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1980s Computers Explanation of terms

The RML 480Z



Research Machines Limited (UK)


Link 480Z

Date Launched

Mid 1982 ?


£550 for basic model

Microprocessor type

Zilog Z80A @ 4 MHZ

ROM size

8 kilobytes
Expandable to 32 KB

Standard RAM

32 kilobytes

Maximum RAM

256 kilobytes

Keyboard type

Typewriter style

Supplied language

Microsoft BASIC

Text resolution

40 columns x 24 lines
An 80 column display was an optional extra.

Graphics resolution

160 x 72 pixels
640 x 192 pixels with optional graphics card.

Colours available

8 colours with expansion card.


Tone generator and internal speaker

Cassette load speed

300 or 1200 baud

Dimensions (mm)
Weight (grams)

530 x 335 x 80

Special features

The monitor program in the ROM allowed Z80A registers and memory locations to be directly accessed.

Good points

Expansion potential.
Robustly made and reliable.

Bad points

Although cheaper than the RML 380Z, the 480Z still seemed expensive for its specification.

How successful?

Popular in schools, partly because along with Acorn's BBC B and Sinclair's Spectrum the RML 480Z was available under the UK government's Computers in Schools scheme which gave schools a 50% discount on the purchase price.


The 480Z was a low cost version of the earlier 380Z, with a console case design.
It was still too expensive to appeal to the home computer market.

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