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Personal Computers of the 1970s and 1980s



The late 1970s until the mid 1980s were a time of rapid evolution in home and business desktop computer design. These pages list many of the different models which appeared and give the hardware specification of each. Contemporary magazine reviews of some machines are also available.


By Maker
ABCDEF
GHIJKL
MNOPQR
STUVWX
YZ 
Acorn
Amstrad
Apple Computer
Applied Computer Techniques
Atari
Cambridge Computer
Camputers
Casio
Coleco
Commodore
Compukit
Computer Games Ltd
COMX
Data Applications International
Dragon Data
EACA
Enterprise Computers
Epson
Exidy Incorporated
Grundy Business Systems
Hewlett-Packard
HH Microcomputers
IMS Associates Inc.
International Business Machines
International Computers
Intertec Data Systems
Jupiter Cantab
Kenbak Corporation
Lucas Logic Systems
Mattel
Memotech
Microbee Systems
Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems
Miles Gordon Technology
MOS Technology
MSX Group
Multitech
NASCOM
Oric Products
Osborne Computer Corporation Ltd
Powertran
Processor Technology
Psion
R2E
Radio Electronics
Research Machines Ltd
Semi-Tech Micros
Sharp
Sinclair Research
(aka Science of Cambridge)
Sord
Southwestern Technical Products
Spectravideo
Tandy Radio Shack
Tangerine Computer Systems
Tatung
Texas Instruments
Texet
Torch Computers
Triumph Adler
VTech
By Year Launched
'70'71'72'73'74'75'76'77'78'79
'80'81'82'83'84'85'86'87'88'89

1971

Kenbak-1

Kenbak-1

1973

Micral

Micral

1974

Titus Mark 8

Titus Mark-8

1975

MITS Altair

MITS Altair 8800

SWTPC 6800

SWTPC 6800

1976

IMSAI 8080

IMSAI 8080

KIM 1

MOS KIM 1

Sol-20

Sol-20

1977

Commodore PET

Commodore PET

Apple ][

Apple II

TRS-80 Model I

Tandy TRS-80 Model I

NASCOM-1

NASCOM-1

1978

Science of Cambridge MK14

Science of Cambridge MK14

Exidy Sorcerer

Exidy Sorcerer

Sharp MZ-80K

Sharp MZ-80K

DAI

DAI

Micro-Professor I

Micro-Professor I

1979

Atari 400

Atari 400

Atari 800

Atari 800

Acorn System 1

Acorn System 1

Texas Instruments 99/4

Texas Instruments TI 99/4 and 99/4A

Compukit UK 101

Compukit UK 101

RML 380Z

Research Machines 380Z

Microtan 65

Tangerine Microtan 65

1980

Sinclair ZX80

Sinclair ZX80

Acorn Atom

Acorn Atom

Genie Mark I

Genie Mark I

Tandy Colour Computer

Tandy Colour Computer Model 1

Intertec Superbrain II

Intertec Superbrain II

1981

VIC 20

Commodore VIC 20

Sinclair ZX81

Sinclair ZX81

Osborne 1

Osborne 1

IBM 5150

IBM 5150 PC

Nascom 3

NASCOM 3

BBC Model B

Acorn BBC Model B

1982

Sharp PC1500

Sharp PC1500

Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Sinclair ZX Spectrum

MicroBee

MicroBee

Grundy Newbrain

Grundy Newbrain

Micro-Professor II

Micro-Professor II

RML 480Z

Research Machines 480Z

Dragon 32

Dragon 32

Colour Genie

Colour Genie

Hewlett Packard HP-75

Hewlett Packard HP-75

Jupiter Ace

Jupiter Ace

Epson HX-20

Epson HX-20

Commodore 64

Commodore 64

Osborne Executive

Osborne Executive

1983

Oric 1

Oric 1

Apple Lisa

Apple Lisa

Sord M5

Sord M5

Torch

Torch

Camputers Lynx

Camputers Lynx

TI CC-40

Texas Compact Computer 40

Cortex

Powertran Cortex

Laser 200

VTech Laser 200/
Texet TX8000

Pied Piper

Pied Piper Communicator 1

Memotech MTX-500 Series

Memotech MTX-500 series

Mattel Aquarius

Mattel Aquarius

Tandy MC-10

Tandy MC-10

COMX 35

COMX 35

Sharp MZ-700

Sharp MZ-700 Series

Acorn Electron

Acorn Electron

ACT Apricot

ACT Apricot

Atari 800XL

Atari 600XL and 800XL

Tiger

HH Tiger

IBM PC Jr

IBM PC Junior

1984

Oric Atmos

Oric Atmos

Apple Macintosh

Apple Macintosh

Sinclair QL

Sinclair QL

Spectravideo SV 318

Spectravideo SV 318 & SV 328

Hewlett-Packard 71B

Hewlett-Packard 71B

Alphatronic PC

Triumph Adler Alphatronic PC

Amstrad CPC 464

Amstrad CPC 464

MSX Range

MSX Range

Commodore Plus/4

Commodore Plus/4

Coleco Adam

Coleco Adam

Psion Organiser 1

Psion Organiser Model 1

Tatung Einstein

Tatung Einstein

One Per Desk

ICL One Per Desk

1985

HP Integral PC

Hewlett Packard Integral PC

Enterprise

Enterprise

Atari ST

Atari ST

Amiga 1000

Commodore Amiga

1986

Spectrum 128K

Sinclair Spectrum 128

Tandy Colour Computer Model 3

Tandy Colour Computer Model 3

Casio FX-790P

Casio FX-785P and FX-790P

Spectrum Plus 2

Sinclair Spectrum +2 and +3

1987

Z88

Cambridge Z88

Acorn Archimedes

Acorn Archimedes

1988

Sinclair PC200

Sinclair PC200

1989

Atari Portfolio

Atari Portfolio

SAM Coupe

MGT SAM Coupe

By Name
ABCDEF
GHIJKL
MNOPQR
STUVWX
YZ1-9
380Z (RML) pic
400 (Atari) pic
480Z (RML)
5150 (IBM)
520 ST (Atari) pic
600 XL (Atari)
64 (CBM)
    »Review
6800 (SWTP)
800 (Atari) pic
99/4 (TI) pic
    »Review
Ace pic
    »Review 1
    »Review 2
Adam
Alphatronic pic
    »Review
Altair 8800
Amiga
Apple ][
Apricot
    »Review
Aquarius
    »Review
Archimedes pic
    »Review
Atmos pic
    »Review
Atom
BBC model B pic
CC-40
    »Review
Colour Computer 1 pic
    »Review
Colour Computer 3
Colour Genie
    »Review
COMX 35
Cortex
CPC 464 pic
DAI
Dragon 32 pic
    »Review
Einstein
Electron
Enterprise pic
    »Review
Falcon
FX790P pic
Genie I pic
HP-71B
HP-75 pic
HX 20 pic
IMSAI 8080
Integral PC pic
    »Review
Kenbak-1
Kim 1
Laser 200
Lisa
Lynx
    »Review 1
    »Review 2
M5 pic
Macintosh pic
MC 10 pic
Micral
MicroBee
Micro-Professor I
Micro-Professor II
    »Review
Microtan 65
    »Review
MK 14
MSX Range pic
MTX-500 pic
    »Review
MZ 700
    »Review
MZ 80K pic
NASCOM 1
NASCOM 3
    »Review
Newbrain
OPD
Oric 1
Organiser pic
Osborne 1 pic
Osborne Executive
PC 1500 pic
PC 200
PC Junior
PET 2001 pic
Pied Piper
Plus/4
Portfolio
QL pic
SAM Coupe
Sorcerer pic
Sol-20
Spectrum 48K pic
    »Review
Spectrum 128
Spectrum +2 pic
Superbrain II pic
SV 318 pic
SV 328 pic
System 1
    »Review
Tiger
    »Review
Titus Mark-8
Torch
TRS 80 Model I pic
TX8000
    »Review
UK 101
VIC 20 pic
Z88 pic
ZX80 pic
    »Review
ZX81 pic
    »Review

For more information on early desktop computers, and some superb photographs, read 'Digital Retro' by Gordon Laing, published in 2004 by Ilex, ISBN 1-904705-39-1.


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