Kaypro Robie CP/M Desktop

The IBM PC and compatibles had eaten up much of what had been the market for CP/M systems by 1983. The PC offered the same level of hardware and software support, and it also had the strength of the IBM brand.

Robie prototype
Source: Kaypro, 1983

Kaypro, a leader among the CP/M system manufacturers, tried to stem the tide with a new design. Called the Robie, it was a departure from Kaypro’s portable-only line-up, though the desktop system did have some resemblance to the boxy portable Kaypros. It was unusual in that the system hardware and storage were in a unit that sat on top of the monitor. Kaypro claimed this design made more efficient use of desk space.

Robie production model
Source: Kaypro, 1985

The Robie was announced at the end of 1983, started selling in early 1984, and lasted into 1985. It didn’t really offer more functionality than other CP/M systems. The design might have worked against it, too. Kaypro touted the “large” 9-inch monitor. It was large compared to what Kaypro’s portable models offered, but by the mid 1980s PC users had a range of monitor sizes much bigger than the Robie’s.

Introduced: February 1984
Original Retail Price: $2,295
Base Configuration: Z80 CPU, CP/M 2.2, 64K RAM, two 5.25-inch floppy disk drives, integral 9-inch monochrome CRT, keyboard/keypad, application suite, internal modem
Video: 24-line x 80-column text

Published by

Michael Nadeau

I am the author of Collectible Microcomputers (Schiffer Books, 2002) and have been an editor of many technology publications including BYTE, 80 Micro, and HOT CoCo. My interest in the history of information technology is broad. I use my blogs, ClassicTech and Vintage Computer Photos, to build on the work I did for Collectible Microcomputers.

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