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The Incredible Shrinking PC

The Incredible Shrinking PC

Big change comes in small packages—at least in the world of personal computing. Since HP first entered the computer market in 1966, PCs (personal computers—as they were eventually known) have continued to grow smaller and more advanced with each generation.
But miniaturization doesn’t just happen overnight. Each step forward is the product of years of innovation and developments, often clustering a range of “industry firsts” into short periods following specific advances—like the advent of the microprocessor.
How far have we come? Here's a visual history of HP PCs from 1966 to 2016—shifting from the size of a room to the size of your pocket in five innovation-filled decades.
HP 2116A—The beginning (1966): HP's first computer was developed as a controller for HP's programmable instruments. The 2116A was the largest single mechanical package HP had ever built to date, and it marked HP's first use of integrated circuits. At the time, most computers had to be pampered in air-conditioned rooms on spring-loaded floors. HP assumed that the 2116A, an instrumentation computer, should pass the same environmental tests as the instruments it would team with, and be rugged and reliable. This approach transformed the 2116A into the first go-anywhere, do-anything computer.
HP 9100A—The first “Personal Computer” (1968): The phrase “personal computer” was first documented in a 1968 magazine ad for this product—eight years before the term made its first appearance in the Oxford English Dictionary.1 The first programmable scientific desktop calculator could solve science and engineering problems 10 times faster than most other machines, paving the way for HP’s workstation family.
HP-85—HP’s first foray into the PC market (1980): The self-contained unit was based on an 8-bit microprocessor and combined an alphanumeric keyboard, CRT screen, thermal printer tape drive unit, user read/write memory and a ROM operating system in one portable package.
HP-75C—HP’s first handheld computer (1982): Able to connect to peripherals such as a digital cassette drive and printer, it’s an early tool for mobile computing.
HP 9000—HP’s first “desktop mainframe” (1982): As powerful as the room-size computers of the 1960s.
HP-150—Touchscreen PC (1983): Users could activate features simply by touching the screen.
HP-110—first laptop (1984): The MS-DOS compatible PC used a Harris 80C86 microprocessor running at 5.33 MHz with 272 KB of RAM.
HP Omnibook 300 (1993): This “superportable” PC with extended battery life weighed 2.9 pounds
HP Pavilion Desktop—HP enters home computing market (1995): Its specifications included a quad-speed CD-ROM drive, Altec Lansing speakers, software for online service access, and Windows 95.
Jornada 820 Handheld PC—HP’s first PDA (1998): Had a small trackpad with two buttons and a built-in miniature keyboard, 16 MB of RAM, 16 MB of ROM, Intel StrongARM CPU at 190 MHz, and a 640x480 256 color screen.
HP TouchSmart IQ770 PC (2007): HP's first All-in-One computer with a touch-screen display.
HP 2133 Mini-Note PC (2008): A full-function, mini-notebook computer designed for the education market.
HP Pavilion x360 (2014): An affordable touch convertible PC that transformed the computing experience with its 360-degree hinge.
EliteBook Folio G1 (2016): Leverages powerful modern processors, PCle SSDs, a diamond-cut CNC aluminum body, and more to produce the world’s thinnest and lightest business-class notebook. Ever. [2]
HP Elite x3 (2016): Utilizing a high-performance Qualcomm® Snapdragon 820 processor and the new Windows Continuum, the HP Elite x3 is the first built-for-business mobile device to deliver seamless phablet, laptop, and desktop business productivity in a single device. [3]
[2] Based on HP's internal analysis of business-class notebooks as of January 4, 2016 with > 1 million unit annual sales having preinstalled encryption, authentication, malware protection and BIOS-level protection, passing MIL-STD 810G tests with optional docking incorporating power delivery.
[3] Based on HP's internal analysis as of January 14, 2016 of mobile devices preinstalled with Windows 10 Mobile, designed to pass MIL-STD 810G and IP67 testing, the ability to run virtualized corporate apps on a big screen and a biometric solution for security.
Microsoft, MS-DOS, Windows, and Continuum are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
Qualcomm is a registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated.
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