My Computer Collection
IBM PS/2 Model P70-386

Photo of IBM PS/2 Model P70-386
Click here or click onto the photo for a full size version of this picture.

The IBM P70 is a portable Model 70 in a rather unconventional design. It's meant to be a portable computer, but it's definitely not a laptop or a notebook. Instead, it's more like the 'suitcase-design' cases with integrated LC display panel that allows integration of a standard PC main board. The P70 is however much thinner, therefore only allowing two expansion boards, and one of them only offers space for boards of half length.

The display is a plasma display, a popular choice for portables at that time, since it allowed far higher display contrasts than the STN or DSTN LC displays available at that time. The bad thing is that such a plasma display consumes a lot of power, so battery-based operation is impossible.

The P70 is built mostly out of 'standard' PS/2 components like the ESDI disks with integrated interfaces and PS/2 parity SIMMs, so it's possible to swap some components with a desktop Model 70.

Cyrix Cx486DLC @ 20 MHz
Cyrix Cx83D87 @ 20 MHz
8 Mbytes (options range from 2M to 8M)
2 MCA slots, one 32 bit and one 16 bit
Interfaces (onboard):
  • Mouse, Keyboard
  • 1 x Serial
  • 1 x Parallel
  • Floppy (1.44M), one internal drive and unconventional connector for external drive
  • ESDI hard disk (DBA interface)
  • VGA (additional connector for external monitor)
Add-on cards:
  • 3COM 3C529 Ethernet card
  • IBM MCA SCSI controller
Operating System(s):
  • OS/2 Warp Version 3
  • Caldera OpenDOS 7.01
  • Linux 2.0 (Slackware-based)
Useful Links:

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©1998 Alfred Arnold,