Spectravideo SVI-738

Computer facts

Type home
Year 1985
Language MSX Basic
CPU Zilog Z80A
Speed 3.58 MHz
RAM 64 KB (up to 144 KB)
ROM 64 KB (32 KB BIOS/Basic, 16 KB RS232 BIOS, 16 KB DISK ROM)
Text modes 40x24, 32x24, 80x24
Graphic modes 256x192
Colors 256
Sound AY-3-8910 (3 channels, 8 octaves)
Spectravideo SVI-738

In my collection

Spectravideo SVI-738

Small blue MSX sticker on front is missing.
Bought from Tradera march 2010.


The Spectravideo SVI-738 X'Press was an MSX1 compatible home computer manufactured by Spectravideo from 1985. Although compatible with the MSX 1.0 standard, it incorporates several extensions to the standard (80-column display, serial RS-232, built-in 3.5" floppy drive); many are hardware-compatible with the MSX 2.0 standard but the system as a whole is not, leading to it being referred to as an "MSX 1.5" computer.

Along with the Sony HB-501 (which includes a cassette player), it the only attempt to make a portable computer based on the MSX standard, hence the title "X'Press" it came packaged with its own carrying bag in addition to the manuals, booklets and software (CP/M 2.2 and MSX-DOS 1.0) a disk containing a special demonstration program featuring an astronaut flying about on the screen, demonstrating the computer's graphic capabilitites and listing facts about the computer's ROM and RAM sizes.

Along with the disk drive and integrated serial port, what stood out the most was the use of the graphics chip specified by the MSX-2 standard, although the use of only 16 KB of VRAM allowed you to add only an 80 column mode. This, together with bugs in the first model's design (Konami SCC-sound based cartridges do not work or have bad sound) are among the reasons for the "MSX 1.5" moniker.

It ran Microsoft Disk BASIC 1.0 from ROM when turned on if no disk or an empty disk was inserted.

Spectravideo SVI-738 images