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How Much Does IBM's First Portable Computer Weigh?

David GallagherNovember 22, 2021,
How Much Does IBM's First Portable Computer Weigh?

The IBM 5100 portable computer was announced by the General Systems Division of the Corporations in September 1975. It weighed 50 pounds and came with storage capacities that ranged from 16K positions for $8,975 to 64K positions costing 19k. The model selection allowed users who required more memory or I/O power options such as APL programming language on top of its basic BASIC option. This made sense because these were often needed skills at companies where engineers analyzed data while statisticians generated trends from it all!

The Portable Computer was much slimmer and lighter than other IBM computers with the same capability. Such an enormous machine would only have fit into one desk at most, making it easy to move around when needed!

In September 1975, IBM introduced its first production of the personal computer. The 5100 was intended for use by engineers and analysts who needed easy access to a powerful computing system but not in business settings which meant it lacked some features that would have been useful, such as printer support or word processing software.

The size and weight of the 5100 seemed huge by today's standards, but it was a very slim computer compared to late 1960s IBM models that had equivalent capabilities. Such a machine would have been nearly as large as two desks and weighed about half a tonne!

The 5100 was much more powerful than its predecessors, like the Altair 8800 (and also considerably more expensive - it sold for between $8975 and 19995). It featured a built-in CRT display, keyboard interface as well as BASIC interpreter. In addition to running on an eight-bit microprocessor itself with 16-bit capabilities of execution by IBM 360 or IBM/3 mainframe instruction sets!

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