Osborne Portable Computer (1981)

The Osborne 1 was the first widely accepted portable computer that included a monitor, disk drives and all components.
It was introduced in 1981 at the West Coast Computer Faire. It had 64 Kb of memory, a 5 inch display screen and had two floppy disk drives and a full sized keyboard.

The Osborne weighed twenty four pounds and relied on the CP/M operating system. The Osborne I sold for $1,795 which included Sorcim's Supercalc and Micropro's Wordstar software.

The Osborne I was very popular. In 1982, over 125,000 Osborne computers were sold.

Adam Osborne was born in Thailand and immigrated to the United States. He was a proficient technical writer and his book "An Introduction to Microcomputers" sold over 300,000 copies. He became highly interested in microcomputers and designed his own, and then formed his own company, "Osborne Computer Corporation."

Adam Osborne personally promoted his new portable computer. His philosophy of success is described very well in his own article in the May 1981 issue of Kilobaud Microcomputing magazine, entitled: "An Industry Challenge: The Osborne I Computer" (pages 106-110).

Osborne announced in 1983 that it would produce an IBM compatible portable computer, to be called the "Vixen."  However, Compaq Computers beat Osborne to the market with their own IBM compatible machine.  Osborne I sales dropped off as people waited for the "Vixen" and Osborne Computers went into bankruptcy, and never recovered the market share for portable microcomputers.

See also: Osborne Executive Portable Computer (1983)

Other views of the Osborne

Other views of the Osborne (inside)

Other views of the Osborne (inside)

Osborne I Specifications Document

Osborne I Motherboard


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