Forum Links Systems Publications Info History Events News Home

The IBM 5110 Personal Computer

Manufacturer International Business Machines Inc.
Model 5110
Date Announced 1978
Date Canceled 1982
Number Produced Thousands
Country of Origin USA
Price $9,000 to $20,000 depending on configuration
Current Value $250 to $1,000+
Processor IBM Processor card - no microprocessor - called "PALM" (Put All Logic in Microcode)
RAM 16-64K in 16K increments
ROM 18K to 96K depending on language options
Storage 1.2MB 8" floppy drives or 1/4 tape drives, depending on model"
Expansion None internally aside from memory
Bus N/A
Video 16 lines x 64 characters on a 5" screen"
I/O Proprietary
OS Options N/A
Notes The IBM 5110 followed the IBM 5100 with the intention of bringing the "IBM Portable Computer" to the mainstream - i.e. to allow it to be used for business applications as well as scientific ones.
Related Items in Collection Printer, disk drive cabinet, IBM PC, IBM PC AT etc.
Related Items Wanted Software, IBM 5100, etc.

IBM 8 inch disk drive cabinet

The system came with both the monster IBM printer (not pictured) and an even bigger dual 8" disk drive cabinet."

The system also came with a boxfull of documentation and software.

I haven't had a chance to plug this beast in for testing and play yet, but I hope to soon!

(Submitted September 7, 2011 21:36:05 by carlos)

tengo en venta una IBM 5110 con dos disketeras y dos impresoras. todo por $1000

(Submitted February 9, 2011 16:14:47 by Herb Theis)

I have complete IBM 5110 System with printer,disk and publications. Will be moving will gladly sell for $100.00 plus shipping cost.

(Submitted August 24, 2010 09:42:03 by NESTOR)


(Submitted May 14, 2009 20:33:53 by Villegas Carlos)

tengo en venta una IBM 5110 con dos disketeras y dos impresoras.

(Submitted November 17, 2008 03:02:26 by Kevin de Vries)

Dick Ledoux: I have pdf's for the IBM 5110, and the complete printed documentation for the 5100.



(Submitted November 17, 2008 02:59:34 by Kevin de Vries)


I am a very lucky owner of a 5110 basic only (no media, the disk cabinet was too big to transport from the us to europa, I will get this in the future however)and a 5100 full option, the 5100 video card got borked (the 5110 video card works in it, displaying chinese characters though :) Any one reading this that has access to or knows where to get parts please help me, I am in the process of backing up the basic/apl software that I have on tapes.

(Submitted June 16, 2008 21:17:16 by BobP)

My company bought the first 5110 that shipped west of the Mississippi and I programed (APL) it to program NC machines. Around 1990 I bought it from them for $33. (One dollar a KB plus a dollar profit) Soon after that I read an article on how the US govt. coded and decoded messages and realized that was what the APL language was probably designed for. It makes fortran look like a 4 function calculator.

(Submitted May 19, 2008 20:32:34 by Dick Ledoux)

Now I know that this will date me, but I was part of the IBM group that brought the 5100 to market. The hardware was developed in Rochester and the software by a 10 person team in Westlake Village CA. I had the responsibility of testing (QA) the software and then overseeing the development of the camera ready manuals at the IBM facility in Menlo Park(user and reference for both BASIC and APL). If anyone has a copy of these manuals, please let me know.

(Submitted February 19, 2008 12:15:56 by Steve Armstrong)

I spent a year working on one of these. I programmed an apartment management system for a fellow in BASIC. The model we had had 16K (5K of which was OS) I came within 59 bytes of using all memory on one of the programs -- I hadn't learned to modularize programs too well at that point.

(Submitted October 27, 2007 03:48:18 by (a

APL was a most interesting language. Those who learnt it became quite addicted. Plusses - Very powerful and compact. Several pages of FORTRAN or COBOL or BASIC became only a few lines in APL. Minuses - Very steep initial learning curve. Special character set.

(Submitted October 16, 2007 12:08:21 by John V.)

These photos bring back memories for me, as well. When I was in high school my father company bought one. I learned BASIC programming on it. I seem to remember it even had a rocker switch that was used to select APL or BASIC.

(Submitted November 27, 2006 09:11:31 by Freshi)

WOW! I remember that monster! I learned some APL (A Programming Language) on the good old 5110. I can not remember having seen my teacher so excited as on the day the 5110 was delivered. We had some real good times together exploring the secret system-monitor (found accidently when pressed pressed some keys while turning on the machine).

*sigh* these must have been the good old days LOL

Btw. Nice site. I enjoyed looking at some ancient computers i have known myself!

Add additional information or comments to this page:

Please use these comments to add to or correct the contents of this page. If you are looking for information, software or hardware please consider posting on the Vintage Computer Forums. If you have a vintage, classic, antique or collectable computer, game or related item(s) for sale or trade please consider using the fee free Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace

Please be aware that the email address you post will be posted in the clear. Spam bots can and will pick it up and use it. Please protect your email address by obfuscating it (i.e. or use an address with a good spam filter.

Also please consider using the Vintage Computer Forums for information or the Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace for the fee free sale or purchase of vintage, classic, antique or collectable computers, games and ephemera as mentioned above.

Your Name:

Your email address:

What would you like to add:

Please enter "BLUE" in the field below as a Check String:

Powered by MakeBook v3.0.1