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Sanyo PC MBC 550/555

The Sanyo MBC 550

This system actually can be mistaken for a VCR, made by a company which makes VCRs. From this article in Creative Computing (Sept 1984):

Recently, Sanyo Business Systems introduced two new 16-bit microcomputers, the MBC-550 and the MBC-555. Many dealers are advertising these micros as cost effective IBM PC compatibles. More realistically, however, they should be viewed as machines intermediate in features between the PCjr and the PC, which can meet the needs of many users at a remarkably low price.

The MBC-550 package from Sanyo consists of a 16-bit, 8088-based, single board computer with 128K of RAM, a 5 1/4 disk drive, a keyboard with five function keys and a numeric keypad, color graphics capability, and a software package with Sanyo Basic, MS-DOS 1.25, Easywriter, WordStar, and CalcStar. ...

The MBC-550 consists of a stamped steel chassis housing the single board computer, and a detached keyboard. The chassis is about 15 across by 14 deep by 4 3/8 high. This is a little larger than the PCjr chassis and about 3/4 the size of the PC chassis in each dimension. It has a simulated stainless steel finish with a pleasantly functional appearance.

The front panel is plastic, but it matches the steel top panel perfectly. There we found an on/off switch, a TEAC FD-55A single sided, double density, 5 1/4 disk drive, and a compartment for disk storage. The compartment fills the space reserved for a second drive. ...
In summary, the MBC-550 is a very powerful computer for the money. In this regard, nothing else comes close. Whether all of its hardware power will be usable depends upon the quantity and quality of the software that becomes available for it. This, in turn, depends upon two factors: the number of people who actually buy this computer system and the amount of generic software and software written for other computers it can run.

The MBC-550 is no different from any new machine that is not a software compatible up-grade. Right now there is even less software available for the Macintosh than there is for the MBC-550. It will be interesting to see which machine is better supported in the long run. There is much more effort being devoted to the Macintosh, but that conversion is more difficult. All that is needed for the MBC-550 is a BIOS that provides better support for generic MS-DOS software. Of course, a BIOS that emulated the PC BIOS would be even better. However, because of the hardware differences between the two machines, this is probably not possible without a smart expansion box.

Curator's Notes: Our model 550 probably had an additional floppy drive added (as the 555 is configured). The Macintosh seems to be the winner here in terms of supported computer systems!

More pictures (sorry for the fuzzy quality, we will replace these)

See Also:

Other Sanyos:
The Sept 1984 Creative Computing article on the MBC 550/555
the MBC 775 and the MBC 1150 and
another article from 1985 on the 775 the mentions the 550

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