PS/55note N51SLC (8551)
MCA specification machine equipped with a rare CPU

N51SLC Model 8551-S Brochure

Overview

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


Overview (8551-S08)

This machine uses the relatively rare IBM 386SLC CPU, a power-saving 386SX with a built-in cache and a predecessor to the later IBM 486SLC/2/3 chips.
 

ps55n51slc_1.jpg (8982 bytes)Visually this machine isn't much different from the rest of the PS/55note series. Specs-wise it's a bit of an oddball however.

As mentioned before, the CPU is IBM386SLC 16MHz, and the bus architecture is MCA.

If you look closely at the screen, this unit is running OS/2 2.0.
 

ps55n51slc_2.jpg (9193 bytes)It's hard to tell from the photo, but if you look closely at the layout near the cursor keys, it's somewhat different from the other PS/55note machines.

The PS/55note keyboards have an unique feel to them - light, exquisite, and highly praised at the time. Also, as it's the case with most other PS/55note laptops, the holes for the lid latches are equipped with covers that automatically close when the LCD is opened. This prevent dust from getting inside.
 

ps55n51slc_3.jpg (3905 bytes)The machine is rather thick for a monochrome model. The surface feels rubbery, but it has a slightly shiny coating. You can best see this on the front edge of the lid.

As you may see, the unit looks rather boring with the lid closed...
 

ps55n51slc_4.jpg (6611 bytes)Detail of the IBM emblem.

This machine was positioned as an entry MCA system and comes with a monochrome STN display. After this the entry level was discontinued, so it became to be the last monochrome LCD MCA machine.
 

ps55n51slc_5.jpg (6143 bytes)View of the connectors on the back of the unit.

It has the same general layout as the N51SX, which was the base of this unit.
 

ps55n51slc_6.jpg (8201 bytes)The modem slot with a modem installed.

The serial port of this MCA machine is equivalent to 16550 and allows for high-speed communication, so one would expect the same to be true for the internal modem. Unfortunately the data rate is only 2400bps / 9600bps fax. Certainly not great for its time, is it? At least it's still possible to use the rear serial port to connect an external modem to achieve a reasonably high-speed DOS-based communication.
 

ps55n51slc_7.jpg (6700 bytes)The floppy drive is built into the right side of the unit.

The hard drive (80MB) is non-removable, and since this is an MCA machine, it uses the ESDI specification.

The internal cache of the SLC CPU gives the machine a performance boost despite being clocked at 16MHz as its predecessor - N51SX.
 

ps55n51slc_8.jpg (6261 bytes)The memory expansion slot is located at the bottom, near the front of the unit.

The memory shown here a genuine 8MB module, but the P/N is different from what the other PS/55note machines use.
 

ps55n51slc_9.jpg (7835 bytes)N51SLC Ni-MH battery pack.

The mounting method and shape are the same as the N23SX pack, but the two are not compatible.

It seems that the specifications of the AC adapter are also different.
 

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.

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Last update: 23 May 2022 - Changes & Credits | Legal Info & Contact