I love Sharp machines. Not only because my first computer was a Sharp (PC-1211) and my all-time favorite pocket computer is also a Sharp (PC-1500), but because they have the amazing build quality, gorgeous designs, and are often engineering feats.
As an example, I can quote the MZ-80B (I posted on it last year). This week, I undusted a Sharp MZ-700 and 800. These beautiful systems are offering color displays and do not have an integrated display. Indeed, if you examine the MZ-80B for example – but it goes back to the late ’70s with the MZ-80K (an indirect affiliation of this week’s systems) –, they have a small CRT display and a mass storage device built-in. OK, the mass storage is an audio cassette, but it sounded much better this way :-). Instead, the MZ-700 (circa 1982), included a 4-color plotter! Yes, you read well.
This should not be a surprise since the PC-1500 also proposed such a device (a tad smaller though to be squeezed into the pocket computer’s printer/cassette interface). These features were options that you could add to the base system – or buy a pre-installed one. To me, these capabilities are simply highlighting the fantastic build quality. With the MZ-800 (circa 1985), this goes a step further, since you could upgrade the cassette recorder to a Quick Disk. Although much faster, it was working in fact as a tape. Note that the MZ-800 was capable of running as an MZ-700. Among the four system switches in the back of the machine, the one marked 1 allowed you to switch between modes – after powering OFF the device of course. Set it to ON, and you had an MZ-700. Set it to OFF, it you had an MZ-800. Literally two for one. Enjoy the pics!