Type 5535-M

Mr. Tahara's 5535-M18

Introduction
Specifications
Models
Overview
Internal Components

Content by "Kyondy Ayase" (original HERE), "Mr. Tahara" (mirror HERE & HERE), and Tomáš Slavotínek.


Introduction

The 5535-M is the only laptop in the Multistation family. The LCD is capable of displaying 16-dot characters and the display adapter uses a built-in Kanji ROM.

The 10 MHz 286 CPU is relatively weak, but the overall performance seems to be comparable to the 5535-S. This is mainly because the machine has hardware support for Chinese characters. In fact screen scrolling in DOS/V (with Chinese characters) seems to be faster on the 5535-M. The PC-9801 series used the same approach, achieving higher text mode performance than the contemporary DOS/V machines.

Various communication adapters were available as options to facilitate connection to various host computers. Numeric keypads and mice can be connected to the M1 models.

The software compatibility is very limited. Despite having a i80286 processor, it doesn't support OS/2. The later 5535-S was the first DOS/V compatible IBM laptop.


Specifications

CPU: Intel 80286 10 MHz
RAM: 1 - 2 MB; Memory above 1MB can be used only as a RAM Disk.
HDD: 20 - 30 MB
LCD: Monochrome STN, 720x512 resolution, 16-dot characters

Options

Because it's a laptop, the form factor of the expansion slot is different from other models. The adapter interface itself may be the same however.


Models

5535 image

Model Price
(JY)
CPU RAM HDD FDD Video #
Sl.
Notes
5535-M08 595,000 i80286
10 MHz
1MB
2MB
20 3.5"
2HDx1
16-dot
Mono
1
5535-M18 595,000 i80286
10 MHz
1MB
2MB
20 3.5"
2HDx1
16-dot
Mono
1
5535-M19 595,000 i80286
10 MHz
1MB
2MB
30 3.5"
2HDx1
16-dot
Mono
1
5535-MR8 unknown i80286
10 MHz
1MB
2MB
20 3.5"
2HDx1
16-dot
Mono
1 Ricoh OEM
5535-MS8 unknown i80286
10 MHz
1MB
2MB
20 3.5"
2HDx1
16-dot
Mono
1 Ricoh OEM
5535-MS9 unknown i80286
10 MHz
1MB
2MB
30 3.5"
2HDx1
16-dot
Mono
1 Ricoh OEM

* All models are equipped with Kanji font ROM as standard.

Note: The list includes some models that were not covered by the available IBM documentation (see entries with "unknown" price). The information pertaining to these models may not be entirely accurate.


Overview

The machine takes a considerable amount of space on the desk. I think the correct term used to describe this machine is a "space-saving desktop", which is quite fitting.

See the size comparison with some other portables (from the top: IBM ThinkPad 340, NEC PC-98LT, 5535-M18).

Compared to the later 5535-S, this machine has a boxier and sharper design.

5535-M keyboard

The keyboard appears to be using a compressed version of the Type 1 layout (click to enlarge). Some websites claim the keyboard to be equivalent to the 5576 Type 1, but since this is a Multistation machine, it's strictly 5556001 compliant.

The feel and sound are completely different from the desktop keyboard. The key press feels harder than the 5556 but softer than the 5576 Type 1 and 2.

The LCD panel of this unit has a unique resolution of 720x512.

The panel is, of course, monochrome, with contrast and brightness adjustment knobs at the bottom right..

The machine with the LCD panel closed.

At first glance, it looks like a box, but the LCD panel is slightly thinner toward the front...

The mouse port, floppy drive, hard drive, and power switch are located on the right side. The red power switch and blue floppy eject button add some nice accents.

View of the left side with the carrying handle pulled out.

It looks rather empty, until...

...you look closely, and notice the three removable covers.

One is for a RS232C port (25-pin), another hides a set of switches, and the large one at the top is for an expansion slot.

5535-M expansion

The expansion slot populated with a 5250 Adapter/LT (click to enlarge).

The purpose of the four DIP block is unknown. To the right of the switches is a TEST button and TEST status indicator.

View of the back.

It has an AC power connector, a printer port (36-pin, sigh), and an exhaust fan sticking out in the middle.

The legs/handles on the sides ensure clearance between the fan and ground (or other surface) when the unit is set upright.

The unit ready to be carried.

The two black buttons below tha handle unlock the LCD lid.

The type/model and serial number label is hidden behind the handle (not visible in this image, but just above the lock).

5535M in an upright position.

The center of gravity may be somewhat higher compared to the 5535S because of the legs/handles on the back. The unit is quite heavy - over 7 kg.

Also notice the large round rubber feet on the bottom.

The machine in operation.

Thanks to its unusual architecture it's difficult to obtain compatible software and utilize the machine.

Another sample in operation.

Source: HERE


Internal Components

Planar View of the 5535-M18 planar (click to enlarge).

Notice the highly unusual chip modules with exposed die.

The board was made by Matsushita (Panasonic).
5250 adapter LT image

Detail of the 5250 Adapter/LT (click to enlarge).

Unlike the adapter on the architecture page, this one doesn't have the address switch. That's because the selection is done through software.

The main components are the same as on the S36/38 Workstation MCA adapter. 2x 5959949, 59X3380, 7378945, i8088, 8259A-2, 24 MHz oscillator, 9x DRAM (here in ZIP).

Content created and/or collected by:
Louis Ohland, Peter Wendt, David Beem, William Walsh, Tatsuo Sunagawa, Jim Shorney, Tim Clarke, Kevin Bowling, Tomáš Slavotínek, and many others.

Ardent Tool of Capitalism - MAD Edition! is maintained by Tomáš Slavotínek.
Last update: 26 Jan 2023 - Changelog | Legal Info & Contact