PT-210 Portable Data Terminal

written by Matthew Reed

PT-210 Portable Terminal

PT-210 Portable Terminal from 1983
Radio Shack catalog

The TRS‑80 PT-210 Portable Terminal (catalog number 76-1001) was a mobile dumb terminal that provided a way for travelers to access remote computers while on the road. Introduced by Radio Shack in late 1982 for a price of $995.00, the PT-210 was promoted with the slogan “Now there’s a TRS‑80 you can take with you on business trips!”

The PT-210 weighed 15 pounds and came in a briefcase-style case. It contained a full-size 53-key keyboard, an acoustic coupler that communicated at 110 or 300 baud, and a “whisper-quiet” thermal printer. The catalog description stated:

Now you can access a computer from anywhere in the country by phone with Radio Shack’s new PT-210 Portable Terminal. It couldn’t be easier to use. Just slip in the detachable AC line cord, dial a phone number and slip the telephone handset into the PT-210’s built-in acoustic coupler—micro, mini, or mainframe!

The PT-210 printer used special 8½" wide thermal paper that came on a 100 foot roll. Radio Shack sold the thermal paper (catalog number 76-1003) as a package of six rolls for $24.95.

Radio Shack sold several options for the PT-210:

  • the Deluxe PT-210 Travel Case (catalog number 76-1010), which cost $24.95 .
  • the PT-210 RS-232C Interface Module, which cost $69.95, allowed direct connection to a host computer without using a modem.

The PT-210 was supposedly quite popular with IRS agents and business travelers, but its appeal was obviously limited. Radio Shack reduced the price of the PT-210 to $795.00 for their 1984 catalog, but it disappeared from the catalog after that.