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AMSTRAD Prepares Major Launches for PC Range (New Computer Express)
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AMSTRAD PREPARES MAJOR LAUNCHES FOR PC RANGE

Speculation on Amstrad's forthcoming round of hardware launches has reached fever pitch, with industry watchers eagerly predicting a trio of surprise launches for next month's Hanover Messe computer fair.
However, Express has uncovered salient details of Amstrad's plans for the next few months, encompassing desktop PCs, laptops, portables and even the six-year-old PCW range.

Amstrad has already stated that three new machines will be unveiled at the Hanover Messe on March 15, but is refusing to even hint at the nature of the hardware. We understand the contenders will include:

  • Generation 3 PCs - plans for versions with smaller footprints
  • A new portable based on the existing ALT range will definitely be unveiled with double capacity hard drives. These will eventually replace existing models, offering buyers more memory without a price penalty. The machines are unlikely to be available here until the early summer.
  • Small footprint versions of the ‘Generation 3' series of top-end
    PCs will be launched. And a number of PC3000, plus printer and software bundles, will also be announced in the near future. The new machines may come under a PC4000 tag, and there exists the real possibility of a 486 model.
  • Sources within Amstrad insist that smaller than A4 sized laptops are also in the pipeline. The machines will be simple and inexpensive affairs. Amstrad has opted for clamshell screen style rather than the straight Z88 type configuration.
    Buyers will be offered a low cost 8086, as well as a more expensive 286 option.
  • Colour versions of the ALT laptops may also appear for private viewings, but they will not be shown to press or public until later this year.
  • A planned high-end PC with CD-ROM drive is unlikely to surface at Hanover, but should be launched at the Which Computer? Show in Birmingham this spring. Some free information CDs will be included in the package, which will cost about £1,500.
  • The revamped PCW models are ready, and awaiting launch, but Amstrad will probably unveil these in the UK first. The new models will be based on the existing 8512 and 9512. Instead of the standard - and obsolete -3-inch drives, the machines will come with 3.5-inch drives.

Both PCWs will come with paper white screens - the black on green screens are being phased out. The new 8512 will be sold with dot matrix printer, while the 9512 will continue to come with a daisy wheel model. Amstrad is also sticking with the CP/M operating system.
The firm privately feels that its hugely popular PCW is looking dated, and is planning to make some aesthetic changes to the casing. The decision to move up to 3.5-inch drives has as much to do with the difficulty of obtaining 3-inch drives as anything else. Opting for the more standard 3.5-inch drive would allow the new machines to read and write to and from PC disks, thus justifying the machine as a serious, but low cost, business option, while giving PC compatibility.

The company has already cut the price of the entry level 8256 to £299 in an effort to clear dealer channels. New machines will be backed up with huge television and press adverting campaigns - the relaunch will represent the PCW's biggest boost in years.

A spokesman for Amstrad last week catagorically denied that the widely rumoured ‘PCW for the 1990s' would be seen at Hanover, and scotched rumours of a CD-ROM based PC launch. However, he said such moves could not be discounted.

New Computer Express #121 (March 1991)

CPCrulez[Content Management System] v8.7-desktop
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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.