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A > ACT > QI-300   


The QI-300 was the last machine that showed Apricot's unique design style before ACT was bought by Mitsubishi and moved into standard looking boxes.

It also had several unique features, including a security system based on an infra-red 'key card' that users had to point at the PC and activate to allow it to boot up. This was also the first PC to offer IBM's MCA expansion bus.

The QI-300 was followed by the Qi 600 (80386DX-25) and the Qi 900 (80486DX)


Thanks to Charles Verrier for this information.

Christopher Davies adds:
I used to maintain these computers many years ago. They were very IBM like inside and sported a 40 MB tape drive on the left hand side. The MCA I am sure was brown in colour. A very smart machine. They seamed very popular in tire replacement places meaning they got very grimy and dirty.

Warlord0 recalls:
Ooh man glory days. I used to work for an Apricot reseller and put in a lot of Qi and Xen/Xen-S machines. The Qi was revolutionary. It had an MCA card that could be installed to work with an infra-red security card that would encrypt the hard drive!

Apricot were light years ahead of their time. Wireless keyboard and mouse, trackballs, calculators in the keyboard. This stuff was brilliant British design. Sadly the buy out by Mitsubishi killed them off.

I do remember the motherboards being released to the public being so poor in quality due to their "bleeding edge" design that many upgrades were done by soldering wires between chips post production.

But they hold a special place in my heart. Gotta love 'em.

We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system, please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


We had one of these at home back in late 1988. With its 48MB hard drive and 5MB of RAM it pretty much represented the cutting-edge of desktop PC''s at the time. It cost a bomb, I believe the additional 4MB of RAM cost another thousand pounds or so. In fact I sold it, still working, in around 1995.

Ahh, those were the days......

Wednesday 11th February 2009
Andy W. (UK)

This was my first PC, and followed the legendary Amstrad PCW8256 I wrote my PhD thesis on. The hard drive had 40mb capacity and made a soft rattling sound as it booted up. Windows 3.11 for Workgroups. Never forget it.

Thursday 19th June 2008
Brian (UK)

I think we had one of these Apricot 386sx-16 at the time. It was the first place I ever saw the strange interface on the backend which later changed my career - 10base-T.
The inbuilt expansion space was quite unusable due to the microchannel architechture, but we got on expansion box to the side of the thing with three full-sized ISA slots and had a memory card on one of them.

Tuesday 27th November 2007
Antti Rytsola (Finland)


NAME  QI-300
TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  1988
KEYBOARD  IBM AT standard layout
CPU  Intel 80386SX
CO-PROCESSOR  Socket for a 80387SX math coprocessor
RAM  1Mb to 5Mb
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  40 or 80 columns x 25 lines
SOUND  Built-in speaker
SIZE / WEIGHT  Unknown
I/O PORTS  On-board ethernet, serial & parallel ports
BUILT IN MEDIA  3.5'' FDD, 30 to 50 MB RLL hard disk drive
OS  MS-DOS and Windows 3
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PERIPHERALS  4 x 16-bit MCA expansion slots
PRICE  £3,200 (QI-600)

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