In what is probably the most competitive challenge to Amstrad from a US major, Atari Corp, Sunnyvale, California last week launched its first non-proprietary architecture machine, an 8MHz 8086-based Personalike with a base price of $500 with 512Kb CPU and one 5.25 floppy drive. The key weakenesses over Amstrad are no slots, only one intternal drive – a second can be added externally – and no screen in the base price. The Atari PC has serial, parallel, video and ST-style disk ports, mouse, mouse port based on Microsoft’s Inport chip, and an XT-type keyboard. Graphics support includes Hercules, IBM Monochrome, EGA, and CGA capabilities. The green monitor is another $200. The new 68000 Mega ST (CI No 595) has detachable keyboard, built-in floppy, and an expansion bus for additional circuit boards. Atari said the new machine offers full access to the 68000 bus and power supply and that further expansion is possible by running the bus outside to a card cage. It comes with 1Mb, 2Mb or 4Mb memory, with the 1Mb model coming in at $1,000. Expansion up to 16Mb is promised, as is networking support. The new laser printer, which uses a Canon engine, can only be driven by a Mega ST with the full 4Mb memory. The price cuts on the older 520ST and 1040ST bring the 512Kb model down to $300; the 1Mb mono 1040ST to $899; with colour VDU to $1,099.
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