Club 100

Model 100, 102 and 200 Differences

Club 100

I get asked this question quite often so I edited this canned response...

The #1 question has to do with Bill Gates' involvement with the Model 100. Here is a link to the Bill's response in this Transcript of a Video History Interview with Mr. William "Bill" Gates

The Model 100 and 102 are work-alike machines with a maximum RAM capasity of 32K less over head. To a very large extent, you will see no working differences. Both machine have built-in BASIC, TEXT, TELCOM, ADDRSS and SCHEDL, an RS232c serial port, a 26-pin parallel port, a 40-pin system buss, a bar code reader port, and a built-in 300 baud modem. The LCD is 40 characters by 8 lines and operates at 600 baud. There is also an option ROM socket for adding additional

Both machines use the same add-on option ROMware, such as TS-DOS on ROM, ROM2/Cleuseau, etc. See the Club 100 Catalog for ROMware still available. NOTE: Of all the ROMware available, the #1 choice is the TS-DOS ROM, used for saving/loading files to a PC via a null-modem cable and the free DeskLink software offered by Club 100. See "The HOT Set-Up" in the Catalog at Club 100 (

Here is a link to a very nice article by Benj Edwards, PC World, entitled Inside a Classic: The TRS-80 Model 100. Click on the photos to read the lucid pages of Benj's article.

MODEL 100 and 102

The Model 102 is significantly better "technically" than the Model 100. Both are wonderful machines, but the Model 102 is thinner, lighter, the function keys are laid out more conveniently, and the keyboard is a joy to use vs. a Model 100. The 102 keyboard is notably smoother, faster and quieter than the best Model 100 ever was. The bit-level technician, programing machine language routines and option ROM accessible programs will find a number of slight technical differences but nothing that can't be handled easily by the seasoned technician. Yet again, the average user will see no differences.

The 102 is also more durable than the 100; so I have noted. Its surface mount technology seems to hold up better over the long run, and the 102 gets better battery mileage than the 100. And last: There are more good Model 102s in the world that Model 100s. Finding a good Model 102 is much easier then finding a good Model 100.

In either case, both the Model 100 and Model 102 are "friendly" computers. For those of us who love to write, having a Model "T" as a constant companion simply makes life more civilized. And again, the ability to easily transfer ASCII text files between the Model "T" and an other computer via the RS232c port make using a Model "T" for remote writing and data collection a joy.


The Model 200 is also a work-alike machine with notable differences. The stock Model 200 came with all the same built in programs and ports as the Model 100/102 with the inclusion of the built in Multiplan Spreadsheet. The keyboard of the Model 200 is very nice, like a 102, as is the 40 character 16 line display, favored by journalists--although since it is old LCD technology, one have of the screen (top or bottom) is always clearer than the other depending on how you move your head up and down.

The Model 200 also has the ability to add 2 banks of 24K each--noncontiguous. The OS has a bank button. Press it and you are in bank 2, press it again for bank 3, and again for back to bank 1. This is good news for those who need more RAM but the bad news is that finding the 24K RAM modules is difficult. I used to have an engineer do production runs of these for the club but that was years ago.

Last but not least, much fewer Model 200s were manufactured then 100s and 102s, making finding a good Model 200 difficult. Adding to this difficulty is the power supply problems that has rendered most Model 200s useless. Also, since most Model 200s were owned by news agencies, when they switched to newer laptops for their journalists, they typically threw their old Model 200s into the land fill, thus reducing available Model 200s.


A 32K Model 102 is your best bet. Add to this a TS-DOS ROM and a NADSBox (see Catalog) and you're all set. The Model 102 and Model 100 manuals are on-line at the Club 100 web site, but the best manual ever written for using and programming the Model "T"s is "The TRS-80 Model 100 Portable Computer" by David A. Lien: ISBN 0-932760-17-1. An equivalent book for the Model 200 is "The Tandy 200 Portable Computer" by David A. Lien: ISBN 0-932760-30-9.

Last but not least, all the Portable 100 Magazines are scanned in as .pdf files and available at the Club 100 web site (

Model Ts Forever!
The Original Laptop Computer . . . 1983