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G > GRID > GridCase   


The GridCase was about the same size and featured the same robust magnesium case as Compass model, but Grid forwent the Compass's expensive and power-hungry electroluminescent display and bubble memory.

The GridCase series was composed of 4 models. The GridCase I featured a bottom-of-the-range LCD display, the GridCase II had an enhanced LCD "that more than one person can read" Grid said, the GridCase III offered a high-contrast gas-plasma display (photo), and the GridCase IV which used a full size yellow electoluminescent screen that was also offered on the high end earlier Grid Compass Computers.

The keyboard was the same as the IBM PCjr, not very convenient but with a good tactile feedback provided by a key click similar to that on the IBM PC. Two power modules were available, a rechargeable battery pack and an AC transformer. Both were the same size and fitted in a large socket on the rear panel. Each battery pack lasted 4 to 5 hours for the LCD models, and one hour with the plasma model.

All models came with eight sockets for ROM chips. Although only four of them could be accessed by the user, Grid offered programs such as MS-DOS, GW-BASIC or Lotus 1-2-3 on ROM chips.

Several peripherals were available, a base station battery charger and power source, a 5.25" and 3.5" floppy disk drive units and a 10 MB hard disk. They all were of the same size and could be stacked.

Some of these systems were made for military use and included a built-in hard drive. A big thick X was pressed into the case over the hard drive. The purpose of this was to show the user where to shoot in case the computer was in danger of falling into enemy hands.

GRiD Defence Systems produced the laptop computers used in the "Aliens" film in 1986. The scenes were cut from the theatrical release but subsequently added to the DVD release.

The GridCase systems were marketed in France by Sagem. There were a least the MTP16, MTP32 and MTP1550 models available. The MTP32 had a plasma display and a built-in hard disk and was powered 386 CPU. It could be the equivalent of the GridCase III. The MTP1550 had a LCD display and a kind of bar at the bottom of the keyboard which acted like a mouse/trackball... These systems were indeed quite sturdy and most of them were used for military applications.


Contributors: David Griffith, Guy, Jérôme Ginestet

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Ja mam laptopa Sagem MTP 16. Bez baterii i wieczka do wnęki baterii. Jakie jest napięcie zasilacza ?

Friday 20th January 2023
Wojciech (Polska)

28.10.2020 at 09:55
This was my first laptop. Very powerful for it’s day. Unique in that you used, I think it was a penny to pop opens little panel which exposed 3 eprom sockets the 4th socket held your ram chip and it was soldered in. You would buy software like Lotus 123. Fill out a form and send the unopened software to grid and they would get a license to burn the software onto an eprom and send it back to you. Now since you had 3 eprom sockets that mint that you could have 3 programs loaded on the laptop at the same time. If you needed to run a different program you would turn it off and carefully remove one of the EPROMs and take another eprom chip and pop it in. Now these were not rugged EPROMs. They were the same EPROMs that you would find soldered into a standard socket so you had to be very careful with them. The pins were quite fragile. Back then if you wanted to produce a document, you first had to decide which word processing package gave you the features you needed for the document you were producing. Aston Tate had different capabilities than other word processing software packages. So you ended up with several EPROMs with different software vendors products burnt in. Again these were very fragile so you ended up carrying a small case with foam that held all the burnt in programs. Quite unique.

Saturday 31st October 2020
Rod Jones (Denver CO/USA)

Are these worth anything as I have one in working order?

Tuesday 9th June 2015
Brendan (United states)


NAME  GridCase
TYPE  Professional Computer
YEAR  1985
KEYBOARD  57-key IBM PCjr-compatible
CPU  80C86 - low-power version
SPEED  4.77 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  Socket for an 8087 math corpocessor
RAM  128 KB up to 512 KB
ROM  Up to 512KB of user installable ROMs
TEXT MODES  80 characters x 25 lines
GRAPHIC MODES  640 x 200 pixels
COLORS  Monochrome
SOUND  Built-in speaker
SIZE / WEIGHT  28.5 (W) x 38 (D) x 5.7 (H) cm / 5.8 kg
I/O PORTS  External colour monitor, Serial and Parallel ports, RJ11 phone jack, external PC keyboard, 50-pin expansion bus
OS  MS-DOS 2.11, Grid-OS (proprietary OS)
POWER SUPPLY  External AC supply, rechargeable battery pack
PERIPHERALS  Internal 1200-baud modem ($795), external 5.25'' FDD ($895)
PRICE  I $2975 - II $3150 - III $4350 - IV $4550

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