Commodore VIC-20: under $300. Commodore netbook: $629


CommodoreI don’t know if the Commodore is still worth anything, but over the next few months we’re sure to find out. The Commodore brand that I knew and loved in the early 1980’s is joining into the netbook craze with their UMMD 8010/F model. I can’t explain how many hours I spent tapping away at my C-64… it felt like every waking moment that I wasn’t in school was spent PEEK-ing and POKE-ing at the memory innards of a home computer. Do I have a soft spot for the venerable brand? You betcha! Enough to buy this netbook. Eh… not so much.

At a tad over $600 and running a 1.6 GHz VIA C7-M, the most comparable netbook I can find is the HP Mini-Note. While the Commodore offers a 10-inch display to the HP’s 8.9-incher, just about every Mini-Note specification trumps the C-8010 at nearly the same price. Commodore is opting for 1 GB of RAM, optional Bluetooth and an 80 GB hard drive. The $629 offering from HP with the same CPU? 2 GB of RAM, included Bluetooth and a 120 GB hard drive.

Of course, computer purchasing shouldn’t be based on specifications alone. There’s definitely something about owning a Commodore computer these days, which is why I still fire mine up once a year. Is it worth nearly $600… maybe so, maybe not, but it’s sure great to see. All we need now is a William Shatner ad for the new netbook. Sadly, in Shatner’s VIC-20 advertisement, the big selling point is "under $300." Ahhhhh…. inflation.



They can slap the word “commodore” on anything that has a processor, but the mystique is gone… these aren’t commodore computers really…


My memories are of the TRS-80 in High School. I used to stand at the display model at the nearest Radio Shack for hours, day after day, and program away in BASIC — always knowing that when I left, everything would be turned off and I’d have to start all over the next day. When a friend in school got his own TRS-80, I think I spent more time playing with it than he did. And, since it had a cassette drive, I could actually save my programs.

Ah, those were the days. You’d think, after all that, that I’d have grown up to be a programmer, or something.

Nope. Not even close.


With a $629 pricetag, I’d get rid of the Commodore name and slap AMIGA on it instead. Heck it’s beige too.

Wow, took 20 years, but the world finally has an Amiga laptop. Jay Miner would be proud.

Now all we need is some Guru Meditation…


I had a VIC-20, it was a Christmas present from my Mom in about the 9th or 10th grade. The space invaders cartridge was awesome. I did a little bit of programing on it. I miss it and my mom :)

Stephen Feger

It really is funny how silly little things from our childhood maintain their significance. I too programmed like a little madman on my Commodore 64 at the ripe old age of 11. I have a lot of fond memories playing with that early computer. Even though this netbook and that old C64 have nothing in common except for a name and a marketing label, I would honestly consider it…

… if it were under $400.

Come on… I had to learn something in the intervening 25 years. $629 is too much. :-)

one can fit a C64 in a period atari joystick…

and its just the brand, the company that wears it has no relation to the commodore of old. could be a good thing, most likely is as bad or worse then the old at its worst…

Kevin C. Tofel

Actually, the next-door neighbor had a VIC-20. By the time I was ready to buy a computer, I opted for a Commodore 64, which I still have in working condition. Have the monitor and shoe-box-sized 5.25-inch floppy drive too! I remember using a hole punch to make my floppy’s “double-sided”. Damn I’m getting old… ;)

Steve Paine

Did you have a VIC-20?
Wonderful device.
Not sure, like yourself, that the Commodore name is going to get me to buy an expensive Netbook though.

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