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December 2, 1991

SANYO SHOWS PROTOTYPE OF WORLD’s FIRST PEN-DRIVEN UNIX LAPTOP

By CBR Staff Writer

While either MS-DOS or proprietary operating systems are the jumping-off point for pen-driven portable computers in the US and Europe, in Japan, Sanyo Electric Co has stepped up a notch and gone for Unix in its 80386-based Pen-based Windows System. The machine uses a supertwisted nematic liquid crystal diode display, has no keyboard and uses the custom pen as its only input device. The machine handles handwritten input of Japanese characters at an average speed of two characters per second. It is also capable of re-displaying and correcting previously input characters, and unlike other pen-based Japanese character recognition hardware, such as that in Sony Corp’s PalmTop notebook, does not required that the user write within a special frame on the screen. Only a prototype at present, the machine can recognise 2,125 Kanji, Kata Kana and alphanumeric characters. Sanyo is pitching for commercial release of products based on the prototype within two years.

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