Hewlett-Packard Advert - March 1981
From Practical Computing
"Discover the full professional power of Hewlett-Packard's personal computer"
Hewlett-Packard, which like Commodore, TI and Tandy also had a line in calculators, had launched its HP-85 micro at the beginning of 1980, with the machine even originating from the calculator side of the business. Codenamed "Capricorn" when it was still a company secret, it was aimed at the scientific market and was sold as a complete system including screen, keyboard, thermal printer and a magnetic tape unit with what seems an implausibly-small 217K storage per cartridge - even floppies could do more than that. According to oldcomputers.net, the HP-85 ran a custom 0.613MHz 8-bit CPU, which was slow even in the 1970s.
It retailed for £1,950, or around £9,400 in 2019, a price which Personal Computer World thought was too much in two reviews - "in the final analysis, the machine is overprice for the hardware content" or "£1,200 would be more like it". At the time, Commodore's PET was around a third the price.
text and otherwise-uncredited photos © nosher.net 2019