DOS Subnotebook: ABC Bicom SL60 Details and specs

ABC Bicom SL60

About this machine:

The ABC Bicom SL60 is actually an upgraded version of the B240i/B260i, just with a 386 processor instead. Unfortunately they left out the PCMCIA slot and they still didn't upgrade the display or graphics card. Thus it is pretty disappointing compared to the previous models. Battery life is probably the worst of any device in this list. The 386 and the HDD burn through batteries like there's no tomorrow.I had popped in 5 brand new Panasonic batteries (No china crap) and just wanted to backup the HDD via serial. Yeah i understand that the serial port and HDD use loads of energy, but no kidding - the "low battery" lamp and beep got on like after 15 minutes. The laptop died down from lack of power before i was finished backing up everything. Go figure... This could have been a pretty cool device - 386, full size ports, 5 batteries... With good power management and PCMCIA this would have been a good companion. As it is you will hate it for being forced to serial data transfers and bringing a suitecase full of AA-Batteries. HP showed with the Omnibook 430 that a 486 with much better VGA display can run much longer on just 4 AA-batteries. A Floppy disk drive was an optional accessory and it occupied both - the parallel and floppy port - when connected.


CPU: 386SL @ 25MHz
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 (Package claims it could be upgraded to 20MB)
ROM (Software): 1.5 MB
I/O ports: Full size RS232 Serial and parallel ports, Floppy connector
Sound: PC Speaker - Piezo
Operating System: DR-DOS 6.0
Software: None (DR DOS comes with some basic tools and ViewMax)
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, CR2032 Lithium button cell as memory backup
Weight: 997 gram (35 ounces)
Special features: 60 MB HDD
Released: January 1993
Originally retailed for:: 1200 USD
Clone of: Not a clone. Successor of the 240i/260i models
Similar models: Highscreen A5-PC, ABC Bicom 240i, ABC Bicom 260i

- Fully CGA compliant, so most CGA based DOS appz and games work
- Excellent keyboard
- Full size Serial and parallel ports
- 386 processor, so more Software works than on most other palmtops
- Customizable boot sequence, so possible to load other operating systems

- Lacks PCMCIA
- Too big for a palmtop, think of it as one of the first subnotebooks
- 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
- "Dumb" charging never stops to charge the batteries, so for longer sessions with AC power remove them or risk an Explosion

Collector Value:
9 of 10

Usage Value:
3 of 10

Pretty rare and a big disappointment that there's no PCMCIA. Makes data transfer complicated. With the 386 Windows 3.1 finally works in enhanced mode.

Extras! Well actually just the Windows 3.1 driver

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