WATCH: 1970s Advertisement for IBM’s ‘Portable’ Computer Shows Just How Far Technology Has Come


Weighing 50lb (23kg), and slightly larger than a typewriter, this computer isn’t exactly what you would describe as lightweight.

But the IBM Model 5100, released in 1977, was marketed as one of the world’s first ‘portable’ computers.

A hilarious video advertising the device shows how far technology has come in the past 40 years.

The Model 5100 was IBM’s first minicomputer, which was also considered one of the world’s first portable computers.

There were very few other computers available in 1977, and none with the capabilities of the 5100.

The advert for the IBM 5100 says: ‘You’re looking at a small portable computer called the IBM 5100.

‘It’s helping a lot of different people do their work productively.’

The video runs through a series of case studies of people using the IBM 5100, including an estate agent, a pilot, and architects.

The computer had a fairly complete system with a keyboard, built-in data storage and full-screen display.

Despite being marketed as portable, it weighed a huge 50lbs (23kg).

In comparison, the average laptop today weighs around 6lbs (2.7kg).

Available in 12 models providing 16K, 32K, 48K or 64K positions of main storage, the 5100 sold for between £7,217 ($8,975) and £16,000 ($19,975).

The IBM 5100 was based on a 16 bit processor module called PALM.

Despite this, in the advert, IBM says that ‘the cost of the 5100 is reasonable.’

While compared to modern day computers, the 5100 seems huge, when it first came out, it was very slender compared to a 1960s IBM computer with the equivalent capability.

A post about the device in the IBM Archive states that: ‘Such a machine would have been nearly as large as two desks and would have weighed about half a ton.’

SOURCE: Daily Mail