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NEC Versa M/75
The NEC Versa M/75 is a part of the NEC Versa "M" Series notebooks released in mid 1994. They are a 486 DX4 based notebook computer, and NEC's first "Multimedia" model with a sound card. While appearing identical to the Ultralite Versa, Versa E, and Versa P, they are closer technologically to the Versa P-series. There was also a 100MHz M/100 model offered, as well as a AT&T Globalyst 250 version.
All models had the same basic feature set...
- intel 486 DX4-75MHz CPU (SL technology was standard on the DX4)
- An updated non-backlit status display beneath the keyboard
- 8MB of On-Board RAM, expandable to 40MB via proprietary cards in 4, 8, 12, 16, and 32MB capacities
- 2x PCMCIA Type II Expansion Slots with Cirrus Logic chipset
- 1.44MB 3.5" Floppy Drive in removable "VersaBay" format
- 2.5" IDE "VersaPak", user-upgradable HDD in caddy in capacities of 250, 320, 540, and 810MB
- C&T 65545 SVGA Graphics Chipset with 1 Megabyte of VRAM
- Crystal Semiconductor CS-4231-KQ Windows Sound System compatible audio chipset, no FM
- Built-in Microphone
- 7.2volt, 3800 mAH "Smart Battery" to improve charging and longevity of battery life
- Updated "VersaBay" slot allowing for two new accessories that allowed for 2 more PCMCIA Type-II slots or a full-blown DV Capture + TV Tuner "VersaVideo" add-on in place of the floppy drive or second battery.
However, there were actually two different versions of the M/75 base unit. These were based on a new screen option offered in mid 1994 known as the M/75TC - for "True Color" which required special circuitry to work. These can be told apart by the model# on the bottom.
- PC-470-XXXX = Standard NEC Versa (M/75D, M/75C, M/75CP, M/75HC)
- PC-570-XXXX = NEC Versa M/75TC
The electronic difference was a daughtercard that fit between the CPU card sockets on the motherboard that changed the way the LCD panel was handled. The standard NEC Versa either shipped with a Kyocera 9.4" DTSN Panel (M/75D) or a NEC NL6448AC30-10 9.4" LCD capable of 4096 simultaneous colors (M/75C, M/75CP), or a NEC NL8060AC24-01 800x600 LCD Panel (M/75HC). The M/75TC came with a special, industrial grade, NEC NL6448AC30-09 LCD panel with expanded circuitry to allow for 24-bit True Color support for people who needed photorealistic graphics on the go.
The Crystal CS-4231-KQ chipset is a Windows Sound System (WSS) compatible chipset called "Crystal Business Audio" based on the pre-loaded applications for Windows 3.1. It has no FM Synthesizer/Adlib support, and defaults most audio to 44000KHz 16-bit Stereo (CD Quality). It is also incredibly tricky to get working on certain DOS programs due to limited driver support in DOS.
The Versa M/75 continued to be produced until possibly 1996, where it was replaced along with the Versa V and Versa P by the Versa 2000/4000/6000 series notebooks. Prices ranged from around $1700 wholesale for a M/75D with a 250MB HDD, all the way to over $5000 for a higher end model.