The popularity of shows, like Stranger Things, has brought all the retro goodness of the 80s back into conversation. Music, Dungeons and Dragons, and even the nostalgia for movie rental stores has gained popularity. All of the retro conversations have Generation X basking in the nostalgia and younger generations enjoying the novelty.
Nothing was more 80s than the personal computer. The 1980s were the first time that the average person could buy a computer for home use. Families across the US and the entire world flocked to stores to jump into the future with a home computing system. And we have fond memories of our very first computers. We talk about the types of word processing available and the computer games we all played. Even pong, a pretty basic game by today’s digital standards, is something we remember well.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane, pinpoint the five best computers of the 80s, and find out why people loved them so much.
5 Best 80s Computers
In the 80s, computers were the newest craze. The idea of being able to log on to your own computer, in your home, was basically the newest fad. But it’s one that stuck around and evolved over time.
Parents thought it was the wave of the future for their kids (and they were right). And kids wanted to play the latest games without going to an arcade.
Here are the five best 80s computers and why they made our list:
We can’t compile a list of 80s computers without the IBM PC. This was the granddaddy of them all. Also called the IBM Personal Computer Model 5150, this model was released in 1981. It was the model that began the whole personal computer revolution. Think of it as the Cadillac of computers. It had all the bells and whistles, the best technology of the time, and, of course, a very high price tag. Saying you had this computer gave people the impression that 1. you knew computers, and 2. you could afford quality.
Who doesn’t know Apple? That fun logo wasn’t just on Macs back in the day. It all started with the Apple series and the Apple IIe was the most popular model. It was also the longest-running and last model with the Apple name before the company switched to Macintosh. The Apple IIe was affordable but still well built. There was no shame in telling your friends you just got a “two e”.
The Commodore 64 was one of the best-selling computers of all time. It was faster, had better storage capabilities, and was more affordable than many models. The popularity alone made this a good model to have. Most people were familiar with the Commodore.
What was so great about the Compaq? It was billed as completely IBM-PC compatible, but at a fraction of the price. And that sales point made it a super popular model. After all, who doesn’t want the bells and whistles of the best-ranked computer, at a much lower cost?
Of course, Macintosh had to make the list. After all, Macs are still one of the most popular computers on the market today. Yes, Apple gets two mentions, but we’re talking about computers, so that fits.
The 80s was the beginning of the personal computer craze. It was the foundation for how we work and play and these five models started it all.