DOS Subnotebook: Highscreen A5-PC Details and specs

Highscreen A5-PC

About this machine:

The Highscreen A5-PC is the German Version of the Bicom 260i. Highscreen was the resident brand of German computer chain "Vobis" which was present in all larger cities. This could have been a best-seller if it wasn't for the price. At around 2600 Deutschmark in 1992 this one was rather expensive and the specs were unimpressive. Very portable and light, but just a monochrome non-backlit CGA, 286, small HDD and not even a floppy disk drive included at the price made this one very unattractive to the General public, so it's probably safe to claim that not many of these were sold. That the price was reduced to 1299 Deutschmark in 1993 supports this claim.


CPU: AMD 80286LX @ 16MHz
Graphics: Monochrome CGA (Doublescan), 80 x 25 character text mode, CGA 2 color monochrome graphics mode
Display: 640 x 400 monochrome Supertwist LCD , 4 grey scales, 7.2 inch
Memory (RAM): 2 MB
ROM (Software): 1.5 MB
I/O ports: Full size RS232 Serial and parallel ports, PCMCIA 2.0 Type II Slot
Sound: PC Speaker - Piezo
Operating System: DR-DOS 6.0
Software: Custom PIM (Memo, calculator, scheduler, phone book, etc)
Size: Length 22.3 cm, Width 16.4 cm, Height 3.1 cm (8.8 inches x 6.4 inches x 1.2 inch)
Powered by: 5 AA batteries - rechargable or non-rechargable or AC adaptor (optional accessory), CR2032 Lithium button cell as memory backup
Weight: 997 gram (35 ounces)
Special features: 60 MB HDD
Released: 1992
Originally retailed for:: 2599 Deutschmark (1299 Deutschmark in 1993)
Clone of: ABC Bicom B260i
Similar models: ABC Bicom B260i, ABC Bicom 240i

- Fully CGA compliant, so most CGA based DOS appz and games work
- Excellent keyboard
- Full size Serial and parallel ports
- PCMCIA 2.0 Type II, so loads of Cards work
- 286 processor, so more Software works than on the 8086 palmtops
- Customizable boot sequence, so possible to load other operating systems
- "Dumb" charging never stops to charge the batteries, so for longer sessions with AC power remove them or risk an Explosion

- Too big for a palmtop, think of it as one of the first subnotebooks
- 286 not suitable for Windows 3.1 in enhanced mode
- Power management is among the worst ever
- One of the worst PIMs ever
- No "Instant on"/Resume Feature
- If AC Power is plugged in the batteries are not used, even if AC power suddenly fails (Blackout)
- Just CGA seems inappropriate for this size of Screen and Laptop

Collector Value:
9 of 10

Usage Value:
5 of 10

If you are not living in germany this one is quite hard to get hold of, but you won't miss much unless you always wanted a German keyboard. This is just a localized Bicom B260i.

Extras (Drivers and utilities)

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