Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Atari 130 XE

Atari 130 XE

Speed1.79 MHz
Memory128 KB

What's this?


Atari 8-Bit

Release Date: 1/5/1985
Manufacturer: Atari
Original Retail Price:
Adjusted Inflation Price:
A direct replacement for the Atari 800 XL, the 130 XE contained 128 KB of RAM (of which the 64 KB could be used as a RAM disk). The Atari ST line (a full 16-bit computer) was launched around the same time, dooming the 130 XE to failure. The XE line did however end up producing a number of offshoots including the 65 XE (64 KB version) and the XE Game System which had a detachable keyboard and included a light gun. The 6502C MOS processor ran a 1.79 MHz and was still based mostly on Jay Minerís original designs made over 5 years earlier. Although it had more voices on its sound chip than the Commodore 64, the range was more limited.

Atari XEP80 80 Column Interface

Atari XEP80 80 Column Interface
Release Date: 1/1/1984
The Atari XEP80 Interface Module is Atari's entry to the 80 column field. It lets a XL, XE, 400 or 800 computer system display a full 80 columns across your monitor screen. The XEP80 provides a 256-character wide by 25-line display window. Up to 80 characters are displayed horizontally at once, and you can scroll horizontally all the way to the 256th character, depending on the application you're running. The XEP80 is connected to your system via a joystick port.

The XEP80 Module interprets commands from the computer for screen display or output to a printer. The module is supplied with an industry-standard 8-bit parallel port so you can connect a parallel printer to your Atari 8-bit.

All programs that use the standard screen call (E:) should be compatible with the XEP80 Module. The software provided by Atari supports a 320x200 graphics mode - this mode only support direct bit images. Note that you can't use all of the standard graphic capabilities of the Atari anymore.

Although Atari recommends a monochrome monitor for usage with the XEP80, it runs fine with any type of composite monitor. The output looks great on a Commodore 1084 monitor for example.

User Comments
Dane S on Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I bought my 130XE in 1985 and as of today, it's still running. I use it mainly for my checkbook progam and some printing. Atari had an uphill battle with the Commodore 64. It was a battle that they wouldn't win. The 130XE was a classy computer for it's time. The grey keyboard was different for it's time too.
Anonymous on Friday, November 11, 2011
I don't think the release of the ST directly led to the failure of the XE line as the two products were quite far apart in price. By the time the XE was released the low end 8-bit market was so dominated by the C-64 that there was little room for any others in that same niche
Have a comment about this Computer (personal stories, additional information)? Post it here (no registration required).

Share |

* Inflation data courtesy of Values are approximate using our own calculations.