Designed by Manuel Fernandez, owner and founder of the Gavilan Computer Corporation, the Gaviian SC was one of the earliest portable computers and was the first machine dubbed a “laptop”. Although most portable computers were not the ultra light and powerful machines we know of today, it was one of the first to use a flip-top design.
It sold for $400 and came with a floppy drive and MS-DOS. It ran on an Intel 8088, had a GUI, and a standard 300 baud modem. The machine was much more compact than most of it’s competition, weighing in at 9 pounds. It also had built in nickel cadmium batteries and one of the first touchpad pointing devices. The SC was light years ahead of it’s time but is a little known footnote in computer history, introducing some of the early concepts that are commonplace in today’s mobile computing world. Unfortunately for Gavilan Computer and Fernandez, it was so far ahead that there was no market for the machine and the company went out of business in 1985 after filing for Chapter 11.