IBM PCjr Personal Computer

Description
After the success of the IBM's business PC, IBM attempted to capture the home market with the IBM PCjr. The PCjr system was compact, low cost, and designed for applications related to learning, entertainment, and personal productivity.
The computer had an Intel 8088 microprocessor that ran at 4.77 MHz–faster than most systems on the market at the time. It 64 KB of RAM, which could be expanded to 256 KB and later to 720 KB with third party add-ons. It featured an internal 5 1/4" floppy drive and a wireless keyboard. King's Quest, a popular Adventure game of the 1980s, debuted on the PCjr.
Despite a flashy debut and a strong technology core, the PCjr flopped in the market. Consumers were not as attracted by the IBM name as business had been. Price was a major factor. The PCjr cost about the same as the Coleco Adam, but for the price, the Adam included two tape drives, a printer, and software. The PCJr was twice as expensive as the Commodore 64. With the exception of the Apple II, it was possible to purchase a complete system (computer, disk drive, and printer) from almost any of IBM's competitors for less money. However, criticism of the system focused on the "chiclet" keyboard. Similar to that of a pocket calculator, the small keys were cheap and difficult to use for touch typing. IBM later replaced this with a wireless conventional-sized keyboard. But it could only be used two or three feet away from the machine and drained batteries quickly.
Announced in November 1983 and available in March 1984, IBM sold the PCJr for $669 with 64 KB RAM, and $1,269 for 128 KB RAM. The more expensive system also included a floppy-disk drive. IBM discontinued the PCjr in March of 1985 after selling only approximately 270,000 units.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
microcomputer
Date made
1983
maker
IBM
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 9 cm x 35.3 cm x 29.6 cm; 3 9/16 in x 13 7/8 in x 11 5/8 in
Place Made
United States: New York, Armonk
ID Number
2002.0090.01
catalog number
2002.0090.01
accession number
2002.0090
subject
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
Credit Line
Neil Adakonis

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

Submit a comment or ask a question about this object using the form below. Submissions are moderated and may receive a curator response. Please note that we cannot evaluate or appraise your personal artifacts. For other questions or general inquiries please visit our FAQ or contact page.

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

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.