Sharp PC-7000

Year: 1985

Initial Price: $1,795, $4,322 in 2020

The PC-7000 is Sharp’s second computer targeted for sale in the US, after the PC-5000 from late 1984.

First previewed in July at the 1985 “National Office Machine Dealers Association” show in Las Vegas, the PC-7000 was available for retail three months later in October.

While the PC-7000 is not the first transportable computer by any means, it may have had the best built-in display of any – a huge 9.5 x 4.25-inch electroluminescent backlit LCD screen capable of displaying 24 lines of text, with 80 characters per line.

The computer offered IBM compatibility, dual built-in 5 1/4-inch floppy drives, and relatively light weight made the PC-7000 one of the best portable computers of the day.

Sharp always had a reputation for building technically sound but rather stange computers, ignoring ‘industry standards’. The PC-7000 broke this image.

This was a “lunchbox” portable IBM PC compatible system. It had two 5”1/4 disk-drives mounted on the right side and a nice blue tiltable screen, the world’s first backlit LCD.

The system consisted of three main parts: system unit, keyboard and optional CE-700P printer. When the system had to be carried, both the keyboard and the printer clipped into the main unit.

One year later (1986) , the PC-7100 was launched. It had a 20Mb hard-disk instead of the second built-in 5”1/4 FDD.

NAME  PC-7000
MANUFACTURER  Sharp
TYPE  Portable
ORIGIN  Japan
YEAR  1985
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard, numeric keypad, 10 function keys
CPU  Intel 8086
SPEED  7.37 or 4.77 Mhz
CO-PROCESSOR  optional 8087 math co-processor
RAM  320k (704k max.)
ROM  16k
TEXT MODES  80 x 24
GRAPHIC MODES  640 x 200
COLORS  Monochrome LCD display
SOUND  Beeper
SIZE / WEIGHT  410 x 160 x 215 mm / 8,5 Kg
I/O PORTS  Serial port, parallel port, color CRT video output (optional)
BUILT IN MEDIA  2 x 5”1/4 disk-drives (360 KB each)
OS  MS-DOS
POWER SUPPLY  External power supply (specs. unknown)
PRICE  $1795

Source: old-computers.com, oldcomputers.net

The computer is modular in terms of accessories, an 20MB external drive can be attached underneath and a thermal printer on the back. I found a picture on Reddit with the HDD but I haven’t found the printer on the web. It clearly exists as the printer is mentioned in the user manual.

Sharp PC-7000 with 20 MB HDD attached underneath

I got my machine pretty dirty and it needed cleaning. Sure, some retrobrite would be great but I really like the yellow color on this particular unit. Here’s a picture with the unit disassembled and squiky clean:

I made a video with the PC-7000 that I will share soon. Some attention was needed on the dual FDD unit, the internal 3.6V battery etc.

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