Archive for the ‘IBM ThinkPad 730T’ Category

IBM ThinkPad 730T

January 24, 2021

As some of you know, I’m very much interested in Tablet computers of the 1990 that are able to run PenPoint, the Operating System the company GO developed for the first “real” pen computers.

The computer IBM send into the race for this first pen computer was a new product, a tablet computer they christened “ThinkPad”. This product did not take off and they re-used the name for the new line-up of notebook computers. In order to fit the old tablet computer into the new naming scheme, they re-christened the tablet the “ThinkPad 700T” (T is the “slate” tablet version in the ThinkPad line-up).

All ThinkPads, of course, are basically PCs, and can run (in this case also) Windows. Therefore, the tablet ThinkPads could still be sold even though PenPoint as an Operating System (although much better adapted to a computer operated by a pen) did vanish very fast from the market.

The successor of the 700T was the 710T, which was then suceeded by the 730T. The final iteration of the T-Models was the 730TE. All of these models (well, at least the 700T and the 730T) can run PenPoint. If you want to know the differences between the T-Model, here you are:

RAM4-8 MB4-12 MB4-8, max 20-24 MB4-8, max 20-24 MB
Display10″ STN VGA, 8 Gray scales9.5″ STN VGA, 16 Gray scales9.5″ STN VGA, 16 Gray scales9.5″ STN VGA, 16 Gray scales
Weight2.8 Kg2.49 Kg1.77 Kg (2 Batteries)1.77 Kg (2 Batteries)
ThinkPad Tablet Slates Data

The 730T that I bought at Ebay was very cheap, but also clearly broken (which I knew). Its display has a strange wobbly-wave-like surface and has underneath some broken areas. The case is covered in a white crystalline powder and the material is very brittle and sticky. Therefore a good candidate for opening the device and contribute some PCB photos. Here they are.

730T PCB, top
730T PCB, bottom

The internal RAM (8 MB in my case) comes as a “Panasonic Memory Card”, a daughtboard with a strange connector. The RAM can be expanded with special PCMCIA cards.