PC-9801 N

From NEC Retro

PC-9801 N
Manufacturer: NEC
Release Date RRP Code
PC-9801 N (98 Note)


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The PC-9801 N, commonly known as the 98 Note was the first notebook-class computer released by NEC as part of the PC-9800 series.

Unlike previous PC-98 computers, the 98 Note was designed as a low-cost portable device, with a built-in (backlit) LCD display only capable of two colours: "black" and "white". As such while desktop PC-9801 software could function on the 98 Note, if colour was used, it would likely not display properly. As a result of this, the 98 Note has its own range of software, including games.

With the release of the PC-9801 NC (or "Note Color") in 1991, software designed for desktop PCs could now run on NEC's notebooks, negating the need for a separate range of software.

One feature of the 98 Note line that was introduced with PC-9801 N and was included in its successors is its unique expansion slot bus, which uses 110 pins instead of 100 like the other PC-9800 models. It is compatible with already existing expansion boards released for the 100 pin C-bus in mind.

To compensate for the lack of a second floppy disk drive, The Note 98 line would include a built in RAM drive, this feature would eventually find itself in the desktop-class models too such as the PC-9801 UR.

Technical specifications

  • Main processor: µPD70116 clocked at 10MHz
  • Graphics processor: 2x µPD7220 clocked at 2.5MHz
  • Graphics: Graphic Charger (GRCG)
  • Display: monochrome backlit LCD
  • RAM: 640KB
  • RAM drive(s): 1.25MB
  • Text VRAM: 12KB
  • Graphics VRAM: 256KB
  • ROM: 96KB
  • Floppy Disk drive(s): 1× 3½-inch 2HD (1MB formatted)[fn 1]
  • Sound: Internal "beeper"
  • General Expansion Slot(s): 1 slot (98 Note bus)

List of games


  1. Can also read 2DD disks.


PC-9800 series hardware
PC-9800 series Desktop hardware
PC-9801 (1982) | PC-9801 F (E) (1983) | M (1984)

V30 Computers: U | VF | VM (21) | UV (21) | CV (1985-1988)
286 Computers: VX | UX | RX | EX | DX | UR | UF (1986-1991)
386 Computers: RA | RS | ES | DA | DS | CS | FS | FX | US (1988-1992)
486+ Computers: FA | BX | BA | BX2 | BS2 | BA2 | BA3 | BX3 | BX4 | BX4-P (1993-1995)
Other: DO | DO+ | GS (1989-1990)

PC-9800 series Laptop hardware
V30 Computers: PC-9801 LV (1988)

286 Computers: PC-9801 LX (1989)
386 Computers: PC-9801 LS (1988) | PC-9801 T (1990-1991)
V50 Computers(9801 Incompatible): PC-98LT (1986) | PC-98HA (1993)
Other: PC-9801 P (1993)

PC-9800 series Notebook hardware
V30 Computers: PC-9801 N (1989)

V30HL(286) Computers: PC-9801 NV (1990-1991) | PC-9801 NL/(R)(A) (1992-1994)
386 Computers: PC-9801 NC (1991) | PC-9801 NS/(E)(T)(L)(R)(A) (1990-1994)
486 Computers: PC-9801 NA/(C) (1992) | PC-9801 NX/C (1993)

PC-9800 series Workstation hardware
286 Computers: PC-98XA (1985) | PC-98XL (1986)

386 Computers: PC-98XL² (1987) | PC-98RL (1990)

PC-9800 series Peripherals
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