Originally based in Cambridge, England, 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 was originally based in Cambridge, England, then for a time in Cupertino, California.
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 SPARCbook 1 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.
- General Dynamics Acquires Tadpole Computer, Inc. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- Chronology of Workstation Computers (1991-1992) Archived April 2, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
- Sub-$6,000 Sparc Notebook Announced, By Martin Marshall, InfoWorld, 27 May 1991, Page 32
- Advert: Meet the Notebook that Breaks the Mold: SPARCbook 1: Tadpole, Computerworld, 23 Mar 1992, Page 37
- Tadpole release Sparc notebooks, By Yvonne L. Lee, InfoWorld, 21 Feb 1994, Page 33, ...The $10,950 SparcBook 3....The $7,500 SparcBook 3LC...
- SPARC notebook manufacturer promises desktop performance, by Michael Fitzgerald, Computerworld, 28 Feb 1994, Page 41, ...Tadpole Technology Inc. in Austin, Texas, announced its third SPARC notebook....The $10,950 SPARCbook 3 uses Texas insstruments, Inc.'s 50-MHz MicroSPARC processor...
- "Tadpole SPARCbook 3", computinghistory.org.uk
- SPARCbook 3000ST - The coolest 90s laptop, March 14, 2019 , triosdevelopers.com
- Table 11-1: Identifying Different SPARC CPUs, Page 256, Sun Performance and Tuning: Java and the Internet, By Adrian Cockcroft, Richard Pettit, Sun Microsystems, ...System(Kernel Architecture): Tadpole SPARCbook 1 (sun4m) / CPU Mhz: 25 / CPU Type: Cypress 601...System(Kernel Architecture): Tadpole SPARCbook 2 (sun4m) / CPU Mhz: 40 / CPU Type: Fujitsu MB86903...System(Kernel Architecture): Tadpole SPARCbook 3 (sun4m) / CPU Mhz: 85-110 / CPU Type: microSPARC II...
- Sparc-based notebook ready to debut: Tadpole system uses Cypress processor, runs Solaris operating system, By Cate Corcoran, InfoWorld Dec 28, 1992 - Jan 4, 1993, Page 23
- "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
- Tadpole boosts power in Pentium-, Sparc-based notebooks, By Yvonne L. Lee, InfoWorld, 24 Jul 1995, Page 45, ...The two new notebooks, shipping now, include the SparcBook 3GX...and the Tadpole P1300, the first 133-MHz Pentium-based notebook...A Pentium notebook with 8MB of RAM and a 340MB hard disk cost $6,995...