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Company Unveils $200 Computer Aimed at Kids

May 1, 1991

NEW YORK (AP) _ An electronics company unveiled a $200 computer Wednesday aimed at what it says are the millions of households that have resisted buying a home computer because of the price.

The machine, called the IQ Unlimited, uses an ordinary television set as the computer screen, accounting in part for its low cost.

Though aimed at children, the computer contains built-in software such as a spreadsheet and database more appropriate for older users.

Among its 10 other built-in programs are games, a word processing program with a spell-checker, a calculator and a drawing program.

The computer’s maker, Video Technology Industries Inc. of Wheeling, Ill., is a subsidiary of a Hong Kong company. The computer, which won’t be in stores until August, is made in Hong Kong and China.

Video Technology says the machine is designed for families that cannot afford to buy the typical home computer, which starts at about $750.

″Clearly, the home PC market is a huge, untapped opportunity,″ said Rick Mazursky, executive vice president of Video Technologies, which also makes consumer electronics and electronic learning aids.

The IQ Unlimited computer runs on 4 C-size batteries or a wall socket adaptor. It can be connected to most Epson printers or the IQ Unlimited printer, which will be sold separately, the company said.

The computer uses a Z80 microprocessor, an older type that used to be used in many personal computers. A microprocessor acts as the ″brains″ of personal computers.

The IQ Unlimited contains 128 kilobytes of memory, which is tiny by modern computer standards. The base model of IBM’s PS-1 home computer line, for example, contains 512 kilobytes of memory, but it lists for $999.

The amount of memory determines the degree of complexity of the software a computer can use. But that may be of little concern with the IQ Unlimited since a user cannot add additional programs to it, unlike other home computers.

Also, because the IQ Unlimited model uses a TV as a monitor, its resolution is not as sharp as that on specially designed computer monitors.

The computer will be sold in toy stores and mass-market retail chains.

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