TI TravelMate 5200

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 5200, a Pentium-class Notebook of the mid-90s.

Quick Links:

Historic Overview

Whenever you hear “TravelMate” you’ll associate it with Acer immediately. But that brandmark was in use already many years before Acer acquired the former Texas Instrument computing division in 1997.

Texas Instruments produced  computers since around the early 80s, debuting with the TI Professional Computer (TIPC). TI eventually began production of mobile computers, starting the TravelMate brand in around 1990 with the TravelMate 2000, which was a 286-based machine.

TI TravelMate 5200

The 5000 series saw it’s light around five years after the first TravelMate was released, around mid 1995, just coinciding the release of Windows 95.
Powered by the classic P54C line of Pentium processors between 75 and 120 Mhz, it sported hard drives between 500 MiB and 1.2 GiB, and a mere 8 MiB of RAM in all standard configurations. While the lower-end 5000 models came with passive matrix displays, the 5100 and 5200 models where equipped with active matrix displays. The active matrix display offers a crisp image with 800×600 @ 16-bit colors resolution. However, anything below that resolutions looks distorted and unsharp as the picture will be extrapolated to 800×600. This is especially visible on the Windows boot screen, and DOS games running at low resolution.

While official designed for Windows 95, the 5000 series still lacked the Windows logo and menu keys.

The optional DockMate Multimedia docking station provided everything needed to make the TravelMate also a fully capable near desktop equivalent computer: Ample of connectors, two separate charging slots for batteries, a PCI expansion slot plus built-in speakers and a 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 an TravelMate 5200 including the DockMedia Multimedia dock.

Vendor Texas Instruments
Model TravelMate 5200
Released Mid 1995
Original Streetprice 2199 US$ for the 5010 base model
4999 US$ for the 5200 model
Weight 4.5 KG
Dimensions 28cm x 21cm x 5.5cm
Builtin Display Yes, 10.4″ Active Matrix Color Display
Builtin Battery Yes, 2 x 2.5 Ah
CPU Intel Pentium @ 128 MHz
RAM 20 MiB
Storage
  • 1.2 GiB 2.5″ PATA hard drive
  • 3.5″ 1.44 MiB floppy drive
  • CD-ROM drive (via DockMate Multimedia station)
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

DockMate Multimedia stations offers the same set of ports, plus an additional PS/2 port, and a SCSI connector

Operating System Windows 95
Overall Condition
  • very good condition, minimal wear
  • Built-in speaker of the TravelMate is defective
  • Batteries are worn down
  • Floppy drive is defective
  • CD-ROM is misbehaving, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t
Restoration Parts needed
  • 2 replacement batteries
  • Replacement floppy drive
  • Eventually, replacement CD-ROM drive

Gallery

Coming soon.

Downloads

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *