Retro Home Computers – Atari 600XL


Atari 600XL
1983 – 1987

VLSI Chips

Atari 600XL Newspaper Ad

Above: Atari 600XL Newspaper Ad

The Atari 600XL, introduced in 1983 was Atari’s low-end replacement for the discontinued Atari 400. The 600XL came with 16K of memory, built-in BASIC and had a PBI Parallel Bus Interface on the rear of the unit to accommodate Parallel Bus expansion devices such as the Atari 1064 64K memory module and the Atari 1090XL Expansion System.

The Atari 600XL retailed for $199.00, comparable to about $440.00 in today’s money. Like the Atari 400, the Atari 600XL lacked the composite video output.

Atari 600XL

Above: Atari 600XL

The Atari 600XL, just like the Atari 400 lacked a composite video output port. Conversations with several Atari Home Computer Division engineers revealed that originally the Atari 600XL was going to have composite video, but it was cut from the final design for cost reduction.

Atari 600XL Motherboard

Above: Atari 600XL Motherboard angle 1

Atari 600XL Motherboard

Above: Atari 600XL Motherboard angle 2

The Atari 600XL looks slightly smaller then the 800XL but with the exception of the lack of composite video and 16K instead of 64K (standard on the 800XL), the Atari 600XL personal computer was functionally equivalent to the 800XL personal computer.