PS/55note C23V (5523-V2/VJ)
55note with ThinkPad logo

C23V Model 5523-V (V2/VJ) Brochure

Overview

Based on content by "Kyondy Ayase" (original HERE). Edited by Tomáš Slavotínek.


Overview (5523-V28)

If you are wondering which model was the boundary between ThinkPad and PS/55note, it was the PS/55note C52 (ThinkPad 700 overseas) and... this machine!

This machine is the second generation IBM notebook with a color LCD, but unlike the first color machine (PS/55note N27SX), this unit is much slimmer and more portable.

ps55c23v_1.jpg (10654 bytes)The overall look and feel is the same as that of the original PS/55note, but with some design refinements, a beautiful TFT color LCD, and some other specs improvements.

This TFT LCD panel uses WD90C26 as the video chip and can display 256 colors.

Also, it's an AT-based machine rather than a MCA one like the N27SX and C52, making it much easier to set up.

The CPU is 386SX-25MHz.
 

ps55c23v_2.jpg (9312 bytes)TrackPoint is still nowhere to be found, like with the older PS/55note.

By the way, it is difficult to see in this image, but the holes where the lid latches enter the body are equipped with a cover that automatically closes when the panel is opened. (This mechanism is one of the features found in the PS/55note series)
 

ps55c23v_3.jpg (5224 bytes)As a model for Japan, the proud looking emblem says "ThinkPad", a name that first appeared on the C52 machine.

Although it is more compact than the N27SX, the LCD cover is close to 3 cm thick at the frame, which gives it very alien proportions compared to today's thin notebooks.
 

ps55c23v_4.jpg (3479 bytes)View of the machine with the LCD panel closed.

Thanks to the ThinkPad emblem, it can be mistaken for the 700s.
 

ps55c23v_5.jpg (7803 bytes)The memory socket is on the top right of the keyboard.

A standard SIMM modules can be modified to work with the machine, giving up to 15MB of memory.

Shown is a genuine 8MB module.
 

ps55c23v_6.jpg (5366 bytes)View of the left side.

From the back, the PCMCIA slot (TypeII x1), HDD pack (IDE), and battery pack, which were first used in this unit, are arranged in this order.

In particular, the PCMCIA slot and HDD pack are the basis of versatility and expandability of the ThinkPad series.
 

ps55c23v_7.jpg (8587 bytes)The blue button at the back controls the PCMCIA eject mechanism.

It is interesting that the high-end model C52, which was announced at the same time, did not have a PCMCIA slot, while this low-end model had one. (The rumor is that this AT machine adopted it in advance because it was easier to implement.)

The presence of the PCMCIA slot has eliminated the need for the proprietary modem slot.
 

ps55c23v_8.jpg (8125 bytes)The hard disk pack used in this machine. (80MB)

The pack's form factor is similar to that of the C52, which was announced at the same time, but this machine uses the IDE interface rather than ESDI.

This pack is used in ThinkPad 550 / 555BJ and ThinkPad 330C (s) as well as C23V.
 

ps55c23v_9.jpg (3252 bytes)The long narrow battery pack is inserted from the left side and goes almost the entire width of the machine.
The shape and mounting position are similar to the subsequent ThinkPad 701C(s).
 

Since this is an early color LCD equipped machine, the price was high, the battery operating time short, and the weight relatively high.

This model is somewhat overshadowed by the highly regarded C52 (especially overseas), but I personally think that this machine is also an important stepping stone that had a great influence on the subsequent ThinkPads.

Content created and/or collected by:
Louis Ohland, Peter Wendt, William Walsh, David Beem, 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: 23 May 2022 - Changes & Credits | Legal Info & Contact