IBM PC Convertible (5140)

The IBM PC Convertible (Model 5140) is the first laptop (clamshell) computer from IBM and the first IBM with a 3.5 "floppy disk drive.

This is also the first computer from IBM that operated on batteries.

IBM began work on a laptop in 1983 that would be equivalent to the Tandy 100. However, it was rejected because it is not compatible with the IBM Personal Computer line.

In 1984 a portable computer was released, the IBM 5155. However, this was not a laptop but rather a luggable PC. The real laptop was released in 1986 as the IBM PC Convertible (model 5140).

3 models have been released. The Model 1 uses an unlit LCD screen. Model 2 and Model 3 both have an illuminated screen, which makes them much more readable.

The screen is a monochrome CGA screen which can display 80x25 characters or 640x200 and 320x200 pixels in graphic mode.

Expansion is possible via an ISA-compatible port on the back.

The machine turned out not to be a sales success. It was seen as too expensive for the hardware you got for it ($ 1995 introductory price). The IBM PC Convertible does not have a serial or parallel port as standard, something other (cheaper) brands had as standard. Moreover, these other brands were also faster or even had an 80286 processor.

Also the 1987 Model 3 which was slightly cheaper ($ 1695) did not change the success.

In 1991 the IBM PS/2 note was released as a successor.

Catalog type
Portable computer
Release Date
April 1986
Intel 8088 @ 4.77MHz
640KB max
2 x 720KB diskdrives
Operation System
IBM PC DOS met eigen icoon-georiënteerde interface

Museum Collection

Set up interactively in the 80s area.