IBM PCjr Microcomputer


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 had 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. The device was manufactured in Lewisburg, Tennesee, by Teledyne, IBM discontinued the PCjr in March of 1985 after selling only approximately 270,000 units.

Date Made: 1984-1985

Maker: IBM

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: New York, Armonk

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Computers, Family & Social Life, Computers & Business Machines


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Neil Adakonis

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2002.0090.01Catalog Number: 2002.0090.01Accession Number: 2002.0090

Object Name: microcomputer

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


Record Id: nmah_905913

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