Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

VZ200

VZ200
VZ200

Speed3.5795454 MHz
Memory4 KB

What's this?

VTech

VZ200

Release Date: 1/1/1983
Manufacturer: VTech
 
The VTech Laser 200 was an early 8-bit home computer from 1983, also sold as the Salora Fellow (mainly in Scandinavia, particularly Finland), the Texet TX8000 (in the United Kingdom) and the Dick Smith VZ 200 (in Australia and New Zealand).

The machine ran basic games on cassette such as "Hoppy" Frogger, "Cosmic Rescue" Scramble, "VZ Invaders" Space Invaders and Moon Patrol. The computer was discontinued in 1985 to make way for more advanced home computers.

At its UK launch, Tesomexet claimed that the £98 TX8000-branded version was the cheapest colour home microcomputer on the market. However, this was not enough to ensure its success against the dominant ZX Spectrum and similar machines already on sale.[2] Most notably, the Spectrum-like Oric 1 was selling for £99 at this point, and offered a far higher specification than the Texet for little difference in cost.

The "Dick Smith"-badged VZ 200 was more successful in Australia, where it proved popular as a first computer.

An improved version known as the VTech Laser 310, or the Dick Smith VZ 300 was released in 1985 and continued until 1989.

The Laser 200 was designed and built by Video Technology (VTech) in Hong Kong and derived from the Tandy TRS-80. Based on a Zilog Z80A CPU driven by a television colour burst crystal (3.5795454 MHz), it offered 16 KB of ROM containing Microsoft BASIC Level II, 4 or 8 KB RAM and four-colour graphics at a resolution of 128×64 or 64×32, or 32 columns and 16 lines of eight-colour text. The BASIC interpreter was similar to that offered in the Video Genie but with many of the advanced BASIC commands disabled.

The Laser 200 used the MC6847 Video Display Generator (VDG) chip for graphics.

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