AliExpress's bizarre 1990s-style retro DOS computers reviewed

LGR bought the Book 8088 and the Hand 386, new computers with old chips. The Book 8088 is a very retro-style laptop, more than an inch thick and complete with comically enormous display bezels. The Hand 386 is a more modern in performance density–it'll fit in a cargo pant pocket–and is otherwise geared to play EGA-era games.

No emulation here, these are DOS PCs running an 8088 and 386SX processor, using legacy chips on custom PCBs melded with open source projects, off-the-shelf components, and injection molded enclosures. They sure are neat! But lots of compromises, drawbacks, and odd design decisions.

Fun! Nuts, too. At $200, not obscenely expensive, but certainly more expensive than most factory-brand retro portables, and the authenticity comes with many drawbacks. Sound card? Well, it comes with an ISA breakout board! The Book 8088's bad display is another problem. The Hand 386's is much better, but the keyboard's no good, and the Windows 9x UX on a handheld form factor--no mouse!–presents a challenge of its own. The best best is to simply plug it into a monitor, mouse, etc.