Apple iPad vs. TRS80 Model 100

The forthcoming Apple iPad will have a folding case/stand available (price not announced), visible in several configurations if you scroll down the technical specs page. When closed, the case looks like a fancy leather cover for a legal pad. Open, the case could have several modes, including one that reminds me of an old friend…

The first laptop computer, TRS 80 Model 100 Apple's iPad propped up on unfolded cover

Uses for iPad case:
* easel for digital photo frame, portrait or landscape
* TV stand (in landscape position)
* prop to use iPad as monitor with bluetooth keyboard
* typing stand, with on-screen keyboard… This also could be called,
* “cooler-user” mode, since it puts the iPad an inch or two above the lap or knees. (None of the info pages give a bottom-of-case operating temperature, but if it’s anything like my MacBook…)

With the case folded into a typing stand, I think the iPad looks like the Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 I owned 25 years ago! (Of course the iPad should do a few more things. Well, a few hundred thousand more things.)

mild-mannered reporter who fell deeper into computers and the Web during three trips through graduate school in the 1980s and 1990s, then began teaching journalism, media studies and Web production, most recently as a faculty member at Radford University.

Posted in Computers, History, Tablets & eBook Readers, Technology
5 comments on “Apple iPad vs. TRS80 Model 100
  1. mr_a500 says:

    At least the TRS-80 has a real keyboard and replaceable batteries.

  2. Bob Stepno says:

    True. I’m glad to hear that it will take a bluetooth keyboard… but I’m still thinking of it more as a color e-book reader than a replacement for a laptop, at least not in the first release.

  3. Rich Seymour says:

    I just saw the case and had the exact same feeling… My parents had a TRS-80 model iii technically the first home computer I ever used.

    At any rate, this little factoid is interesting, via wikipedia… the introductory price of the TRS 80 Model 100 in 1983:


    ($2,401.37 in 2010 dollars.)

    🙂 I think the desktop was $2-3k in 1980s dollars …

  4. […] keys are pretty close in size to a MacBook, just not having that tactile goodness. Although, some have noticed that the iPad with the on-screen keyboard in use, looks a lot like the much-loved-by-journalists […]

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