IEEE Bushy Tree

The Osborne 1 was the first commercially successful portable microcomputer, released in April, 1981 by Osborne Computer Corporation. It weighed 23.5 pounds (10.7 kg), cost US$1795, and ran the then-popular CP/M operating system. Its principal deficiencies were a tiny 5 inch (13 cm) display screen and single sided, single density floppy disk drives whose disks could not contain sufficient data for practical business applications. Its design owed much to that of the Xerox NoteTaker, a prototype developed at Xerox PARC in 1976.

At its peak, Osborne Computer Corporation shipped 10,000 Osborne 1 units per month. The computer was widely imitated as several other computer companies started offering low-priced portable computers with bundled software. The Osborne 1 was about the size and weight of a heavily packed suitcase; one commercial humorously pointed out that it did not quite fit under an airplane seat. As such it is now classified as a "luggable" computer in comparison to later laptop designs. The Osborne's popularity was surpassed by the similar Kaypro II which had a much more practical 9 inch (23 cm) CRT that could display the standard 80 characters on 24 lines as well as double density floppies that could store twice as much data.

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Osborne Vixen branch
Preceded by
Osborne 1 Followed by
Osborne Executive
Elixir branch
Also includes
Osborne 1 Included in