The Laser 50
is a small and cheap computer, nearly a pocket. It was sold as an educational
computer (it's written on it), and in France it was sold in an suitcase along
with a initiation cartoon-book....
As with most of the Vtech
computers, the conception of the machine seems "cheap". The tiny screen
offers only 1 line of 16 characters and the memory size is only 2 kb RAM. Hopefully,
it was possible to expand it to 16 kb with a memory expansion which is inserted
slot underneath the computer. On the other hand, the typewriter keyboard
is a good point for a computer of this category, even if it looks a bit "weak"...
Of course the whole thing is programmed in Basic.
One special feature is that
the Laser 50 powers off automatically after 2 min 1/2, thus not wasting the
4 "AA" batteries used to power it. When it was produced, Vtech claimed
that the Laser 50 could last at least 200 hours with 4 batteries, and it was
It also has a LCD contrast
adjustment and little knobs to bring up feet so you can tilt the keyboard as
on modern PCs.
You can also use the Laser
50 as a simple calculator. Indeed the Laser 50 can operate in 6
Mode 1 : Computer (Basic)
2 : Calculator
3 : Trace on
4 : Trace off
5 : Degree
6 : Radian
Finally, the Laser 50 can
also maintain 10 separate program spaces (P0 - P9).