Commodore SX-64 Home Computer - SX-64
(Commodore International - 1983)
The Commodore SX-64 computer is a fully functional, self contained color computing platform with a distinctive and unmistakable look. It's metallic grey metal case is stylish as well as making the computer virtually bulletproof. Weighing in at over 23 lbs, this system stretches the term portable a bit.
The Commodore SX64 Executive Portable Computer hold the distinction of being the world's FIRST color portable computer system. It features a built in full color 5" diagonal monitor and RGB (composite, chroma/luma) out to hook up to a television or external monitor when you are not on the road. The boot up colors are inverted on the SX-64 Executive to provide for better contrast on the small monitor. Independent controls for the monitor's color, brightness and contrast are hidden behind a door beside the floppy drive on the face of the unit.
The other feature that just blew my socks off back in the 1980's was that it had a built in 5-1/4" floppy disk drive! This made the unit truly self contained. This feature alone made the SX-64 a popular platform for programmers as it was simple to pull out the unit and copy disks or demonstrate in the field.
The handle doubled as a stand for the unit when in use and could be locked in just about any position with ingenious locking mechanisms built into the pivot point. The light blue dots that hid the screws on either side of the handle gave the SX-64 it's signature look. These dots are worth twice their weight in gold as they are easily lost and NOBODY will sell you tiers from a working unit. I have been known to purchase broken SX-64 computers specifically for the blue dots and the keyboard cable which are just as impossible to find.
The cartridge port was in an very convenient location on the top of the unit, with spring loaded doors to keep the dust out when not in use. The SX-64 could use the entire library of Commodore 64 games and applications that were available on cartridge, not to mention other expansion accessories that could use the cartridge port with few exceptions.
There is a storage compartment above the built in floppy disk drive. This was a convenient spot to put your cables, disks or cartridges when you lugged your SX-64 out and about.
This computer is by far my all time favorite computer from my youth and holds a special place in my collection of retro technology. I take every chance I can get to play with one of my many SX-64 computers, just to relive the nostalgia.
System Specifications for the Commodore SX-64
Basic system specifications for the Commodore SX-64 portable color computer system/gaming console are listed below.
US Over 15,000 | Worldwide Over 20,000
Commodore BASIC 2.0
MOS Technology 6510 @ 1.02 MHz
expandable via user port and cartridge port
Built-in 5" color monitor
320 x 200 graphics, 16 colors
Full-stroke 66 key keyboard with 4 function keys
3 voices in 9 octaves and 4 waveforms
14"(356mm)W x 5"(127mm)H x 17-1/2"(445mm)L
Internal Power Supply
Input 120v 60hz 0.5a AC
Internal 5-1/4" 170K floppy drive
RGB (composite, chroma/luma and sound in/out)
(2) CIA 6581 joystick port
RS-232 serial port
GPIO user port
Below are the user comments about the Commodore SX-64 - Computer topic. Feel free to join the conversation and share your comments or experiences with the Geek Vintage community.
I still have mine.
Paul | Oct 19, 2013 11:34pm
I still have mine and play with it often. I also have the original accessories bag, and original keyboard cable. But I am missing the dots!
jboypacman | Mar 15, 2010 9:12am
I have never seen the Commodore SX-64 and i can imagine peoples excitement when this came out! The computing power of the C-64 but on the go this just had to be ground breaking and was i guess the first ever "Lap Top" computer just a amazing piece of hardware for its time am sure.