IBM 5155 MODEL 68 PORTABLE PC

The IBM 5155 model 68 is a portable PC computer. The MSRP is $4,225.

The IBM Portable Personal Computer 5155 Model 68 consists of a lightweight case with a carrying handle containing a built-in. 9-inch, amber composite display, one 5 1/4-inch double sided diskette drive (with space for an optional second drive), and two IBM Personal Computer attachment options (diskette adapter and colour/graphics adapter).

The unit also has a new, lightweight keyboard and a universal power supply. The system board is the same as that of the IBM Personal Computer XT with 256Kb of memory that is expandable to 512Kb using the memory expansion option.

Five expansion slots are available for the connection of most IBM Personal Computer options. The system has identical function and performance characteristics to an equivalently configured IBM Personal Computer.

  • 8088 CPU
  • 256 KB RAM
  • 360K floppy
  • DOS 2.1
  • 8 expansion slots
  • CGA graphics
  • 9″ amber display
  • serial port
  • parallel port
  • CGA graphics output
  • 114W PSU, switchable 115V or 230V

Experts stated that IBM developed the 5155 Portable in part because its sales force needed a computer that would compete against the popular Compaq Portable. Even if less sophisticated than the Compaq, the IBM had the advantage of a lower price tag. Compaq machines were very expensive.

Typically in a two-drive context, floppy drive A: ran the operating system, and drive B: would be used for application and data diskettes.

Its selling point as a “portable” was that it combined the monitor into a base unit approximating a medium-sized suitcase that could be simply set on its flat side, the back panel slid away to reveal the power connector.

Some uses installed the 720K floppy which could hold more programs and documents. Some even installed a hard card to be able to have more storage. Many of these machines ended up being used as desktop machines were too heavy.