Tadpole M1400/FT01: Hardware 




General Dynamics Tadpole M1400 thin client General Dynamics Tadpole M1400 thin client

Exactly what is this?

FT01 connecting This particular laptop style thin client came to me from Mauro in Italy. The laptop carries no branding to identify who made it or supplied it. When powered on it shows the the 'connecting' screen shown on the right. This General Dynamics prompt is the same as the one shown by the Tadpole Pulsar and in fact this laptop is running essentially the same firmware. This firmware is hardwired for accessing Sun servers. As the firmware is the same as that in the Pulsar I decided to list this under 'Tadpole'. (In August 2005 General Dynamics acquired Tadpole Computer so the General Dynamics branding is inline with this assumption).

One thing I found intriguing in that there is no information about this model on line that I could find. I did find some visually identical items listed on eBay described as either "Tadpole" or "SunRay 3", but almost always accompanied by a "I don't know anything about it" statement.

Label ID Label The laptop carries various labels, both on the bottom and inside. Using the information on these I decided what I had here was the hardware of a Compal FT01 (or IFT01). This didn't get me very much further as another search with Google brought up lots of sites offering drivers for it, but nothing much that told me anything about the hardware.

Tadpole M1400 label A week or so later I came across what looked to be an identical laptop on eBay being sold by a company in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. It was described as a Tadpole M1400 Model: FT01 Laptop Computer. The listing included a useful photograph of the identification label. The picture on the right shows my laptop on the left and that of the one on eBay on the right. You can also see molded into the plastic above the M1400 label the words Manufactured & Designed by Compal.

So what we have here is a Tadpole M1400. At the time of launch (March 2008) this was described as a mobile ultra-thin client computer. I should point out that the 'ultra-thin' is more a reference to the firmware running on the M1400 rather than a description of the physical hardware (which isn't!).

The M1400 reached End-Of-Life in December 2012, and End-Of-Service in December 2013. In December 2013 General Dynamics-Itronix (which Tadpole was part of) ceased operations and all warranty/support was transferred to Flextronics who had actually been providing most of the support for GD-Itronix products for the preceding five years.


Some of this information is from a Czech site. As I haven't been able to run Linux on this beast I haven't been able to verify it.

Intel Celeron Dual Core
512MB (max ?)
   Max resolution
Intel GMA 965
1280 x 800 32-bit colour

4 x USB2.0
Coax 5.5mm/2.5mm
19V 3.42A
H x W x D (mm)40 x 338 x 256

Mine came with a large capacity battery (it juts out the back).

It's not obvious to me what the Tadpole system firmware is built on.

Power Supply

The unit runs from an external 19V supply with 5.5mm/2.5mm coax plug.


Not yet verified. Thought to be an Intel Celeron Dual core CPU. From the /proc/cpuinfo file we have:

cpu family:?
model name:?

lspci output


ExpansionInside the General Dynamics Tadpole Pulsar

The various expansion options are accessible through hatches on the bottom. There is nothing under the keyboard.

Flash: The FT01 came with a 256MB Flash 44-pin IDE DOM fitted inside a carrier that slots into the space that was designed for a CDROM drive. (The carrier also includes a smart card reader). There is also a conventional space for a 2.5" hard drive with a SATA interface. I've plugged in a SATA-to-CF adaptor here with a 1GB Compact Flash card fitted. This worked.

RAM: There are two SODIMM sockets available for the RAM. The unit came with a single 512MB DDR2-667 SODIMM fitted. As yet - as I haven't gained control of the machine - I haven't experimented here.

Wireless: There is a wireless card plugged into a mini pci-e socket. It's an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG card.

Modem: There is an ML3054 modem fitted. I have no idea what this does or where it is connected...

Smartcard reader and flash Smart Card Reader: There is a smart card reader fitted within the plastic housing that slots into where a CDROM would be fitted on the right hand side of the FT01. I guess it's connected to an internal USB port.

Cardbus slot: There is what looks like a Cardbus(?)/PCMCIA(?) slot on the left side of the FT01.

Multimedia Card Reader: There is a card reader slot on the left side of the FT01 just below the PCMCIA slot. It carries an SD symbol and others but I don't know what range of memory cards is catered for.

Further work

This page will get updated when I work out how to get into the BIOS - or some kind soul tells me how.


Any comments? email me. Added August 2016