The IBM PC110 Palmtop Computer

The IBM PC110 is a 486sl33 notebook PC that is only sold in Japan. It is virtually the same specification as the IBM ThinkPad 750cs, but for one important feature - its size.

Weighing only 715 grams with a battery and hard disk installed, and measuring 158mm wide by 116mm deep and 36mm high, this computer will fit in the palm of your hand. If you were to sit it next to other ThinkPads, you'd find it's about one sixth the volume of a standard ThinkPad (e,g, 350, 370, 720, 755, 760, etc.) and one eighth the volume of the latest 380 and 770 models. It even makes my 701 look big!

Granted, you don't get a CD-ROM drive, a 14 inch XGA TFT panel, gigabytes of hard disk, or a Pentium processor, but you do get to carry it in a jacket or coat pocket. If you like toys and gadgets, you will understand the appeal of such a tiny computer, in spite of its now humble specification.

Check out the details below. There are several models of the PC110 available, with a variety of hardware and options. Bear in mind that the warranty is only valid for one year within Japan, so you should expect to courier it back to Japan if it ever needs repairs. IBM customer support staff in Europe have only ever seen one PC110 - mine, and I don't work there anymore - so don't expect them to answer any queries on it.

If you want to get an idea of the scale of the PC110, click here.

 PC110 palmtop computer

Size 158mm wide x 116mm deep x 36mm high, 715grams with battery and PCMCIA hard disk.
Processor 80486sl33 low power 33MHz 486 without maths co-pro
RAM 4MB standard, 20MB max upgrade available
Storage No internal hard disk drive. 
One internal flash ROM, 4MB capacity. 
PCMCIA slots accept PCMCIA storage devices. 
Mini flash socket supports one mini flash ROM card.
Audio ESS 488 AudioDrive - SoundBlaster 8-bit mono compatible. 
Defaults to IRQ 5, I/O 220h, DMA 1. Configurable. 
Single speaker located at the rear of the right had side of the case.
Video Chips & Technologies 65535 accelerator, 512KB video RAM. 
Supports video modes up to 800x600 at 256 colours.
Display 4.7 inch (122mm) diagonal DSTN LCD 
640x480 resolution, capable of displaying 256 colours.
Keyboard Miniaturised standard ThinkPad Japanese keyboard layout. 
90 keys (including 4 special Japanese keys). 
Most keys are 9mm x 7mm, with a 1mm gap between.
Red TrackPoint-style pointing head located on the left above the keyboard. Left (blue) and right (green) mouse buttons are present on left and right side of the machine, for one or two handed use.
Digitiser 52mm x 28mm touch-sensitive pad located above the keyboard. Only DOS and Linux support is available for this.
Modem Integral Voice/Data/Fax modem, capable of 2400 bps data and 9600 bps fax, configurable as COM1 or COM2. Voice capabilities seem extensive but all documentation is in Japanese. Voice functions use the microphone and speaker located on the front left and right, respectively, of the case. 
Uses standard US-style phone plug (cable provided).
Infra-red IRDA 1.0 compliant 115,000 bps port located on the rear of the case. Configurable as COM1 or COM2.
PCMCIA 2x type II / 1x type III combination as found on most ThinkPads. 
Support PCMCIA ver2.1 devices as far as I can tell. 
Most PC110 models supplied with a type III hard drive occupying both slots.
Status LCD panel on front of case displays time, remaining charge, and keyboard status (CAPS, NUM, and SCROLL locks).
External connector requires PC110 adapter cable that allows the attachment of an external PS/2 mouse; using the ThinkPad y-cable with the PC110 adapter cable allows the attachment of a PS/2 keyboard and a mouse at the same time.
Headphone Two 3.5mm jacks provided; one at the front for telephony, and one at the rear for SoundBlaster audio.
Power Supplied with tiny Japanese power supply - US-style two prong plug, 100V 50-60Hz 23VA ac input, 10.5V 1.3A dc output via a tiny plug. Socket on rear of PC110.
Battery LiIon 1200mAh camcorder battery. Roughly 1.5 hours life with PCMCIA drive, 3 hours with non-mechanical storage devices. Apparently equivalent to Panasonic and Sony batteries, which are available with up to 1700mAh capacities.

PC110 port replicator (docking station)

Ports PS/2 keyboard, PS/2 mouse, power, SVGA 15-pin, 25-pin parallel, 9-pin serial, floppy drive. 
No PCMCIA sockets, no expansion solts, no drive bays.
Size Roughly that of the PC110, and weighs about 300grams.
Power Runs either from the PC110 mains adapter, or from the PC110's battery.

PC110 floppy drive

Connector Attaches to port replicator only. Uses different connector to most other ThinkPad external drives. The only compatible ThinkPad floppy drive is that for the ThinkPad 230. . 
Power Powered by Port Replicator
720KB and 1.44MB 3.5" disks are supported, as, I suppose, are the Japanese 1.2MB 3.5" disks.


Written by Daniel Basterfield. Images found on the internet. Enjoy!