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IBM PC Convertible

See below for specifications and information on this system.

Specifications and information

Introduced: April 1986
Original Price: $2000 with 256K RAM
CPU: Intel 80C88
Memory: 256K
Display: Monochrome LCD, CGA resolution
Operating System: IBM PC-DOS with custom icon-oriented shell interface
Input/Output: Dual 720K 3.5" floppy drives, rear connector for various snap-on expansion modules
Bus: Proprietary snap-on extension to IBM PC bus
Other Items in Collection: PC Convertible Monitor, Serial/Parallel Module, Display Module, Printer Module, Carrying Case, Operating System, Manual
Needed: BATTERY, Original system diskettes

IBM's first laptop computer, was called the PC Convertible because with a few add-on modules, it could become a primary desktop machine. IBM's entry into laptop computers legitimized the fledgling IBM-compatible laptop market which had largely been pioneered by Toshiba. It could run on battery or AC Adapter.

Strangely, the PC Convertible's styling is identical to the IBM PS/2 lineup, although the PS/2s weren't introduced for another year or more.

Here's a shot of the PC Convertible with the serial/parallel module, display module, and printer module attached. The PC Convertible monitor sits in the background on its special stand that allows it to peer over the back of the PC Convertible.

It's funny how the PC Convertible monitor looks exactly like a tiny version of the IBM 8512 VGA monitor introduced along with the PS/2s a year later. It's also eerily similar in both size and stand design to Apple's 9" monochrome monitor, introduced along with the Apple IIc exactly a year earlier.

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Last modified: April 17, 2003