You have probably all heard about it, seen pictures of it, maybe even seen it on ebay.
Well we have one with us and we are writing an exclusive review for you about it.
What are we talking about? The C64p of course!
Nic from 'The Future was 8bit' has kindly sent us over a 'press model' version to review and boy are we excited, this little laptop is impressive! Measuring in at just 21x14 cm this piece of kit is small but don't let that fool you, this is a little box of wonders! The C64P is a C64DTV based laptop which Nic has spent endless hours customising and modifying. Nic uses brand new laptops, removes everything inside and replaces them with 'all new parts' (even the the TFT screen is replaced) The only things left from the actual original laptop are the battery and the chassis, everything else is replaced with the following; SD2IEC, Keyboard interface, 3 custom PCB's, a 7" TFT, 1530 joystick mode mouse and the charger/PSU is replaced by an ASUS unit. Oh did I mention it also has custom firmware flashed onto the DTV Chip allowing you a choice of kernels, JiffyDos anyone?
Specifications of the retail C64p
- C64DTV PAL
- 7" TFT (480x234 Pixel) 4:3/16:9 + Infra Red Remote
- Mouse pad emulates a 1350 Joystick mode mouse in port 2
- Joystick Port x2
- IEC (Disk/Printer) Port (Rear)
- SD2IEC (Left)
- Diskswap button (Left)
- SD2IEC button Root/Reset (Left)
- Speakers x2
- Volume (Rear)
- Power/Charge (Rear)
- C64dtv Reset (Bottom)
- C64dtv firmware upgradable via Joy2
- LED - Green - Power
- LED - Orange - Charge - Bright full charge rate - Dim trickle charge
- LED - Blue - SD2IEC
- 1800mAh Battery (Runtime approx. 3.5hrs depending on system load)
- Audio/Video out (the output isn't switched so the display is dimmed)
- 100-250vAC Asus Charger
- Custom firmware has been applied that supports a number of built in DTV games, plus JiffyDos, Basic and FileBrowser
- Colour fix has been applied
- Keyboard Twister is also fitted
Now you know the specs, let's show you a few pics;
We tested the C64p with a Competition Pro Extra Mini, this is a great little joystick and perfect for the C64p, although any Amiga/C64 Joystick will work with the C64p Joystick ports (see below)
I would also assume most Atari/Amstrad and Speccy Joysticks will probably work ok too.
(Left) SD Card port, next to it are SD2IEC Root/Reset buttons. (Right) Joystick Ports.
(Left) Front of the C64p shut, You may notice the LED's are quite bright, this is only on the press model version, retail versions will be the correct brightness. (Right) rear of the C64p, Dial for Volume, port for external disk/printer/audio/video cable and port for power. Reset button is on the bottom of the unit.
Side views of the C64p, a thing of beauty :)
(Left) Top of C64p with a lovely Commodore logo (Retail logo will be classic blue) (Right) Keyboard layout.
Now onto the games .. The C64p is loaded with games, 30 pre-installed games on the actual DTV and then you also have the SDCard which depending on what size GB card you use, you could more than likely hold the whole Commodore 64 Gamebase/Tosec Collection. Imagine that, all those classic games at your fingertips! You could be playing Sanxion on the train to London or maybe a spot of Wizball while on a long journey to see family!
Just like the original Commodore 64, some games will require you to swap joystick ports, and the C64p is no different in this respect, (it is after all a real C64 on a chip)
Plugging in two joysticks also means you can have two player battles with friends, Bomberland anyone?
When you switch the C64p on, you are presented with this simple menu (Left) Scoll down a bit and you can choose from the 30 pre-installed games for quickplay. As you can see there's also options to choose JiffyDos-DTV, Standard Basic v2 and also the CBM-Filebrowser. Let's choose the CBM-Filebrowser option. This takes you to another menu (Right) Here you can choose either C64 D64 or C64 PRG, scroll down with the joystick and click on one of these (I chose C64 D64) and it will take you to an A-Z list (see below)
From there you choose a letter then a game name and load, simply as that. The menus are fast and responsive and very simple to navigate, even for the most non savvy of users.
Next I thought I would try out some of our own releases to see how easy it was to move new files over to the SDCard and run them on the C64p.
If you know how to copy/paste files on your computer, this is a really simple task.
I used a USB SDCard reader to read the C64p SDCard on my pc.
(Above) As you can see I created a new folder called 'c64 CiA' and copied three .d64 files into the folder. Two of our Christmas demo's and the CiA Mission Moon game by staff member pgarcia. Once this was done, I took the SDCard out and popped it back into the C64p and switched it on.
As you can see they run flawless with no issues whatsoever.
Great little laptop to take with you to gatherings/demo party's, also could be useful to do some quick coding :)
Mission Moon anyone? :)
C64p's in testing phase, mm Creatures II :)
There is a very limited number of these made, so far two have been sold and the first buyer has uploaded an unboxing video on YouTube which you can watch here.
I personally think the Commodore 64p is an amazing piece of kit, you can tell that Nic has put a massive amount of effort and time into making these as close as you possibly can get to an official Commodore product. If Commodore was still around today, I'm sure they would be proud to endorse it and put it into full production, imagine that? A C64p in every home :)
Any questions you have regarding the C64p please feel free to reply below, or you can contact Nic directly in the link further down.
Nic, If I have missed anything in this review please add any additional info by replying to this review below, I think I covered everything though ;)
C64p on Ebay
C64p page on Nic's Website
Contact Nic: http://www.sd2iec.co.uk/id7.html
Article by Kitty: http://awesome.commodore.me/