Kaypro IV Portable Computer

Kaypro was a manufacturer of portable microcomputers running the CP/M operating system. Its first commercial model, Kaypro II, was launched in 1982. The Kaypro IV was introduced in 1983. Surprisingly, it is not the same as the Kaypro 4, which was released in 1984.
The Kaypro IV was basically a Kaypro II with added Double Sided/Double Density Drives. It had a Z80 microprocessor that ran at 2.5 MHz. The memory included 4 KB of RAM and 2 KB of ROM. Kaypro IV had a 9" monochrome monitor and a built-in speaker. The operating system was CP/M 2.2. The Kaypro IV included the word processor Wordstar, which was included in the Perfect Software Suite.
The introduction of the IBM PC in 1981 led to the rapid growth in popularity of the MS-DOS operating system for personal computers. Software developers migrated to writing for MS-DOS instead of CP/M. Kaypro was slow to make the transition in their machines, and the company never gained the kind of prominence in the MS-DOS arena that it had enjoyed with CP/M. A prime competitor for the MS-DOS portable market was Compaq, which sold an "all in one" computer that was similar to its own CP/M portable. In March 1990 Kaypro filed for bankruptcy.
This Kaypro IV was purchased with funds from a research grant obtained by Robert M. Smith, of the Department of Space History of the National Air and Space Museum. Smith's book, The Space Telescope, was written in part on this computer.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 21.5 cm x 48 cm x 43 cm; 8 7/16 in x 18 7/8 in x 16 15/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Family & Social Life
Computers & Business Machines
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Approved comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about your own artifacts or tell you how much they are worth.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.