This Christmas, I want an IBM PC Convertible, the model 5140.

Images from

I think this is a great piece of design from the days when PC hardware design was varied and interesting. It sits in the transition period between the big “luggables” (with CRT monitors) to the ubiquitous clamshells today.

I like the design’s strong, angular, architectural form – the design language seen across IBM’s entire PS/2 range of PCs. I like the no-nonsense approach. Functional and thoughtful, like the angled-when-opened floppy drives.

The aesthetics is appropriate subdued and confident. It does not try to be a fashion statement. Absolutely no bling.

This Christmas, I also want an IBM NetVista all-in-one.

Images from Lenovo Blogs.

This is a more recent evolution of the design language of the 5140. The strong angular, planar forms are still there – only now expressed more prominently and more cohesively in the form of the chamfer around the monitor’s edges. This chamfer also makes the form appear thinner and more “precise”.

I wrote about the chamfer previously here.