Sony SMC-70 Microcomputer

How many CP/M systems can you name from the early 1980s that used 3.5-inch floppy drives? The Sony SMC-70 is the only one that comes to my mind. Of course, Sony had just invented the 3.5-inch format and hoped it would become a standard. It did, of course, but on IBM PC-compatible systems.

Like a lot of Sony computers of the era, the SMC-70 was a well-designed system that was never a top seller. It used the Z80A CPU, the most common option for a CP/M system at the time. Not so common was the SMC-70’s form factor with keyboard and CPU unit combined–more like an Apple II than other popular CP/M systems like the Kaypro luggable or the Zenith Z-100 All-In-One model.

Sony also offered an SMC-70G version with enhanced graphics capabilities for video editing.

Introduced: 1982
Original Retail Price: $1,475
Base Configuration: 4MHz Z80A CPU; CP/M 2.2; two proprietary expansion slots; 64K RAM (256K max); 32K ROM; TV, RGB, and composite video ports; keyboard; RS-232C, parallel, light-pen, and cassette ports; Sony BASIC
Video: 25-line x 80-column text, 640 x 400 graphics, 16 colors
Size/Weight: 14.5 x 17.5 x 3.5 inches, 10.5 lbs.
Important Options: 8086 coprocessor, expansion box, one or two 3.5- or 8-inch floppy disk drives, hard disk drive, 12-inch monochrome or color monitor, keypad, SMI-7020 printer, 256K memory cache

Published by

Michael Nadeau

I am the author of Collectible Microcomputers (Schiffer Books, 2002) and have been an editor of many technology publications including BYTE, 80 Micro, and HOT CoCo. My interest in the history of information technology is broad. I use my blogs, ClassicTech and Vintage Computer Photos, to build on the work I did for Collectible Microcomputers.

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