Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 51 / AUGUST 1984 / PAGE 10

Z80 Atari XL?

I have an Atari 800 and I am thinking about moving on to a more sophisticated system like the Atari 1450XLD. I have heard that the 600XL and 800XL are much like the older 400/800 models, but how about the 1400XL and 1450XLD? Is the BASIC language different? I heard it has a Z80 microprocessor. Is all this true?

Alekos Couloumbis

The 600XL and 800XL computers are very much like the 400 and 800. The 600XL and 800XL are almost identical, except that the 600XL has 16K while the 800XL has 64K. There have been some enhancements to the operating system of the XL computers, making it different enough so that some 400/800 programs will not run on the XL computers. However, Atari has a Translator disk available through its Customer Service that allows you to run 400/800 programs on your XL computer. The BASIC in all XL computers (except the late 1200XL) is built-in, and almost identical to the earlier Atari BASIC, except that the infamous keyboard lockup has been fixed and the exponentiation function has been improved.

The Atari 600XL and 800XL are now in full production. The 1400X1 will not be marketed, and the future of the 1450XLD is still somewhat uncertain.

The 1450XLD has a bigger keyboard than the 600X1 and 800X1, with extra function keys. It also boasts a built-in speech synthesizer and direct-connect modem. The 1450XLD has a built-in, double-sided, double-density, high-speed disk drive.

The 1450XLD does not have a Z80 coprocessor. At the June 1983 CES, Atari showed a CP/M Z-80 interface. Then at the January 1984 CES, Atari said that they would not market it, but that a third-party company might. Rumors continue to swirl around the 1450XLD, and Atari may well market a slightly different 1450XLD than was shown at recent shows.