Slowest new laptop in the world is now on sale, with Windows 95 and a CPU that's almost 40 years old — but at least it is (almost) pocketable and can run Doom or Commander Keen

Pocket 386 Retro laptop
(Image credit: DZT’s Store)

There’s no shortage of ways that retro gaming enthusiasts can get their nostalgia fix these days, including PC emulators, mobile gaming apps, and plug-and-play consoles for TVs, but the Pocket 386, a handheld mini laptop, stands out by using original hardware for an authentic retro feel.

The device, which originates from China (naturally) comes from the creators of the similar retro notebook, the Book 8086 (which runs Dos and Windows 3.0), and mirrors its specs but in a new form factor. It features a 40MHz 386 SX chip, 8MB of DRAM, a replaceable VGA card, and a design reminiscent of early '90s computers.

The 7-inch IPS LCD screen of the Pocket 386 switches between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios to cater to different preferences, balancing modern and vintage display styles. Its design doesn't have a trackpad; instead, arrow keys and specific function keys serve as mouse controls, adding to its retro charm.

Play the classics

Connectivity options like PS/2 and VGA ports allow the attachment of peripherals such as trackball mice and CRT monitors, boosting the nostalgic experience. It comes pre-loaded with Windows 3.11, with an option to upgrade to Windows 95, accommodating a broader software range.

Currently offered at a discounted price of $187 from the original $300, the Pocket 386 is available in black and transparent versions. It can be purchased from DZT’s Store on AliExpress. RetroTV1 Tech even tested some retro games on it, like Doom, Wolfenstein 3-D, and Commander Keen4, and you can see it in action in the video below.

Beyond retro gaming, the Pocket 386 is potentially versatile enough for a variety of computing tasks. It could be used for older business applications that require a legacy operating system, for programming, word processing, or as a portable device for running classic software utilities, although you may need to put in some work to get the titles running.

Pocket 386 - A NEW Modern Windows 95 & MS-DOS Laptop - Review & Unboxing - YouTube Pocket 386 - A NEW Modern Windows 95 & MS-DOS Laptop - Review & Unboxing - YouTube
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Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a freelancer writing news for TechRadar Pro. He has been writing about computers, technology, and the web for 30 years. In that time he wrote for most of the UK’s PC magazines, and launched, edited and published a number of them too.