The Deskpro 386: Compaq's Formula 1 race car

The year was 1986 and IBM was fending off a wave of clone PCs, still called IBM compatibles.

The year was 1986 and IBM was fending off a wave of clone PCs, still called IBM compatibles.

Compaq's Deskpro 386 was making hearts race for a number of reasons, not least of which was the heady speed (16MHz), although you could downgrade that to save money and spare your caffeine-jazzed senses: the 286 would run at 4MHz.

Memory -- why, I remember when you didn't need any more than a megabyte of RAM, which was just as well because that's all the Deskpro could rustle up, although it did have a 40MB hard drive for those vitally important stores of information. Please forgive the reviewer who wrote, "The Compaq Deskpro 386 is an absolute joy to use. It's quick. It's nimble. It feels right." Of course, you'd have to sell a kidney to buy one: $17,169 including GST bought you the bottom of the range; the test machine ran to a cool $21,008.

"Having this machine on your desk is like driving to the grocery store in a Formula 1 race car", gushes the review.

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