The Tandy Model 100 was the first laptop computer to gain popularity when it was introduced in 1983. But what does 25-year-old portable technology look like? See what’s inside the Tandy Model 100.


I previously pointed out how the Tandy Model 100 was the MacBook Air of its day when it was introduced back in 1983. Unlike the luggables that passed for portable computers at the time, the Model 100 was the first laptop computer with any real power.

When we cracked open the MacBook Air, it showed what twenty-first-century technology looks like. It’s a very clean design with a mass of computer-placed ICs spaced around a small system board.

Now, we take a turn cracking open the Tandy Model 100.

It’s amazing to see the difference that 25 years make. Where the MacBook Air’s system board is replete with ICs, the Tandy Model 100 is covered with resistors, capacitors, and other discrete electronic parts that you don’t see that much anymore.

The system board is still clean. There’s only one wire trace on the entire board, and I’ve seen the same trace on other boards as well. There’s a lot of stuff packed onto the board. There’s an integrated modem, serial port, and other items all on the same board. You’ll also see plenty of options for expandability.

Check the Photo Gallery to see the details. If you want to find out more about what’s inside the Tandy Model 100, you can download the Tandy Model 100 Technical Reference Manual and  the Tandy Model 100 Service Manual.