DOS Palmtop: NEC MobileGear MC-MK32 Details and specs

NEC MobileGear MC-MK32

About this machine:

At a first glance this machine - like all from the NEC MobileGear series - looks impressive if you compare it to our normal TidalWave. A whooping 6MB RAM, built-in modem, PCMCIA Type-II slot, infrared, serial port, 486 processor with 16 MHz, MS-DOS 6.2 built-in, E-Mail client. So what's wrong with these? It's actually the graphics. While they sure had the best intentions to add another 40 pixels vertically they "broke" compatibility with any existing graphics standard and thus limit the out-of-the-box experience to text mode appz and some Japanese homebrew stuff which don't do the capabilities of the hardware justice. There is an emulation driver to have some games and appz work pretending that it is CGA, but not all applications work with it and it consumes a bit of precious DOS memory. Another drawback is if you don't speak Japanese - then the built-in appz and menues might be very hard or even impossible to use for you. What's neat is that you can get Windows 3.1 working with the CGA Driver. Since that opens up a whole new world of applications it makes the device pretty cool again.


CPU: 80486SL-33 @ 16 MHz
Graphics: Monochrome - "nearly CGA", most CGA appz work with a special emulation driver
Display: 640 x 240 monochrome STN LCD , 4 grey scales, 7.2 inch
Memory (RAM): 6 MB
ROM (Software): 2 MB (Estimation, probably more since loads of appz are included.)
I/O ports: RS232 Serial, 1 x PCMCIA 2.0 Type II slot
Sound: PC Speaker - Piezo
Operating System: MS-DOS 6.2
Software: E-mail Client, FAX transmission and reception, PC Sync, word processor, spreadsheet, address book, scheduler, clock, calculator, dictionary , memo, search, configuration tools, etc.
Size: Length 12.2 cm, Width 24.5 cm, Height 2.45 cm ( 4.5 x 9.25 x 1.25 inch)
Powered by: 2 AA batteries - rechargable or non-rechargable or AC adaptor (optional accessory), CR2032 Lithium button cell as memory backup
Weight: 550 gram (20 ounces) including 2 standard AA and CR2032 batteries
Special features: Built-in modem, infrared
Released: 11/27/1997
Originally retailed for:: 83,000 Yen
Clone of: Not a clone, successor to the other MC-MK models
Similar models: NEC MC-MK12, NEC MC-MK22

- Really nice keyboard
- Fast Processor
- Built-in modem

- Pretty incompatible graphics mode that requires the CGA Driver to make it somehow useful.
- Power management is not that bad, but the 486 sucks it empty pretty fast if you use it a lot.
- Pretty large

Collector Value:
7 of 10

Usage Value:
5 of 10

Cool specs, but the incompatible graphics, rather large size and the Japanese software are kinda drawback, even though it's a nice collector's piece. If you really want Windows 3.1 you can rate usability to 10/10.

Click here for a big pack of Tools, Drivers and appz, including the incredibly useful MGCGA Driver and other stuff.

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