• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here

Dynabook 286?


Veteran Member
Oct 9, 2009
Huntsville, AL
Does anyone out there have a Dynabook 286? I have recently trash picked one of these that is incomplete, and no idea if the system works or not. This is *NOT* the same thing as a Toshiba Dynabook... it was made by a company called Dynabook Technologies Corporation, and is of rather stout construction: Magnesium case. It also has a unique property in that the display is removable, and it apparently had no internal battery.

Basically trying to determine if I can fix/resurrect it. Unfortunately it's missing a few pieces of the casework: latches, screws and the floppy disk drive faceplate. It is also missing the hard drive (which appears to be a standard IDE connector, but with a non-standard power connector), the power brick (5.5VDC it claims on the case). It looks like all of the other relevant bits and pieces of the internal components are present. The display panel, unfortunately is incomplete... the panel was ripped from it's housing, the hinges are missing as is the back of the clamshell for the display and the brightness/contrast controls). So that part might be a lost cause. The computer itself apparently was sold standalone and features a VGA out jack on the case, so I would think it would be able to be used as a desktop machine of sorts.
Very cool.
I have one of these but unfortunately many of the components are shorted as the previous owner hooked up a 12v to the 5v input. I've been trying to restore mine, it is complete but obviously needs a lot of work.
Would you mind sharing a couple of pictures of yours?
Also what serial number is yours?
I remember mine being below 100, I don't think they made many of them.
I only found one reference to a press release for it, and the top of the line model (40MB hard drive with display) had a MSRP of like $5700 in 1989. Quite an expensive piece so I'm not surprised they didn't sell many. The lack of a battery would seem like it would limit it's utility for a lot of people in the market for such a machine.
Ohh that display looks like it had a rough time. Thanks for the pictures, mine is missing the label on the bottom,
I actually started looking for one after seeing it on the computer chronicles;
worth watching to see one in operation.

From what I read it looks like the company had a lot of mismanagement issues.
Also by the time this came out the 386sx portables just started rolling out which made this ultraportable high end machine much less interesting and not that top of the line anymore.
although the machine is very nice with it's magnesium chassis, spending that kind of money on one when you could buy a more powerful 386sx laptop from other brands obviously didn't help it any.

I don't know if you are planning on repairing it? but if you aren't I would be very interested in it, to help either as a reference to get mine working or as a parts machine.
I already determined that the keyboard controller in mine is dead, so to replace it I would have to desolder one from another machine to read out so that I can program one for mine.
Thanks for the video... I'd never noticed it on the CC show. My first inclination is to try and fix it up. I don't have any AT-class machine at all right now, and I'm also space limited, so this would fit the bill nicely, if it works. The display would be nice, but since it has a VGA port on it it's not a huge loss. I didn't notice what sort of MCU is in there for the keyboard controller... I wonder if it is protected at all. I have access to a couple of programmers.

If I change my mind I'll let you know.
No problem, just let me know when you retire it, or want to trade for something else :)
The MCU is a PLCC 8742AH. so a bit annoying to desolder. It has the ability to enable a security bit, no idea if they locked it.
Do you know the plug polarity for the adapter? Also, do you know what the wire colors equate to voltages inside? I presume brown is ground, +5v is green, and +12V is yellow. I haven't ohmed anything out inside as of yet.
I know a lady that can help me out with soldering. Heh.
Well if you could try and read out the IC that would be great. :)
Do you know the plug polarity for the adapter? Also, do you know what the wire colors equate to voltages inside? I presume brown is ground, +5v is green, and +12V is yellow. I haven't ohmed anything out inside as of yet.
I'll have to check. It has been disassembled in a box for a year or so until I could take the time to do some more repairs.
But I'll check if I can beep out the connections.