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1980s Computers Explanation of terms

The Alphatronic PC

Alphatronic PC


Triumph Adler (Germany)


Alphatronic PC

Date Launched

March 1984 in UK
1983 in Germany


Disk drive £330 extra

Microprocessor type

Zilog Z80A @ 4 MHz

ROM size

28 kilobytes
(4 KB for monitor program, 24 KB for BASIC)

Standard RAM

64 kilobytes

Maximum RAM

64 kilobytes

Keyboard type

Typewriter quality but with short travel
Separate numeric pad

Supplied language

Microsoft BASIC 5.11

Text resolution

40 or 80 columns x 24 rows

Graphics resolution

80 x 72 or 160 x 72 pixels

Colours available



Single channel through built-in speaker

Cassette load speed

1200 baud
One or two disk drives (5¼ inch, 320Kb capacity) were optional extras.

Dimensions (mm)
Weight (grams)

405 x 255 x 73

Special features

Programmable function keys
ROM cartridge port
Ran the CP/M 2.1 operating system

Good points

High build quality
RS232 and parallel interfaces

Bad points

Poor documentation
Sound and graphics capability was limited compared to other home computers of 1984.
To run CP/M required at least one disk drive, almost doubling the price.

How successful?

Quite popular in Germany but not elsewhere.


Triumph Adler were best known as a typewriter manufacturer.
The Alphatronic seemed unable to decide whether it was a games machine which could also run CP/M, or a business computer with the ability to play games.
It was too expensive for the home market, and 16-bit machines were becoming the standard in business.
See the review in Which Micro? magazine.

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