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The IBM PC Convertible

Manufacturer International Business Machines, Inc.
Model 5140 - PC Convertible
Date Announced 1986
Date Canceled Unknown
Number Produced Unknown
Country of Origin USA
Price Roughly $2,000 base
Current Value $10-$100
Processor Intel 80C88
Speed 4.77 MHz
RAM 256-640K
ROM Unknown
Storage 2 built-in 3.5" floppy drives (720K)
Expansion Add-on items ("slices") could be added to the back of the machine
Bus N/A
Video CGA to the attached LCD or EGA to an external monitor via composite out.
I/O Parallel, Serial
OS Options PC-DOS
Notes The IBM PC Convertible was IBMs first clamshell style laptop. It was a fairly advanced machine for IBM as it was their first use of Surface Mounted Devices (SMDs) on a production machine. It was, however, a bit behind the times in relation to its competition. While IBM was selling an 8088 based laptop with no hard drive, competitors were selling 80286 based laptops with optional hard drives and other features. The PC Convertible was the replacement for the IBM PC Portable which was a suitcase style PC similar to the Compaq Portable.
Related Items in Collection Some manuals, other IBM PC related hardware including: Compaq Portable, IBM PC and IBM PC AT
Related Items Wanted Additional manuals, software and peripherals.

Building on the success of their PC, IBM introduced their first "real" Laptop, the IBM PC Convertible, in 1986. The machine is based upon a CMOS version of the 8088 that powered the original PC five years earlier. The machine includes 2 built-in 720K 3.5" floppy drives.

The PC Convertible is a heavy machine but it does fold up into a fairly small package complete with a built-in carrying handle.

A closeup of the IBM PC Convertible Screen

The built-in LCD screen was capable of full CGA resolutions.

Manuals for the IBM PC Convertible

The PC Convertible in my collection came with several manuals.

IBM PC Convertible 5140 Guide to Operations

The PC Convertible, like all early IBM PC machines came with a Guide to Operations - a.k.a. an instruction manual.

(Submitted December 23, 2011 22:54:58 by Wallace R. Young)

Please someone, tell me how to power this bad boy up.

(Submitted September 7, 2011 12:45:08 by Dave Dworkin)

I have an IBM Convertible with printer, a/c adapter, guide to operations, dos 720kb diskette, in a carrying case. Everything works. $150/obo. (302)264-9287 located near Dover Delaware. Pickup or will ship (if paid in full including shipping costs).

(Submitted June 2, 2011 10:57:52 by Jennifer Cripe)

Hello, I have one of these for sale, appears to be in excellent condition, includes the carrying case and all cords. $100 or best offer. Please email

(Submitted November 21, 2010 04:18:02 by quert)

My piece was with brought from Italy with a floppy disk with italian starter software and was laying forgotten from humanity in a wooden shed for almost 20 years. AND IT STILL WORKS. Try it with nowaday electronics.

I am looking for Technical Reference scans or pdf file. Especialy fragments considering the electronics of additional memory modules, lcd driver schematics and lcd technical data and mechanical data of the case. I plan to bring my unit to the former glory but as you may guess there are some problmes.

Some tips: For anyone trying to refurbish original battery pack: it is almost impossible to open the case without damaging it permanently, as my was already cracked I made tough choice and looked into it. All cells leaked. Under no circumstances try to recharge any original battery pack as it may explode or set on fire.

(Submitted August 8, 2010 16:07:24 by Paul)

I have two IBM PC Convertibles owned from new,complete with printers, chargers and one set of discs/manuals for sale in the UK should anyone be interested. Don't know what the postal costs will be, they are heavy little beasts!

(Submitted May 13, 2010 02:28:53 by Joseph)

Has any got or played the games Chopper 2, Snipes, Castle or Xenon 2 on this model? I remember playing them when I was a kid

(Submitted May 3, 2010 12:18:20 by Deann in PA)

Hi I have am IBM Model 5140 for sale. It is in good condition. Please email me if you are interested. Best offer thanks

(Submitted December 18, 2009 17:09:46 by Michel)

This was my first PC. I used it a lot. For people looking for Disks (bootable), it worked well with PC-DOS and MS-DOS 3.x bootable diskettes, perhaps even with MS-DOS 5.0. I still have some diskettes and games compatible with this beast (video was CGA)

(Submitted June 23, 2009 06:05:36 by Fred Schoenbrun)

I recently obtained a 5140 and do not have the guide to operations manual. Does anybody have one or can make me a copy. I would be happy to send copying costs/postage. Thanks

(Submitted June 11, 2009 17:43:38 by Ara)

Hello, I have an IBM 5149 convertible, printer but i lost the Ac power adapter.I would buy one.. Thanks Ara

(Submitted January 2, 2009 15:10:47 by john)

this is a great machine, one of my friends and i found one in his attic and we got it to run after a bunch of fiddling (im 13 by the way) and it is beautiful! Although the screen is the ugliest thing known to man

(Submitted July 5, 2008 21:53:40 by Thom)

The question is . . . can it run LINUX?

(Submitted June 12, 2008 11:15:18 by Si Waterhouse)

I have one of these for sale if anybody is interested. Please contact me at Works fine,i think i can route out the starter disks.

(Submitted April 3, 2008 12:13:43 by Cesar)

Folks, Can someone help me get the software for this bad boy?. I picked one of this machines at a yard sale, however the software(Disk) is missing. Thanks.

(Submitted February 12, 2008 14:59:44 by Paul)

I picked up a 5140 for $1 at auction a while back. No one knew what it was and they shouted anyone for a dollar. Figured it was a dinosaur, but what a find! I haven't got it to boot, so if anyone has an AC adapter, manuals, or software, please let me know. Would like to get this thing up and running again!!

(Submitted November 10, 2007 18:20:00 by wesley duckett)

maybe not never contactactd me back :(

(Submitted October 30, 2007 00:08:40 by Anonymous Freak)

Gah! I was two days too late, you beat me to it, Wesley.

(Submitted October 27, 2007 19:42:58 by wesley duckett)

i sent you an email about your convertible robert

(Submitted September 29, 2007 16:01:09 by Robert Rent)

I have a good condition, working 5140 with backlit display that I am willing to donate to a good home. I also have the Startup and Diagnostic disks for anyone who needs em.

(Submitted August 17, 2007 21:57:16 by elborgy)

Hello. I have an ibm 5140 convertible, but i coudnīt find the starter disk... the ibm link is not working. Could you help me to find this software?

(Submitted July 11, 2007 07:18:19 by Ray)

I have one for sale. It's in working condition and includes the printer. If you are interested please e-mail me.

(Submitted July 7, 2007 09:24:48 by Vickie K)

I have an IBM PC convertible in working order with all manuals and software that goes with it. I purchased this item the first year it was introduced in 1986.

DOS 3.2 and books in the original box PC Connections Guide to Operations Charger & AC Adapter Printer Interface are all included

This machine works like the first day I bought it.

If you are interested in purchasing, please contact.

(Submitted July 4, 2007 13:28:56 by Medron Pryde)

I own the manuals for this bad boy. I don't have the computer any more but I still have the manuals. If anybody is interested in them, please e-mail me. :)

(Submitted June 9, 2007 15:05:08 by (a href=mailto:)piksi(/a))

I'd love to buy one of these beauties in working order if anyone of you has one. Preferably inside EU, but outside is no problem either. contact me: netbox at - Otso Helenius

(Submitted April 17, 2007 18:20:57 by Aaron)

I picked up a similar IBM laptop of the hard rubbish the other day still in working order. But I dont have a starter disk, manual or any clue what model it might be. It is similar to this model however it only has one 3.5 drive that you pull out to a 45 degree angle, the screen folds out a little bit aswell it is the old balck background with orange text screen. I am thank full I came across a website with vintage PC's. Can anyone help with links to my quiries? I am happy to send photos into the site should you like to post it when we have some idea what it is.

Thank you

(Submitted March 25, 2007 21:39:27 by Rocky)

Hello all,

I am interested in buying or receiving old electronic items, items such as computers or processors that are antique in nature please reply me if you are interested in getting rid of it. I live in Chicago, USA.


(Submitted August 2, 2006 14:24:15 by Donnie Torok)

Wow, I was just thinking back. My first office PC back in the 80's was one of these dinosaurs. It was back at Universal Electronics, back in the early years of universal remote controls. I remember that I could brewing a pot of coffee in less time then it took to boot DOS! Trippy compared to the machines I have now.

(Submitted July 22, 2006 00:50:44 by Mike C.)

I love my IBM 5140 Convertible!

(Submitted July 5, 2006 08:02:09 by Keith)

The IBM 5140 that I had listed for sale on August 13, 2005 has now been sold. Thank you

(Submitted July 4, 2006 10:41:43 by nick blackburn)

Sorry, Its an M15, not 16.

Thanks Nick

(Submitted July 4, 2006 10:32:45 by nick blackburn)

Hello, I own an Olivetti M16 Dual floppy IBM clone, almost exactly like the IBM Convertible (hence clone!) I would really like to donate this to the museum or someone who will look after it. Its in really good condition and the battery still holds charge.

Only problem is that I live in UK and posting it would not be an option I think.

Let me know please if you're interested.

Kind Regards Nick

(Submitted June 5, 2006 19:18:43 by Nick)

I vaguely remember playing with one of these in a store when they were for sale. The Harvard COOP in Harvard Sq. or the Medical District (near Children's Hospital) in Boston, had them on display.

(Submitted December 8, 2005 19:51:53 by Joe)

I just acquired one COMPLETE with back pack style carrying case, books, power supply, WORKING cpu...but no disks. Anyone interested in it?

(Submitted December 5, 2005 13:51:52 by Brian)

I have a PC Convertible New-in-the-Box with Printer New-in-the-Box as well. All documentation and original software that came with it is there. Anyone be interested for $100.00 plus shipping?

(Submitted November 13, 2005 14:35:52 by Maurice)

I have an PC Convertible with the power adapter and some disks. It worked fine last time I fired it up. I had a ball with this thing when it was new. I thought it was hot stuff.

If someone would like to have it, it is theirs for a token price and shipping costs.

(Submitted August 13, 2005 07:28:18 by Keith)

I have an IBM 5140 Convertible (512 kb) that I am interested in selling. It is in working condition and includes the serial-parallel adapter and montor adapter. I am the second owner (purchased in 1987). SOrry no manuals. I am asking $75 and I'll cover the shipping costs. I am located in Atlanta, GA. Thank you Keith

(Submitted August 8, 2005 10:05:55 by Ted Pelicano)

I have an IBM Convertible with a backlit LCD display that has stopped working. Everything works well except the back light. The machine used to make a soft squeeling sound when the brightness was turned up but both the sound and the light have ceased. I have no schematics and therefore haven't a clue.......Ted Pelicano

(Submitted July 25, 2005 23:17:49 by Stijn)

Could you please scan those technical references? Thank you, Stijn

(Submitted June 11, 2005 18:26:15 by Stephen Chase)

I have an IBM PC Convertible in good condition with printer and carrying case for sale. Anyone interested send me an email - I'm in Central Florida so if you are not local shipping would be extra but only the exact cost. Has the original start up disks and manual. $75.

(Submitted June 8, 2005 08:05:35 by Nathaniel)

i have a IBM PC Convertible and i need a power cord because my negbors house flooded and i think i trew it out where do you find one or if you have an extra ill buy it off you for $50

(Submitted May 13, 2005 18:43:08 by Elesias)


I just found this great computer, but unfortunately, after the memory test, there's a beep sound, and a 06101 error code, or something like that. Any advice, or a place where to find the manual ? Thanks ! Fred.

(Submitted March 31, 2005 08:21:51 by Omar Garcia)

I`need the setup disk for the IBM AT.

(Submitted January 20, 2005 08:44:34 by luciano)

Hello. I have an ibm 5140 convertible, but i coudnīt find the starter disk... the ibm link is not working. Could you help me to find this software? Your web page is very nice!

Thank you in advance


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