Bondwell (1983 – 1994)


The Bondwell Model 38

Bondwell Industrial Co. INC was founded in 1983, and in 1984 acquired majority of the Spectravideo shares for a stronger computer market. The new firm was settled in California and later in 1985 production moved to Hong Kong, producing Spectravideo home computers and portable computers based on the Z80 Processor. Their first portable computer was the BONDWELL 12 and 14 models but prior to that they also tried desktops computers such as the BONDWELL 22 released in 1984 as their first launch in PC with a Z80 CPU, 128K of ram and CP/M 2.2 and in 1986 it was the time for the Model 38 based on the Intel 8088 CPU 640k Ram and MS-DOS. The Model 38 had also an optional 20MB hard disk, but it was quite expensive and only reachable by corporate companies.

In 1984 Bondwell came out with the 12 and 14 series where they introduced portability in their machines but still no internal battery pack inside which were tied to a mains plug. The main feature was that they had build in speech synthesizer and compatible with Kaypro systems. The 14 Series was just an upgraded version of the 12 series with dual disk drives 360k. Since the success of the previous portable series in 1985 they released another similar product of the 12 and 14 models the BONDWELL Model 16, and featured an internal hard disk as an add on which made the machine even heavier than the previous version and very noisy when switched on due to the internal Hard disk and the additional fans to cool down the drive.

The Portable Model 14

Also in 1985 after releasing the Model 2 based on the Z80 CPU with 64KB ram, Battery Pack and CP/M software, Bondwell realized that MS-DOS was gaining more users and ventured in the MS-DOS OS System based on the INTEL 8088 CPU and 640KB ram, the company released the Model 18, portable PC. Although it was a very powerful machine it was not a hit due to its weight and other companies were releasing smaller and lighter machines. In response to this Bondwell released the Model 8 with the same casing of the Model 2 for a quick release, and not to lose its market customers. The main features of Model 8 were a 3.5’ floppy drive, an Intel 80C88 CPU and 512Kb Ram. The optional accessories were an internal hard disk and 300 baud Modem but the US version had the modem already built in. The response was very good and soon the company released the B100 and B200 superslim PC’s based on the same CPU, but with more memory and features. In 1987 Bondwell re-released the Model 8T which included a keypad, 640KB Ram and internal Hard Disk or DUAL Floppy drive version.

In 1988 Bondwell sold the Spectravideo name to Ash & Newman (Logic 3) the company started new projects using new CPU technology, and started to produce a new range of portables or now so called Laptops with more features built in. 1990 was the year of the B310 superslim based on the 80C 286 CPU with 1MB ram expandable to 2 MB and 10.5` CGA-LCD Monitor. Following the low sales in 1991 the company released the B310V as a 286 laptop and later the B310SX based on a 386SX CPU. This did not help the company to recover and the company stopped producing their computer brand and selling other brands under the Bondwell mark but it was too late and eventually in 1994 Bondwell Industrial Co. INC was dissolved while other branches of Bondwell kept on selling 3rd party computers and peripherals.