The Osborne Encore was developed by Vadem Inc., a consulting company od Santa Clara, California, which offered the design to Osborne Computer Corp (OCC) for production. At that time, after launching the Osborne Executive, Osborne Corp. had serious financial problems.
It was an MSDOS based computer with a built-in modem. The keyboard had four 'icon' keys which called small programs located in ROM : the "phone" key called the communication software, the "clock" key called a calendar, the "disk" key booted the system and the "calculator" key called a small electronic calculator.
The LCD screen could display only 16 lines, so only a few MS-DOS programs could be used (the lower 9 lines were invisible). When it was conceived, the Encore had a 25 lines LCD screen, but the size was reduced to save production costs.
Morrow Design Co. also licensed the technology from Vadem and released a improved machine called Pivot. Zenith, in turn, licensed the technology from Morrow and sold a similar machine featuring a 25-line CGA display, the Z-171.
Osborne's relationship with Vadem involved manufacturing and system support. Vadem engineers made extensive changes to the original version, mostly improving its IBM compatibility, which gave birth in 1985 to the Osborne 3, the last Osborne computer sold in USA.
I agree with Gene (US) that the screen shows 25 viewable lines but it toggles up and down. I also still have this machine. For word processing it was fine. I brought this Osborne around the world with me on a three-month trip in 1986. That was the year Osborne went broke.
The description has one small error. Even though the screen only displays 16 lines at a time, all 25 lines can be viewed (at least on the Osborne 3 that I have.) There is a button on the monitor that let you choose whether the top 16 lines or bottom 16 lines are displayed. It makes some programs a little quirky to use, but at the time this was one of the very few 100$ IBM compatible laptops available for a reasonable price.
Wednesday 25th September 2013
76 mechanical keys and 14 touch-sensitive functions keys