DOS Palmtop: Tidalwave PS-3000 Details and specs

Tidalwave PS-3000

About this machine:

Tidalwave - the legendary Taiwanese company that brought you countless branded PS-1000 clones all over the world also made a later 386 model. Sounds pretty cool since you can also run some 386 based applications like Windows 3.1 and some more advanced DOS apps, but it still does have some flaws. The most annoying one is that it still forces you to boot its MS-DOS 5.0 from ROM. No alternate bootloader possible, so you are stuck with MS-DOS. You could use "loadlin" to boot unix from within MS-DOS, but other Operating Systems are pretty much impossible due to this limitation. The size is rather large, the weight rather heavy, the wimpy CGA display now got 16 shades of grey, but still no backlight. This palmtop was Sold by Prolinear as "Prolinear PS-3000", "Prolinear ME-386", "Prolinear Palm Book 386" and maybe even more variations. Another branding sold this as "Mini Note ME-386" and "MiniNote 3000". I guess there are even more creative combinations available. It seems there were 2 and 4 MB RAM versions available. Also it seems to have been available with an internal 2400/9600 fax modem. Somehow Microsoft QBasic had to go - so unlike with the 1000 series you don't get BASIC with this one. I guess they had to add some drivers and didn't feel like investing into bigger ROM chips. Some small details are nice - these now have a full size serial and parallel port, so no more losing these proprietary cables. Other stuff is a bit annoying - like PCMCIA cards don't completely fit in the slot, something like 1/8 inch is protruding even when fully inserted. The PIM didn't really get much better. They added some stuff like loads of drivers for Flash Cards and stuff - but the problem is that they are commented out in the config.sys by default and the awesome "file manager" they included will display the contents of a file (hex editor style), but won't let you edit one. And like QBasic the "EDIT" tool of MS-DOS is missing.


CPU: 80386 SXLV - 25 Mhz (Super low power CPU)
Graphics: Monochrome CGA, B/W LCD (80 x 25) 16 shade grade scale
Display: 640 x 200 (Dual scan super twist) , 7.2 inch
Memory (RAM): 2 MB (4 MB versions were supposed to be available)
ROM (Software): 2.5 MB
I/O ports: RS232 Serial (Full size), 2 x PCMCIA 2.0 Type II slot, Parallel port (Full size)
Sound: PC Speaker - Piezo
Operating System: MS-DOS 5.0
Software: MS Works 2.0, RacePen PIM (File manager, scheduler, phone book, etc)
Size: Length 11.5 cm, Width 24.5 cm, Height 3.0 cm (4.5 inch x 9.5 inch x 1.25 inch)
Powered by: 4 AA batteries - rechargable or non-rechargable or AC adaptor (optional accessory), CR2032 Lithium button cell as memory backup
Weight: 640 gram - 710 gram including batteries
Special features: Internal 2400/9600 fax modem (Supposedly an option)
Released: 1992
Originally retailed for:: 995 USD
Clone of: Not a clone. However all other models based on it can be considered clones.
Similar models: Prolinear PS-3000, Prolinear ME-386, Mini Note ME-386

- Fully CGA compliant, so most CGA based DOS appz and games work
- Excellent keyboard
- Finally a 386 Palmtop

- Not really the smallest Palmtop ever
- Power management is rather bad

Collector Value:
10 of 10

Usage Value:
7 of 10

Give it a usability value of 10/10 if you need a 386. Really rare.

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