The evolution of the laptop computer

IBM 5100 (1975)

Though it'd be pretty uncomfortable to put this 50-pound behemoth on your lap, the IBM 5100 has the distinction of being the first commercially available portable computer -- and the forefather of modern laptops. It was released in September 1975 with a starting price of $8,975 (16KiB), or roughly $40,000 in 2017 dollars.

The IBM 5100 featured a 5-inch CRT monitor that could display 16 lines of text, and used a quarter-inch cartridge magnetic tape for data storage.


About Fox Van Allen

Fox Van Allen is a Los Angeles-based writer for CBS Interactive covering technology, tech lifestyle and gaming topics for GameSpot, CNET, ZDNet and TechRepublic. He has previously worked as a news and feature writer for a number of other sites, inclu...

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox