Forum Rules and Etiquette

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Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

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NanTan Early 1990's laptops Guide (386/486/Pentium)

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    NanTan Early 1990's laptops Guide (386/486/Pentium)

    NanTan is a Taiwan based manufacturer of laptop computers and other digital devices. They are about the closest thing to a "White Box" laptop that ever existed as they sold these seemingly almost generic laptop computers under various models. This page is my attempt to document these devices as much as possible since there's almost no information about them on the internet, and I have owned 3-4 of these over the years myself. They still exist and currently go under the name of Clevo. I'll put a company profile once I have more information on them.

    Just a note that I will be adding to this article as I find more information - so please excuse any blank spots. This is pretty huge to work on. The reason I chose to make one page for multiple systems is to help collectors/gamers/etc find out more about their particular unit, or for me to find out from owners of these machines what is inside them and add it. I will be adding more photos of each model as I find them online.

    Nan Tan sold these laptops under many names. These include....


    Nan Tan


    NanTan laptops are notorious for not having the power supplies provided with them. This is often a huge problem because the power supplies for most of the 1990-1993 models are 4-pin power supplies that seem to mystify most people. Thankfully our own retro-pc_user mentioned this.

    PINOUT - Laptop uses a barrel DIN jack on the back, this is the pinout from the Laptop view.

    Pins 1 & 2 (top two) deal with the charging circuit - I'm guessing a lower voltage trickle-charge setup designed to charge the battery.
    Pins 3 & 4 (bottom two) deal with the regular power-circuitry - pin 3 is ground, pin 4 is the voltage input for powering the laptop.

    NOTE: The writer here is seriously tempted to do a write up on the below when/if he ever decides to buy one of these again and test it out.

    A Reddit Post on Providing power to these laptops by converting them to a regular Barrel Jack....this looks like a great idea for these so you can use a more general PSU. I would not doubt there could be a way to wire up the charging circuitry to work this way as well and update the battery technologies using a BMC and some new cells as a lot of these could have some freed up room in the battery cases themselves or the chassis in the case of earlier models.


    The Model of NanTan built laptops from the late 80's/early 1990's are easily found by the sticker on the bottom which will contain a model# that says "FMA" at the beginning. Later models such as the 9200 may have a "K" or "P" after the "FMA". - Please note this is a work in progress and I'll be updating/editing as I find more information. Much of the information was pulled from my own machines, internet auctions, and the FCC directly.
    IDuwiBZ3IDmQPUGg6Be6A4nJ8zg2SypgQFm-b5at06nfr7TiXDcU19l-QYSG40djIBNJMEyrDnAo4RTfQr6B.jpg FMA2100 1990 - 12MHz 80286 based laptop computer.
    Vintage%20Nan%20Tan%20notebook%20computer%20FMA-2200_20171231121020.jpg FMA2200 1991 - 16MHz 80386 SX Based Laptop computer.
    FMA3140 1990 - 8/16 MHz Laptop Computer (8086 or 286?)
    Retro-Laptop-FMA3300-386er-Notebook-80386DX-Lion-Electronics.jpg FMA3300
    FMA3300C (Color, DTSN)
    1991 - 80386 DX-33 based Laptop Computer. Shares it's chassis design with the later (and more common) 3500 model.
    generic-486dx-notebook-computer-1.21__79951.1490219465.jpg?c=2?imbypass=on.jpg FMA3500
    FMA3500SX (486SX)
    FMA3500C (Color, DTSN)
    The FMA3500 Model is pretty much identical to the 3300 models, however it came in more variants including a "Professional" model with a trackball where the 486 DX logo is on the right side above the keyboard, an SX model with a 486 SX-25 MHz, and the bog standard 486 DX-33 model. Just like the 3300, it uses a 12v NiCad battery pack that attaches to the back with thumbscrews, and no PCMCIA slots.

    Unlike the 3300 though, later variants came with both DTSN and Active Matrix TFT LCD screens in 640x480p, and later versions also came in a dark gray color. Also the later units stopped using the 4-pin proprietary power supply and started using a regular barrel jack connection.

    Just like the 3300 this model uses standard desktop components including 486 Socket 1 CPU, SIP memory, and 3.5" Floppy and IDE HDD.
    FMA3530C 1992 - 486 DX2-50 or 486 DX-25 based laptop computer, with later models coming with a 486 DX-33 and 486 DX-25 cpu (later budget model?).
    s-l300.jpg FMA3600 1994 - This laptop was based on the Intel Pentium 60/66 CPU.
    1992 - 486 based notebook computer. The 5500 and 5500CDX came with 486 DX-33 cpu, the 5500 SX came with a 486 SX-25, and the 5500C came with a 486 DX2-50 CPU.
    FMA6100 1991 - 8/16 MHz (286?) Laptop computer found in the FCC listings for NanTan.
    FMA6500 1993 - 486 DX based laptop computer at 25 and 33MHz.
    FMA6530 1992 - An i486 DX25 or DX33 based notebook computer featuring a 640x480 color LCD Screen (most likely DTSN).
    FMA7500 1994 - i486 DX-33 & DX-25 based laptop computer.
    42f7cdaa64e3cd24743637763c77b6af.jpg FMA7600 1994 - Intel Pentium 60 CPU.
    2WRiY4i7Oix7mPJx.jpg FMA8100 1990 - 20MHz 386, extended expansion functions.
    s-l225.jpg FMA8200 1993 - 486 DX-33 based Laptop computer. Appears to use a similar platform to the FMAx9200 series given placement of the CPU and RAM connections in the unit. It also appears this model had sound as an option.
    6bSA5VUqMICkk8tYejEFB90YswQYE_-Q2ByWZtkA9KO6x8o6zPdTSFFQGQPeACupvPogfMbdd5l66gO4apaHDXvcQeJgzrQQU1UCHoqRs3VT.jpg FMA86D
    1996 - The FMA86D was one of the earliest 800x600 capable offerings made by NanTan. It was of course, a Pentium based computer with the more traditional trackpad and a CD-ROM drive installed (hence the thicker structure). These were based on the Pentium 60 CPU though an FCC Identifier lists the CPU as being a Pentium 50 for the FMA86T (maybe a downclocked Pentium 60?).
    s-l400.jpg FMAK9200
    1994 - The 9200 Series were a series of 486 based laptop computers with ESS688 Audio Drive audio, and either a Monochrome (FMAx9200M) or Color (FMAx9200D) DTSN LCD Screen. They also featured a 2 button track ball, 2 6-cell NiMH 9v Batteries located under each side of the palm wrest, a 1.44MB Floppy drive, and Proprietary memory upgrade socket located under the tool-less keyboard (2 latches on the upper corners). The AC Adapter used a standard barrel jack instead of the usual 4-pin connector used by most other NanTan built offerings on this page making them quite a nice retro-system with sound, color video, and an easy to replace PSU. These originally came with a 486 DX-33 CPU, but because of the socket 3 compatible CPU slot it's not uncommon to find these running a 486 DX2 or 486 DX4 level chip.
    FMA9400 1994 - Intel 486 DX-25 or DX-33 CPU.
    FMA9420 1994 - Intel 486 DX-25 or DX-33 CPU
    FMA9500 1995 - Intel 486 DX at 25 or 33MHz.
    Last edited by Mad-Mike; June 16, 2021, 12:48 PM. Reason: Added the 8200 Model Picture to that machine in the lineup. Remember W.I.P.