When I wrote my post about the GRiDCase 3, I mentioned the plasma display technology that few of the arguably best vintage laptops are using. I mentioned the HP-207, a.k.a. The Integral PC and the Toshiba T3200 systems for which I provided links for the interested reader. Today, I keep going with another iconic laptop using a plasma display: the Toshiba T5100. This laptop is an upgrade to the 3200SX with an Intel 386 @ 16 MHz processor and still small and light compared to the T5200. A good compromise that makes the T5100 the best 386 laptops I own. I want to bring your attention to the quality of the plasma displays of the GRiDCase and the Toshiba side by side. It reminds me of the comparison of an OLED display vs. an LCD. This one goes to the advantage of the GRiD. I also added a few pictures about the screen without the bezel so that you can have a closer look.




I used the opportunity to replace the CMOS battery and to add an Intel 387 math coprocessor to the system. A good fall refresh, in other words. Luckily, it is easy to source these components even today. The battery replacement had the wrong header, but that trivial to fix. It is easy to take the T5200 apart and work on various sections of the computer. Toshiba wisely regrouped the co-processor, the battery, and the memory into the same location (under the keyboard), so you don’t need to disconnect any cable to access them.


Contrary to what few of the pictures show since I wanted to remove the display frame so you can have a peek. Of course, these extra steps are not required to change the battery 🙂