When launched in England in the year 1979, the Sinclair ZX80 probably started the world-wide home computer market.
It was sold in two versions: a self-assembly kit and a ready-built computer. At it's time it was one of the smallest and probably the cheapest home computer in the world. It was also one of the first computers aimed at the home user, not to the hobbyist or professional. Until August 1981, the ZX80 sold over 100,000 times, over 60% of them for export. Today it is rare and already pretty expensive.
Its design, like all of the Sinclair computers, was driven by price and simplicity. Its price below £100 was unpreceeded at that time, as was the fact that one could simply buy it from a shop, plug it in and use it.
It was the first computer to use Sinclair's legendary touch-sensitive keyboards with BASIC tokens accessible with one keypress only which required a certain learning curve to find them on the keyboard. Later, the ZX81 Rom was based on the ZX80 Rom, just with a few new commands and enhancements. People could buy a 8 kB ZX81 Rom and keyboard overlay to get all the function of the ZX81 - except the hardware depending SLOW (compute&display) mode.
As part of the ZX80's cheapo design, the CPU was also used to generate the display for the TV output. The ZX80 could either draw a stable image or run a useful task – thus on every keypress, either during INPUT or in the editor, the TV image flickered. The audio out signal was directly coupled with the TV sync signal, so sound was really not an option and while saving data to tape the TV showed black and white flickering stripes – or blacked out.
based on: www.old-computers.com
Manufacturer Sinclair Research Ltd., Cambridge, GB
Production February 1980 (USA) - 1981 (?)
Built-in language Integer Basic
Keyboard Membrane keyboard, 40 keys
CPU NEC 780C-1 or Zilog Z80A, 3,25 MHz
RAM 1 kB, max. 901 bytes available for user programme
typical upgraded to 16 kB, max. 64 kB (56 kB usable)
ROM 4 kB, could be upgraded with the 8 kB ZX81 Rom
Text modes 24 lines à 32 characters, 64 non-ascii characters
uppercase letters only, characters could be inverted.
2 lines reserved for INPUT, 22 lines available for PRINT
Graphic modes 10 block graphics characters for 64x44 'pixel' graphics
With some tricks 256x192 pixel hires graphics were possible
Size, weight 21.9 x 17.5 x 4 cm (WxDxH), 375 gr
I/O ports TV out, tape in/out (~300 bps), Z80 extension bus
Price Kit: £79.95 (1980,UK), 255,- DM (1980,D)
Assembled: £99.95 (1980,UK), 190,- F (1980,F)
|Current Selling Prices/||2019-08-20 05:24||177|
|Tech specs/||2019-08-20 05:24||5|
|ZX80 Emulator for ZX Spectrum/||2020-08-27 14:08||11|
|US Patent US266848D - ZX80 Computer.pdf||2011-05-20 22:55||51741|
|ZX80 Operating Manual.pdf||2005-12-01 11:03||2681360|
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