Lexikon's History of Computing

Dedicated Word Processing Microcomputers

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During the 1970's there was a tremendous growth in dedicated word processing microcomputers in the business field. These machines were usually large, bulky and very inflexible. Designed only for basic business word processing functions, they are not usually considered "personal computers" even though they are microcomputer systems.

These systems were often very expensive, costing $10,000 or more for a single workstation.

The dedicated word processing systems began to fade from use when the true personal computers started to become available, which could utilize word processing software as well as other types of business and personal software.

The following is a list of some of the more well known names in the dedicated word processor market during the 1970's and 1980's.

--A.B. Dick

A.B. Dick produced a variety of dedicated word processing systems, such as the Magna SL, a multi-user dedicated system for $14,500.


CPT produced dedicated word processing microcomputers.

CPT Corporation of Minneapolis, Minnesota, produced dedicated word processing systems and was one of the best known names in such systems during the 1970's and early 1980's. CPT Corporation shipped its first Series 4200 word processors in 1972, which sold for $5,000.

The CPT 8100 system was a full featured word processing system that also supported CP/M and came with an on-line dictionary, spell checking software, training materials and audio cassettes. The CPT 8100 system sold for about $14,000 in 1982.


Dictaphone Corporation of Rye, New York produced a dual display word processing system, with both a large screen and a smaller edit screen. The whole system sold for about $13,500 (1982).

--IBM Displaywriter

IBM produced the Displaywriter dedicated system, which sold for about $8,000 (1982).


Lanier Business Products produced the Lanier No Problem, Lanier Super No Problem, EZ-1 Word Processor, and the Typemaster. The Super No Problem sold for about $13,000.

--LEXITRON (later part of Raytheon)

Lexitron Corporation produced a series of dedicated word processing microcomputers. Lexitron was the first to use a full size video display screen (CRT) in its models ( by 1978). Lexitron models included the VT 1202 and the VT 1303.


Vydec produced a range of microcomputers dedicated to word processing applications, starting in 1972-3.


-Wang produced dedicated word processing microcomputers such as the Wang System 5 ($11,500), the Wangwriter ($6,400), the Wang VS, and later produced its own Wang PC.


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