TI TravelMate 4000M

Before selling it’s computer business off to Acer in 1997, Texas Instruments, famously known for their line of table calculators, also produced computers. Here’s the TravelMate 400, a 486-class Notebook of the early 90s.

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Historic Overview

While the TravelMate brand ist associated to Acer in present days, the brand is known since around 1990, when used the first time by Texas Instruments. Before sellings it’s computing division off to Acer in 1997, Texas Instruments – producing computers since the early 80s – introduced theĀ  TravelMate 2000 in 1990.

TI TravelMate 4000M

Since its initial release the TravelMate underwent several refits, with the 4000 series beeing third generation built on Intels 80486 line of processors, debuting in around 1994.

Sporting 486 CPUs in the speed range between 25 und 75 MHz, a default RAM size of 8 MiB and hard drives starting at 210 MiB, the 4000 series offered good portability at decent performance.

With the optional docking station, the TravelMate 4000M could also act as a full desktop replacement, including a built-in multimedia CD-ROM drive.

As opposed to other systems at the time, the BIOS setup can’t be accessed during the POST phase (or at least, I didn’t figure out how). But booting into a plain DOS session allows the setup utility the be accessed by simply pressing CTRL+ALT+ESCAPE.
Optionally, one might press FN+ESCAPE in plain DOS, which is supposed to run a programm called “SET_UP” off your hard drive, which offers the same capabilities.

If somebody happens to have original restore floppies for the setup utility, please provide me some disk dumps.

Specs

The PHINTAGE Collection currently holds a TravelMate 4000M.

Vendor Texas Instruments
Model TravelMate 4000M
Released 1995
Original Streetprice 3799 US$ for the 4000M base model (486SX-25 CPU)
Guestimated around 5000 US$ for the 4000M with 486DX2-50 CPU
Weight 4.5 KG
Dimensions 28cm x 21.5cm x 5 cm
Builtin Display Yes, 9.5″ Passive Matrix Color LCD
Builtin Battery Yes
CPU Intel 80486 DX2 @ 50 MHz
RAM 8 MiB
Storage
  • 523 MiB 2.5″ PATA hard drive
  • 3.5″ 1.44 MiB floppy drive
Network Support optional

  • via PCI adapter (in DockMate station)
  • via PCMCIA adapter
USB No
Video Output 1 VGA
Other 1 PS/2 port (Keyboard or Mouse), Audio in/out, Microphone in, 1 RS232, 1 Parallel Port, 1 Dock Connector, 1 SCSI connector
Operating System MS-DOS 6.22, Windows for Workgroups 3.11
Overall Condition
  • very good condition, minimal wear, system is in usable condition
  • Batteriy worn down
  • Floppy drive is defective
  • CMOS battery replacement not possible due to defective mainboard
Restoration Parts needed
  • Replacement battery
  • Replacement floppy drive
  • Eventually, replacement mainboard

Gallery

Coming soon.

Downloads

Here’s some original ad flyers promoting the TravelMate in 1995.

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