Once received, I plugged it in, turned it on, it fired up into Windows 95! Perhaps the seller had a faulty power outlet or was not pushing the power button. Either way, it was a great little find.
This unit features a Cyrix processor, which is rarely seen today as the last processor made by Cyrix was the Cyrix MII-433GP 300Mhz (A Pentium II Alternative).
Overall the NEC Versa 550D is not a bad unit, and this one is the highest model offered in NEC’s Versa 500 lineup that features a 100Mhz processor, 8MB on-board ram expanded to 16mb and a 10.4″ Color DSTN LCD.
Usually, high-end 486’s were paired with at least 16MB ram, while base models were 8MB.
The DSTN LCD screen
The 550D’s DSTN LCD screen is challenging on the eyes. One of the many problems with retro LCDs was a horrible refresh rate. The ghosting on this screen is bad, it felt like 4-5 fps just using windows.
The one feature I love about this laptop is the use of the trackball, to this day I still think it was one my favourite pointing devices in retro computing, they are accurate and extremely easy to use.
On the bright side this unit has a total of 16MB’s of RAM, a huge 1000MB (1GB) Hard drive and 1.44MB floppy drive, Add on cards are possible through the 2 PCMCIA slots and although the screen has some ghosting it is very bright and crisp.
My unit is in good condition although the battery no longer holds charger and the rear screen casing is cracked at the bottom which can bee seen in on of my photos below.
550D Specifications & Downloads:
|Cyrix 486Dx4-75P @ 75MHz or Cyrix 5×86-100GP @ 100Mhz
|340MB / 540MB / 1000MB 2.5″ IDE hard disk
|9.4″ or 10.4″ DSTN Color LCD, 1MB Video Memory 640×480 Resolution with 256 colors
|4MB or 8MB on-board upgradeable to 24MB
|3.5″ 1.44MB Floppy (720k compatible)
|Two PCMCIA 2.1 card slots that support two Type II PC cards at the same time or one Type III and one Type II PC cards at the same time
|Large integrated two button 19mm trackball
|1 x Serial Port / 1 x Printer Port / 1 x VGA Port / 1 x PS/2 keyboard & mouse port
|suspend to RAM, suspend to disk
|NiMH, 9.6 V, 2800 mAh
|Auto-switching AC Adapter (90V – 264V) / Rechargeable NiMH Battery pack with 3 Hours of life
|approx. 2.8 kg / 6.1 lb (with accumulator)
|287 × 227 × 52 mm
|Year & Cost
|RRP $???? when released in 1995
- Be careful not to be to harsh when opening and closing the laptop, as the hinges and plastic around them brakes very easy, might be worth removing the bezel and re-enforcing the hinge plastic with epoxy or JB weld.
Versa 550D from the side