Pronto Series 16 Personal Computer, Central Processing Unit

Pronto Series 16 Personal Computer, Central Processing Unit

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Pronto Systems, Inc. introduced its Pronto Series 16 computer in 1983. It represented the high end of business computing of its era. The Pronto pioneered innovative design features, including a tilting and swiveling monitor, small foot print, a streamlined and adjustable keyboard, and an expandable cord that allowed the processor to be stored as much as six feet away from the monitor. These features won a 1983 design award from Industrial Design Magazine. The computer offered the first tower system—a design that later became common in the industry.
Inside, the Pronto 16 was a powerful machine designed for the full range of business applications. It had a 16-bit Intel 80186 microprocessor. It was shipped with MS-DOS 2.0. It had 128 KB of RAM, which could be expanded to 1 MB. The standard hard drive was 5.6 MB, and it was removable. The computer had dual 800 KB floppy drives (5 ¼"), dual serial ports, one parallel port, and a high-resolution monochrome monitor. Users could buy a color monitor as an option. Base price was $3,000.
Over 1,000 systems were sold from 1983 to 1987. The company had to file for bankruptcy when the stock market crashed while the company was in the process of going public through an Initial Public Offering.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
PRONTO Computers, Inc.
Place Made
United States: California, Torrance
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 39.5 cm x 17.8 cm x 34.5 cm; 15 9/16 in x 7 in x 13 9/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Henry Gasbarro and Skip Hansen
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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I still have this computer and it was fantastic at the time. I have other photos I can share if needed. Pronto was the first (that I know of) computer with a deskside chassis with cables connecting the monitor and 2 800k floppy drives and keyboard. The processor was 80186 based and faster than any of the 8088 and 8086 computers of that time. While it had no mouse it was a great text based computer with compilers and some accounting software of that time. I learned C programming on this computer and was happy to be one of the only owners in Washington State.

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