DOS Palmtop: Instant Tech PTV-30 Details and specs

Instant Tech PTV-30 (PTV30 / PTV30-2)





About this machine:

With this one Instant Tech lost it. While they had been "on fire" with their PTP-20 they were now merely more than a cheap copy of all the other Tidalwave clones out there. Bigger and heavier than before this one barely stands out of the masses. The only neat feature that makes this one unique is the earphone jack. I guess this is the only device i have ever seen which offers an earphone jack for a PC speaker. The only other improvement over the PTP-20 is that is has 2 PCMCIA slots. Otherwise a really disappointing evolution for a palmtop. It has a mysterious "SPK" key which is supposed to offer "Text to Speech" on a keypress. Sounds cool. But it isn't. The "SPK" key only works with ONE special program that is not even included on ROM but on a floppy (So you most likely won't ever get it) and even that will only speak a sentence up to 50 characters (wow, that is like 5 long words!) that you enter in a textbox sounding much like a C-64. Nope no reading text files or so. Why they added the SPK key is a mystery, they could also have used enter instead. Ah and it has a volume knob which is actually a nice feature. Otherwise this is more of a poor quality Tidalwave clone.

Specs:

CPU: V30HL @ 7 MHz
Graphics: Monochrome CGA, 80 x 25 character text mode, CGA 2 color monochrome graphics mode
Display: 640 x 200 monochrome Supertwist LCD , 4 grey scales, 7.2 inch
Memory (RAM): 1 MB / 2 MB ( 2 models were offered, the "PTV30-2" being the 2MB model)
ROM (Software): 1 MB
I/O ports: RS232 Serial, 2 x PCMCIA 2.0 Type II slot, Parallel port
Sound: PC Speaker - Piezo
Operating System: MS-DOS 5.0
Software: MS Works 2.0
Size: Length 11.5 cm, Width 24.5 cm, Height 2.5 cm ( 4.5 x 9.25 x 1.25 inch)
Powered by: 2 AA batteries - rechargable or non-rechargable or AC adaptor (optional accessory), CR2032 Lithium button cell as memory backup
Weight: 590 gram (21 ounces) including 2 standard AA and CR2032 batteries
Special features: Dedicated Text-To-Speech Key (Which won't work without special tool), earphone jack, volume knob
Released: 1995
Originally retailed for:: 429/529 USD (1MB/2MB model)
Clone of: Not a clone
Similar models: Tidalwave PS-1000, Highscreen handy Organizer and all other PS-1000 clones

Pros:
- Fully CGA compliant, so most CGA based DOS appz and games work
- Excellent keyboard
- Volume knob
- Earphone jack

Cons:
- Not really the smallest Palmtop ever
- Power management is rather average
- Plastic quality rather poor
- Promised Text-To-Speech feature is just one shareware quality app

Collector Value:
8 of 10

Usage Value:
6 of 10

Verdict:
Text-To-Speech would be cool if it worked. The volume knob is a good idea. Terrible Plastic quality. Otherwise a rather average machine.


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