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K > KAYPRO > Kaypro 1   

Kaypro 1

The Kaypro 1 wasn't the first computer Kaypro launched, but quite one of the last ones.

When the company started getting strapped for money they changed the model name of some of their previous systems, modified the case design, added some minor hardware improvements and launched them as new models.

The Kaypro 1 was thus no more than a rebadged version of the 2X model which was itself a light evolution of a previous version called 4'84!

The main difference between the 1 and 2X versions was the floppy drives assembly, hozizontally mounted in the 2X, vertically in the model 1.


From Robert:
I used to work for Kaypro back in the early and mid 80's at the headquarters in Solana Beach. Mr. Kay was a wonderful man to work for and the campus was beautiful.
I wish Kaypro had of become the Compaq of that time. I remember Compaq being a major worry back then. I wish I could connect with some of the beautiful people that I worked with at Kaypro.

We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system, please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


I worked or Kaypro as a district manager when the Kaypro 1 was introduced. By the time the Kaypro 1 was introduced, CP/M was totally, absolutely, positively dead, and we as sales people tried until we were blue in the face to convince the Kays of that. As I recall, the Kaypro 1 sold for $999, with a dealer cost of $750 plus about $50 for shipping. Dealers had a love/hate relationship with the Kaypro. They loved them because Kaypro had a very loyal fan base, but they hated them because the margins were quite low, and there was little chance to make extra money on software and accessories because most Kaypros shipped feature-rich with the software already bundled. Dealers had no interest in the K1 because most had no one on staff who was familiar with CP/M by the time the K-1 came out, and in a market where the consumer expected a 20$ discount minimum, there just wasn''t anything in the deal for the dealer.

The price point was fabulous for a machine for somewone who was heavy into word processing, and Word Star looked about the same in CP/M as it did in DOS, but the world was moving away from text based computing towards graphics-based computing, and neither CP/M nor DOS had much of a future left by 1986.

Thursday 10th February 2011
Richard (US)


NAME  Kaypro 1
TYPE  Portable
YEAR  1986
KEYBOARD  Detachable, 72 key typewriter style keyboard with 18 programmable keys.
CPU  Z80-A
RAM  64 KB
VRAM  Unknown
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  80 char. x 25 lines
GRAPHIC MODES  Resolution unknown. Managed by Escape sequences
COLORS  built-in 9'' non-glare green phosphor screen
SOUND  Unknown
SIZE / WEIGHT  Unknown
I/O PORTS  2 x RS232C serial ports, 1 x Centronics-type parallel port, 2 x RJ11 modem jacks ?
BUILT IN MEDIA  2 x 5.25'' DS/DD floppy drives (390 KB per disk)
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PRICE  Unknown

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