This New $200 Laptop Comes With A 386 CPU, 8MB Of RAM And Windows 3.1

The $200-ish laptop featuring a 386 CPU and 8MB of RAM is a modern homage to the Windows 3.1 era. Among the peculiar offerings on Aliexpress, one can find recreations of retro computer systems with updated designs. Known for the Book 8088, which replicates the original 1981 IBM PC in a bulky clamshell form, the creators have also introduced the Hand386—a late-80s PC resembling an old Palm Pilot or Blackberry—and an enhanced Book 8088 with additional ports and a VGA graphics adapter.

Their latest creation, the Pocket 386, merges the internals of the Hand386 with a clamshell design akin to the Book 8088. This results in an IBM-compatible system reminiscent of the Windows 3.1 era, when MS-DOS was prevalent, especially for gaming, but Windows was gaining popularity.

At the core of this laptop is not an authentic 386 but an Ali M6117 embedded processor, which integrates a 40 MHz 80386SX CPU core with an ALi M1217B chipset. The system boasts 8MB of RAM, a choice of three interchangeable VGA adapters (Cirrus Logic CL-GD542X, TVGA9000i, or CHIPS F655x5), a Yamaha OPL3 sound card, an 800×480 IPS display, a 4,000 mAh battery, and a CompactFlash slot for storage. Despite lacking a built-in trackpad, the arrow keys can simulate mouse functions. Additionally, a USB port is available, primarily for mass storage, while external dongles add PS/2, VGA, parallel, and serial ports.

The Pocket 386 is available in semi-translucent black or clear finishes and is priced at $187, down from its usual $300. An adapter for external ISA expansion cards is sold separately.

This laptop can technically run Windows 95, with the seller providing a GHO-format disk image. However, performance will be sluggish due to the 386SX processor and limited 8MB RAM. For optimal performance, the Pocket 386 is best suited for Windows 3.x and MS-DOS, where the enhanced CPU speed and RAM significantly improve its functionality for retro applications and games compared to the Book 8088.

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