Looking at this machine, I almost feel sad that the MS-DOS era is over. The HP-100LX is a superbly practical device, capable of performing most of the tasks we routinely use our computers for: text processing, spreadsheet calculations, notetaking or storing addresses. Although it was not designed for Internet use, third party applications (most notably, WWW/LX) make the HP-100LX a fully functional Internet device: it can be used for Web browsing, e-mail, and more. Yes, it does make you wonder why we need nearly a thousand times the memory, disk storage, or raw processor speed to accomplish the same tasks on our modern desktop computers.

Not forgetting its business customers, Hewlett-Packard included a financial calculator "applet" with the HP-100LX. Very similar to HP's "formula programmable" business calculators, it offers a comprehensive set of built-in functions and a powerful formula programming capability. An implementation of my favorite programming example, the Gamma function, neatly demonstrates this capability:


However, if you prefer to program this device in its "native" mode, Microsoft's DEBUG.COM is included along with other MS-DOS utilities; all you need is a set of machine language reference manuals and you can start writing your very own DOS programs in no time!