Stan Sieler described the HP Amigo for Wikipedia:
The HP 300 “Amigo” was a computer produced by HP in the late 1970s based loosely on the stack-based HP 3000, but with virtual memory for both code and data. Designed as a single-user workstation, it was a commercial failure, massively so, considering the huge engineering effort.... The circuit boards were in a floor pedestal, with CRT and fixed keyboard on top. It pioneered such ideas as built-in networking, automatic spelling correction, multiple windows (on a character-based screen), and labels adjacent to vertically stacked user function keys, now used on ATMs and gas pumps. It also featured HP-IB as the I/O bus, an 8” floppy disk, and a fixed 12M Winchester hard drive. [i]
Two issues of the HP Journal – June and July 1979 – had fifteen articles penned by twenty-two authors that described the new system.[ii] Highlights were described as a “personal computer designed for the individual worker”, with guided “soft keys” for easy user-interaction, “on-board everything” including display, built-in hard and soft disc memory, and a stylish package. Sixteen machines could be easily networked. Priced slightly higher than the Alto at $38,500 with matching specs and a different, much easier interface by conventional wisdom of the day, it was a major statement by a major competitor already in the computer business. As noted multiple places, “the competitive landscape of the era was dominated by costly mainframes and minicomputers equipped with time-shared dumb terminals. Amigo was launched three years before the Xerox STAR; personal computers (circa 1981) were simplistic, with limited processing power and the inability to communicate with other systems.”[iii]
Aside from size, price, portability, software, and success, it was everything a personal computer should be. $40,000 for a personal computer might seem laughable, but the HP 9845C from Fort Collins two years later, a color-display workstation sans networking, sold like hotcakes at $39,500. Ironically, the $33,000 HP 250, characterized as a small-business computer, was developed simultaneously by the Böblingen Desktop Calculator group in one-fifth the time for one tenth the R&D investment, and it outsold Amigo tenfold. But it wasn’t politically correct – re-assigned to Cupertino under Bill Krause, it died of inattention. The HP 250 Journal article appeared two months in front of Amigo, two years after debut. Such internecine warfare was unbecoming of a well-managed corporation, but it increasingly characterized HP Computing. Something had gone radically wrong.
[i] Wikipedia HP 300 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_300; http://www.answers.com/topic/hp-300
[ii] HP Journal (30:6); Jun 1979; Cover: HP 300 Computer; George R. Clark, “A Business Computer for the 1980s...a totally new business-oriented design based on HP's silicon-on-sapphire integrated circuit technology, this new system packs a vast amount of processing power into a surprisingly small package,” pp. 3-6; James R. Groff, Eric P. L. Ha, “The Integrated Display System and Terminal Access Method...the HP 300 handles up to 16 application terminals simultaneously. Its own display can act like several mini-displays at once,” pp. 6-9; Frederick W. Clegg, “Reducing the Cost of Program Development...it's a compiler-based system, so run-time efficiency is high, but it has many of the conveniences of an interpreter-based system,” pp. 9-15; James R. Groff, Phillip N. Taylor, Alan T. Pare, “Managing Data: HP 300 Files and Data Bases ...choose one of seven different file structures or the IMAGE data base management system,” pp. 16-19; Tu-Ting Cheng, Wendy Peikes, “An Easy-to-Use Report Generation Language...templates on the screen take the place of RPG coding sheets,” pp. 20-23; May Y. Kavalick, “HP 300 Business BASIC...it's specially designed as a versatile business applications language,” pp. 23-26; David A. Horine, “Innovative Package Design Enhances HP 300 Effectiveness...monocoque construction is the starting point and even the shipping container is novel,” pp. 26-30; Ronald E. Morgan, “World-Wide Regulatory Compliance,” p. 30. See also HP Journal (30:7), July, 1979; Cover: HP 300 Computer; Arndt B. Bergh, Kenyon C. Y. Mei, “Cost-Effective Hardware for a Compact Integrated Business Computer...CMOS/SOS technology helps reduce an eight-board processor to only two boards,” pp. 3-8; W. Gordon Matheson, “A Computer Input/Output System Based on the HP Interface Bus...it's designed to make it easy to add, delete and communicate with peripheral devices,” pp. 9-13; Richard L. Smith, “A Small, Low-Cost 12-Megabyte Fixed Disc Drive...a new Winchester-type disc was designed to meet the mass memory needs of the HP 300,” p. 11; Alfred F. Knoll, Norman D. Marschke, “An Innovative Programming and Operating Console...windows and softkeys add new facets to the classical concept of interactive programming,” pp. 13-17; Ralph L. Carpenter, “AMIGO/300: A Friendly Operating System...an improved man/machine interface sometimes called friendliness, requires an advanced operating system,” pp. 17-24; James C. McCullough, Donald M. Wise, “Configuring and Launching the AMIGO/300 System...system generation and startup are easier than they used to be,” pp. 20-21; Thane Kriegel, Dilip A. Amin, “A Multiple-Output Switching Power Supply for Computer Applications...designed for computer mainframes, this OEM power supply is an economical solution for the HP 300's power requirements,” pp. 25-28.
[iii] Xerox Star, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerox_Star