The Toshiba T1100 Personal Computer

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Toshiba T1100 Personal Computer

By: Campbell Case

Personal Computer World Magazine, vol. 8, no. 11, Nov. 1985, p. 178.

This advertisement is for the Toshiba T1100 personal computer, published in November 1985. It was one of the earliest personal laptop computers compatible with IBM PC software and was originally launched in Europe. Personal computers are typically defined by having a full-size keyboard, the ability to manipulate text/numbers and store the results, a legible screen, battery power, and a weight of less than 15 pounds (Computers to Go: You “Can” Take It with You, Coder & Chu). Before this innovation, PCs were usually installed in offices or homes and were too bulky for frequent mobility. The T1100, however, featured an eight-hour rechargeable battery life and weighed roughly 4 kilograms.

In terms of the Circuit of Culture framework, this advertisement primarily encompasses the cultural processes of consumption, production, and identity. The challenge in consumption is to persuade the reader/viewer to become a consumer, establish an association with the company whose product is being purchased, and create a desire to remain a customer. The significance of the consumption cultural process doesn’t originate solely with the producers and is not merely received by consumers; it is cultivated during the consumption and use of the product (Du Gay, page 5). The purpose of this advertisement is to convince consumers that the T1100 will consistently fulfill their needs. The advertisement highlights the battery size, software capabilities, security features, and compares it to the already popular desktop computers to reassure readers that it complements the daily tasks of a working individual.

The production cultural process is tied to this advertisement by showcasing the technological evolution of global culture. The initial computers filled entire rooms and lacked the capabilities of today’s slim tablet computers. This advertisement reflects the growing need for individuals to work from home, on the go, and away from the previously bulky, less mobile computers. The evolution of computers has sparked cultural processes that rely on our mobile devices. The technological progress of personal computers shown in this advertisement results from the recognition of cultural changes and product innovation capabilities.

Identity is a central theme in this advertisement. It identifies one of its potential target consumers with the phrase “the complete office take away.” Toshiba aims to emphasize that their product can fulfill the needs of working individuals that were previously confined to their offices but can now be accessed anywhere with the T1100 personal computer. In a published product review, the T1100 is hailed as one of the best all-around and versatile personal computers due to its IBM compatibility, high-capacity floppy disk, and high-contrast screen (PC Weekly, page 101). While this advertisement may focus on the identity of working individuals, the identity cultural process extends to a new way of life.

To convey the benefits of the Toshiba T1100, the advertisement uses both text and images. The text on this page clearly illustrates that this product enables individuals to take their office with them anywhere and describes its beneficial features, most of which have been mentioned above. An image of the product is included to showcase its portability, accompanied by a briefcase and other workplace items to emphasize its size and how it can benefit working individuals. Overall, the advertisement effectively demonstrates the product’s advantages in a concise manner.

Works Cited

Gay, Paul Du. Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman. Sage, 2003. 

Coder, David M., and Ellen W. Chu. “Computers to Go: You ‘Can’ Take It with You.” 

BioScience, vol. 37, no. 5, 1987, pp. 350–55. JSTOR, Accessed 18 Sept. 2023.

Ray, Gary. “Power, Compatibility and Legible Screen Combine in a Praiseworthy Lap-Top.” PC

 Weekly, 8 Apr. 1986, pp. 99–101. 

Toshiba. “The Complete Office Takeway.” Personal Computer World Magazine, vol. 8, no. 11, Nov. 1985, p. 178.

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