IP-Lite by Kontron
Designed by Neumeister Design, and the winner of a “Best in Category” design awards from iF Design, the IP Lite used that classic marketing ploy of extolling the one virtue of the product that wasn’t. It’s a heavy beastie – 21lb or 9.8Kg. Without any expansion cards. So calling it “Lite” was clever! I lugged an early one around while selling KSE5 in circuit emulators, which needed a special GPIB board. I was happy – before the IP-Lite I had to carry a desktop computer around, including CRT!
Two massive die-cast magnesium shells bolted together to make a very rigid, strong and durable portable computer. Using a double-sided passive backplane, the IP-Lite offered five expansion slots – EISA in the early units, and ISA/PCI in the later ones. The magnesium was nickel coated (electro-plated I think) for EMI and corrosion resistance. Talking of EMI, a full Tempest version was available for those that need that sort of thing. Unlike many competitive products of the era, Kontron took its testing seriously, and the IP-Lite passed drop tests, EMI, RFI, shock and vibration tests in third-party labs.
Screens varied from a very indifferent TSTN monochrome display, which I think was 9″ diagonal, through an OK color STN (10.4″) to a very nice XGA TFT Color display (12″)
The original keyboard was an excellent full-travel Cherry with no pointing device. There was plenty of room in the carry bag for a mouse, and the IP-Lite was very definitely not a battery powered unit. AC 115/230V auto switching was standard, and 400Hz and DC/DC supplies were available as options. Later, when the IN-Lite was released, the IP-Lite inherited the micro-trackball keyboard from it’s little brother. Not an upgrade!
IP-Lite technical data sheet