Originally based in Cambridge, England, then for a time in Cupertino, California, Tadpole was acquired by General Dynamics in 2005. Production continued until March 2013 but since then, they no longer sell any systems; and support for their products is provided by Flextronics.
Tadpole laptops were unusual in being based on SPARC, Alpha and PowerPC, rather than the more common x86-based microprocessors. Although very expensive, these classic Tadpoles won favour as a method to show corporation's proprietary software (IBM/HP/DEC) on a self-contained portable device on a client site in the days before remote connectivity.
The original SPARCbook1 was introduced in 1992 with 8–32 MB RAM and a 25 MHz processor. It was followed by several further SPARCbooks, Ultrabooks - and the Voyager IIi. These all ran the SunOS or Solaris operating systems.
An Alpha-based laptop, the ALPHAbook 1, was announced on 4 December 1995 and became available in 1996. The Alphabook 1 was manufactured in Cambridge, England. It used an Alpha 21066A microprocessor specified for a maximum clock frequency of 233 MHz. The laptop used the OpenVMS operating system.
- Chronology of Workstation Computers (1991-1992) Archived April 2, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Tadpole SPARCbook 3", computinghistory.org.uk
- "Tadpole Technology announces the ALPHAbook 1, the world's most powerful notebook computer". Business Wire. December 3, 1995. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
- HP OpenVMS Systems Documentation Retrieved September 15, 2011.
- "IBM RISC System/6000 N40 Notebook Workstation", March 8, 1994, Announcement Number: 194-062
- General Dynamics Acquires Tadpole Computer, Inc. Retrieved April 3, 2014.