Commodore Makes Appearance with New Goods

Talk about a blast from the past: home "computer" manufacturer Commodore is returning to the scene, bringing a few new goodies to the table at CES '09.

The question one has to initially ask is this: how many Commodore 64 "laptop" computers are currently living in landfills? More than most people probably want to imagine, yet in the early 1980's, the Commodore 64 was THE home computer to own. Who cared if it took thirty minutes to load a modem program via cassette tape? So what if it's huge $595 pricetag offered 8-bit computing and 64k of memory. It still ruled the world, and gave Radio Shack's TSR model a run for its money.

Now Commodore is back, although the company currently is not resurrecting its infamous "C" series of personal computers. This time around, Commodore is entering the netbook market with its "F" and "J" series. Both devices have 10.1-inch screens, however the "F" series features a more sporty look and a keyboard sized around 85 percent of a standard full keyboard. The "J" series lends more to mobile business users, designed with a superfast E-Sata USB port and a larger keyboard. Via C7 / C8 or Intel Atom processors power both netbook models.

According to the company, the netbooks come packed with 1 and 2 GB internal memory, a 160 GB hard disk, built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, three USB ports, and Windows XP already installed (!). There's also an optional external slim line optical drive and a HDD back-up device. Both models offer a direct connection to the CommodoreWorld portal, providing various content such as digital entertainment, TV shows, and actual news channels, all accessed by a special hotkey on the netbook.

Commodore also announced its "M" series of mini-netbooks, designed especially for the worldwide One PC per Child Initiative. The "M" series comes in two models, both sporting a 7-inch screen and various "shell" colors. The company stated that it built the M-450R to run with Windows XP or CE on a RDC 800Mhz CPU with 512MB DDR, equipped with 4GB SSD (Solid State Drive) storage, WiFi, Web Cam, standard 80 keys keyboard and touchpad. The M-400 runs on Linux using Intel's Xscale 366 Mhz CPU, 128MB memory with IGB SSD, and comes equipped with WiFi, standard 80 Key-Keyboard and touchpad.

“We’re ecstatic launch our new line of Commodore netbooks and other products in USA," said President and CEO of Commodore USA Ben van Wijhe. "We are very eager to introduce to the market the new products and services exclusively developed for Commodore. The initial response from the market is very positive and retailers are willing to buy the new line of Commodore netbooks which continue the tradition of the famous Commodore C64.”

Commodore is currently displaying all netbooks at CES, however the company is also showcasing a few other products as well, including mobile internet devices and its new line of GPS devices.

More from CES 2009

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  • shovel
    Ah the old 64...

    Got rid of my Atari VCS & bought this real computer in 1984...
    Learned how to program in basic, I remember buying PC magazines & typing in pages of text as this was how programs were distributed - you'd spend days typing it in, then days debugging your typo's (or the printing was so crap you couldn't tell an I from a 1). Moved on to Forth, C & then assembler, thus I became a GEEK!

    You'd get home from work, turn the telly to the C64, start the tape drive to load a game, cook & eat dinner, have a shower, then sit down for hours of 8bit gaming goodness...
  • enewmen
    The Commodore Amiga was WAY ahead of other PCs at the time. I wonder if it will be possible to create such a futureistic PC now with grapics 10 years ahead via onboard chipset. Also a brand-new build from scratch OS & Kernel. The Amiga can do Ray-Tracing back in late 1985 using Sculpt 3D/Turbo Silver in HAM mode (12 bit color).

    Instead of the C64, I was just able to get a Vic-20 for $100 - much cheaper than an Apple ][ at the time. I would stay up all night developing my version of Text Invaders, Lode Runner, and Bolo- in 4 bit color!

    To me it looks like the "M" series has more of the old sprit by it not being a PC clone like everyone else has.
  • HJB
    "... Radio Shack's TSR..."? Would that be the TRS, as in Trash-80, sold as the TRS-80?