An Amstrad laptop you’ve never seen


Of all the players in the home computing world in the 1980s, Alan Sugar’s Amstrad had a head start in terms of ease of use over its competitors. The Amstrad CPC series of computers came with their own monitors which also had an integrated power supply and featured built-in data loggers or disk drives as standard. Despite a range of business computers and an eventual migration into PC territory including portable machines, Amstrad never produced a CPC that was not rooted in the office. [Michael Wessel] took up this challenge with a CPC464 which had a broken tape recorder, and come up with an honorable version of a laptop that has never been.

Starting with a philosophy of not modifying the CPC box more than necessary, the faulty tape drive was replaced with an HDMI TFT display and video converter card. A 512 KB RAM expansion, an SD card disk expansion and a stereo amplifier have been integrated. A small power board also powers the unit via USB-C, so it can run from a power bank.

The result is a fully functional and hugely expansive CPC that is as much a cyberdeck as a retrocomputer, and given that if we remember correctly that these machines were CP/M compatible, they could be more useful than just games. [Michael] didn’t enter their creation in our ongoing Cyberdeck contest, but we think it would make a strong contender.

This is not the first Amstrac CPC we have shown you, here is a very different version of a modernized machine.

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