Disclosure: Some links on this page are monetized by the Skimlinks, Amazon, Rakuten Advertising, and eBay, affiliate programs, and Liliputing may earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on those links. All prices are subject to change, and this article only reflects the prices available at time of publication.
The BOOK 8088 is one of the weirdest laptops to launch in 2023. It’s a budget mini-laptop with a 7 inch display, a QWERTY keyboard… and the guts of a 40-year old computer including a Intel 8088 compatible processor with a 4.77 MHz base clock but support for turbo speeds up to 8 MHz.
Now the developer behind the BOOK 8088 has started selling a new version that brings a few upgrades including a VGA graphics card and serial and parallel ports. It drags this retro computer forward a few years, but the BOOK 8088 v2.0 is still very much a device for running very old software.
Key changes in the new model include:
- VGA graphics card with support for 640 x 480 graphics and up to 256 colors
- COM1 serial port
- LPT1 parallel port
The original BOOK 8088, by comparison, lacked the new ports and had an IBM-CGA graphics card and a 16-color, 640 x 200 pixel display.
The upgrades should make the new version a little better for playing classic DOS games (the system supports DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.0 software), while the ports should make it easier to connect older peripherals like mice, keyboards, or printers that may have been collecting dust in your house for the past three or four decades.
The BOOK 8088 V2.0 has 640 KB of RAM and uses a 512MB CompactFlash card for storage. It also has an ISA connector, a USB port, a 3.5mm audio jack, an Adlib OPL3 audio card, and a 4,000 mAh battery. It measures 240 x 150 x 30mm (9.4″ x 5.9″ x 1.2″).
One thing to keep in mind about this little computer is that previous versions have shipped with an unofficial version of Sergey Kiselev’s 8088 open source BIOS that did not give credit to the developer or acknowledge the GPL license. It’s unclear if that’s been addressed in the latest version, but if you’re looking to install a compliant version of the BIOS, Kiselev added support for the original BOOK 8088 when releasing version 1.0 of the 8088 BIOS a few months ago.