INITIAL RETAIL: £499, £1,188 in 2019
It launched for £499 and sold very well, as it was one of the first cheap PCs in Europe. It significantly helped open up the European PC market to consumers as well as businesses, and Amstrad’s advertising of the PC1512 was aimed at homes rather than offices. The 1512’s influence was such that the UK PC magazine PC Plus originally targeted itself at the “Amstrad PC 1512 and compatibles”, since home ownership of other PCs at the time was rare.
I got this computer from a friend of mine that is also kind of passionate about retro computers and old consoles. Thank you Sorin! The computer was a present from his parents back in the early 90`s and its in pretty good shape, except for the yellowing of the plastic. There seems to be a bad capacitor or a bad memory module on the motherboard, as it does not show any signs of booting up. I will repair it when time allows. See full repair guide here. (will be available soon)
- Memory: 512 KB of RAM, max 640 KB
- Video: CGA standard, with an extension allowing all 16 colours to be used in the 640×200 graphics mode.
- CPU: 8 MHz Intel 8086
- OS: Amstrad licensed both MS-DOS 3.2 and Digital Research DOS Plus, which was largely compatible with MS-DOS and included some features from CP/M and the ability to read CP/M disks. Only one of these operating systems could be used at a time. They also licensed the GEM windowing system, which supported the customized CGA hardware of the 1512.
- Storage: Two 5¼-inch floppy drives and a 20MB HDD
- Input: Mouse and keyboard. Mouse was not IBM Compatible even if the connector is standard SERIAL port. The keyboard sported an Atari-compatible joystick port for digital joysticks.
Whereas IBM’s PC (and almost all PC compatibles) had a power supply in a corner of the main case, the PC1512’s power supply was integrated with that of its monitor. The monitor had sufficient venting to cool itself by convection, instead of needing a fan. The PC1512 was therefore quieter than other PCs.