“Scroll buttons and the Lappy together at last, how’d you learn to scriggy scroll so fast?!”
In the universe of the Homestar Runner cartoons, the Lappy 486 is the third computer that Strong Bad regularly checks his emails on in his uber-popular Strong Bad Emails series. It comes after the Tandy 400 and the Compy 386.
In email #118, "Virus," the Compy 386, which had been the computer of choice for Strong Bad since email #41 in which it was introduced, was destroyed. After finding that the Compy had 423,827 viruses on it, and the world of Homestar Runner was suddenly being warped in very odd ways (for example: Strong Sad was a floating icon over his body listing his mood, Homestar Runner from 1936 and present Homestar were becoming one, Bubs had a broken jpeg for a face). In a moment of desperation, Bubs blew away the Compy with a shotgun, and thus, killed the computer for good.
Unlike the introduction of the Compy, which came several weeks after the Tandy 400 mysteriously exploded, the Lappy 486 was introduced in the very next email, even though the email access screen was a piece of paper taped to the "shotgunned" Compy the week after the destruction of the Compy.
The Lappy 486 was introduced in email #119, "Animal," which is not to be confused with email #23, "Little Animal." The email begins with a voiceover of Strong Bad and the shadow of the Compy 386 where it once stood...
“It is a time of desolation, chaos, and uncertainty. Brother pitted against brother; babies havin' babies. Then one day, from the right side of the screen, came a man with a plastic rectangle…I mean LAPTOP COMPUTER!!!”
And thus...the Lappy 486 era began.
According to the first email, the Lappy 486 weighs in at an "extremely portable" 42 pounds and a battery life of "one half of ten minutes." The Lappy also has a 2MB hard drive and 512k RAM.
Among the new features it has that distinguish it from the other two computers are a more modern email program. Complete with a subject line, a reply panel, and easy-access buttons labeled "Reply", "Forward", "Delete", "Save", "Computer", and "Image." Instead of the screen adjust buttons that the other two computers had, the Lappy has a feature in which clicking on the Lappy's screen simulates the effect seen on laptop LCDs, in which applied force moves the liquid inside causing a wave of distorted colors.
The first email ever answered on the Lappy 486 was from "Spud Jr." who asked “What would you like as if you were your own made up animal?” The Lappy is mentioned throughout the email. While pondering ideas, Strong Bad says to himself "Got to look good for the Lappy." The Cheat also makes an appearance and in Strong Bad's introduction to the computer, Strong Bad says "That's the cheat...he likes NEW computers," which is in reference to the iMac that The Cheat uses. Finally, at the conclusion of the email “the paper,” which comes down after every email, comes down slowly, and hid away once, as it was shy to meet the new computer.
The Lappy 486 is here to stay.