Sord (today, the Toshiba Personal Computer System Corporation) announced the M5, a household personal computer, in October 1982.
Fitted with a 3.58 MHz Z80 CPU and priced at under \50,000, this model was directly aimed at getting computers in homes. It had a ROM cassette interface and software was provided on ROM cartridges.
The M5 was provided on an OEM basis to Takara and was sold as a gaming device with an accompanying joypad.
Its original concept, though, was as a proper household computer, not a gaming device. It was equipped with a built-in keyboard and preloaded with the BASIC-I programming language.
Predating Nintendo's family computer in 1983 and the MSX home computer architecture promoted by Microsoft and the ASCII Corporation, the M5 paved the way for household hobby computers.
|CPU||Z80 (3.58 MHz)|
|Sound generator||SN76489A with three square wave generators, one white noise generator, and seven envelope filters|
|ROM||8 KB (internal monitor), expandable to 24 KB with an external cartridge|
|RAM||20 KB (of which 16 KB were VRAM), expandable to 24 KB with an external cartridge, expandable to 52 KB with an extension box|
|Keyboard||Full-sized keys (in Japanese syllabary order) with a hiragana key|
|RF outputs||Video, audio, NTSC format, designed for color TVs using either Channel 1 or Channel 2, 75 ohms|
|Display||16 colors, four modes, 32 sprite images — 32 sprites could be used simultaneously|
|Video output||NTSC format|
|Audio output||Approx. 1 volt peak-to-peak|
|External interfaces||Audio cassette interface, parallel printer interface, cartridge connector|
|External dimensions (w×d×h)||262×185×35 millimeters (B5 size)|
|Weight||800 g (main unit only)|
|Standard accessories||BASIC-I ROM cartridge, AC adaptor, signal cable for audio cassettes, TV connector cord (with an antenna switch), standard game cassette tape (with two games)|