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Commodore 64, VIC computers are back

The original 8-bit, 1 MHz Commodore 64 is the largest selling PC of all time. Now, you can pre-order a new model equipped with today's hardware.
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Commodore USA has opened a new Web store and is now taking pre-orders for its new Commodore 64, VIC-Pro, and VIC-Slim models that are based on the originals. The new Commodore 64 is the home of a mini-ITX PC motherboard featuring a Dual Core 525 1.8GB Atom processor and a Nvidia Ion2 graphics card with 512MB of DDR3 memory. Check out Adrian Kingsley-Hughes' blog post.

The base Commodore 64 comes with 2 GB of DDR3 memory and is expandable to 4 GB. It's keyboard is the same shape as the original with Cherry brand key switches for a better feel.

C64s are listed with a base price of $250 for a barebones model and $595 for the basic model. The high-end model with a 2TB hard drive reaches $895. It's expected to be available in May or June.

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Like the original, the new C64 can be connected to either monitors or televisions, however it offers 1080p HD and 6 Channel High Definition Audio playback.

The first units will be powered by Ubuntu Linux 10.04, however, a Commodore Operating System is close to completion, according to Commodore USA. With it you'll be able to play original 8-bit games on a built-in emulator - without waiting for minutes for them to load. It appears that the Commodore OS will be shipped to early buyers when it is available.

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The back even includes an Internet connection. How's that for a C64?

It comes in the original taupe brown/beige color with more options to come.

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The right side includes a multi-format card reader/writer and a USB slot. There are four more USB units in the rear.

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They even include a DVD/RW player - with the option for Bluray.

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The original Commodore had 64KB RAM from where its name originated.

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Commodore USA showed off some pictures of its prototype models. The plastic was not colored.

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The motherboard.

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Inside the keyboard.

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The VIC Pro appears to be retro in name only. The computer components are housed in an aluminum case underneath the keyboard. The unit can support up to Intel Core 2 Quad processors and runs on an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3100. It can hold up to 4GB of memory.

The VIC Pro is available for pre-order and starts at $895.

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The VIC-Pro comes with a standard full size 3.5" SATA hard drive with up to 2 terabytes of storage space. It also can hold  a removable 2.5-inch hard drive.

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Quick launch keys on the top of the keyboard.

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The motherboard.

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VIC models are loosely based on the 8-bit VIC-20 which was released in 1981.

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Commodore USA is also taking orders for the VIC-Slim. The company is touting this model as a space-saving desktop. It will run on a 1.8GHz Dual Core Intel Atom D525 processor.

The VIC-Slim is slated to start at $295 for a barebones model and reaches a high end of $495 with a 500GB hard drive. The monitor is not included.

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The VIC-Slim also has built in stereo speakers and Wi-Fi antennas on both sides of the keyboard to boost strength. Commodore USA claims it will use one-eighth of the power of a traditional PC.

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The side of the computer.

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