Aristo FT-4000

Aristo is known as Polish notebook manufacturer, FT-4000 is their first model. It has wide range of processors, mine came with 486DX/33MHz and I installed DX2/66MHz. As for 1994 this computer has very good hardware specifications: Expandability with desktop 486 processors, built-in sound card and WD graphics chip. It can hold and resume system even without BIOS battery, working from main battery or power supply. Its LCD is passive, but gives nice, pastel colors.
Aristo claims that their computers are made in Poland. Later computers - yes, this model is made in Taiwan.

Manufacturer Aristo

Origin China/Poland
Year of unit 1995
Year of introduction 1994
Type Laptop, PC
CPU Intel 80486DX2, 66MHz
Floppy Disk Internal 3.5", 1.44MB
Hard Disk 350MB
Other media None
Graphics and display: VGA 640x480 256-color passive LCD
Sound: PC Speaker
ESS ES488 sound card
Keyboard and pointing device: Small PC keyboard without numeric part, numeric part on letter keys.

Logitech trackball

OS: MS-DOS, Windows 3.x.

Power supply:

1,2 - +15V DC?? - works with this voltage
3 - GND

I/O:  - Serial port
 - Parallel port
 - VGA video out
 - 2x PCMCIA
 - PS/2
 - Unknown dock connector
Possible upgrades:  ??Memory??(proprietary modules)
??Graphic card??
Additional peripherals:  None
This notebook has memory in 2 proprietary modules. It has also graphics chip in a separate module. BIOS is very standard, as in many 486 notebooks, there's nothing extraordinary.

If you look for FDD, Zenith had similar units, mine is from old Zenith notebook. Don't fasten screws keeping plastic parts too much or they may break from the pressure.

BIOS battery may leak. To remove it you have to disassemble notebook entirely, battery is near rear connectors. Remove drive/battery. Remove keyboard first, just push its bottom with small screwdriver towards rear, then lift. You may need to remove trackball too. Now you have to open casing. Remember not to destroy keyboard ribbon cable, this plastic also breaks easily. After removing screws remember about latches, start from empty drives bay and unlatch it, you'll get to the rear. Battery is rechargeable Varta 3V/60R (3.V)

On the right - advertisement from Chip Polish magazine, June 1995.

       And these ads on the left are from ENTER and PCKurier magazine, 1994 and 1995. There also was a review which placed this computer quite high in rankings. The first one is like FT4000, but nor FT4000, it's form another company.

Contents:            CPU Upgrade            Drivers


CPU upgrade

There are 2 versions, FT-4000 and FT-4000F (aka TwinHead), you can read which version you have by reading it from mainboard near CPU socket. FT-4000 can use up to 486DX2/66MHz, while 4000F's maximum is DX4/100MHz.

Remove keyboard and open door to mainboard on the left-hand side of notebook. Should be enough. replace CPU with your unit.

CPU replaced? You should care about DIP switches. There are 2 segments of them near CPU socket. Use LARGER one with 8 switches on it:

CPU 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
486SX/25MHz x x 1 1 1 0 0 0
486SX/33MHz x x 0 1 1 0 0 0
486DX/33MHz x x 0 1 0 1 1 1
486DX2/50MHz x x 1 1 0 1 1 1
486DX2/66MHz (as in DX2/33) x x 0 1 0 1 1 1

x - reserved, don't change, in my unit it was 00

After replacing CPU remember about heatsink. There's little space under keyboard, it needs some cooling.

Drivers from second variation of PowerNote notebook work well, here they are (drivers for Windows 3.x):

ESS ES488 Audio drivers
WD90C24A graphics drivers
PCMCIA and Trackball drivers for WD90C24A model