More than four decades after Intel launched the 8088 processor, a Chinese PC maker has launched a brand new mini-laptop sporting the 4.77 MHz processor, along with support for an optional 8087 math co-processor.
This new “Book 8088 DOS system” is available from AliExpress for $201 and up. And while it won’t run most modern software, it looks like a retro computing dream, with support for MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.0 or earlier.
The starting price is for just the basic computer, which is a 240 x 150 x 30mm (9.4″ x 5.9″ x 1.2″) system with an Intel 8088 chip, IBM-CGA graphics card, 640KB of memory, and a 16-color, 640 x 200 pixel display.
It does have a few modern touches, including a 512MB CompactFlash card for storage and a USB port for peripherals. But this thing is very much designed for running decades-old software.
Optional accessories include an OPL3 sound card module with a Yamaha YYMF262-M sound chip (which is the same chip used in the Sound Blaster Pro 2.0), an ISA expansion card connector, or an 8087 co-processor. A system with all of those add-ons is still pretty affordable, at $275.
Overall the little PC seems like a fascinating little device for playing DOS games, running classic programs like early versions of Microsoft Word, or just getting a glimpse of computer history without the need for any sort of emulation software to trick modern hardware to run decades-old software.
Unfortunately there’s no information on the battery capacity or battery life, but the little computer works with a 12V/1.5A power supply.
Update: It’s a bit unclear from the AliExpress page who is actually producing this little computer. But the folks at Ars Technica spotted a reference to 8086cpu.com, which does indeed have a product page for the Book 8088, but no details that weren’t already shared in the retail listing for this mini laptop.
The same company also appears to have a DEV8088 board for folks that want to build their own PC using an 8088 processor, and also produces the Hand 386 handheld retro computer we wrote about earlier this week.