A Brief History of Sharps

Written by Maurice Hawes / SUC/UK
Source: SUC-magazine November 1999, Volume 19 Number 3, p. 5

A Brief History of Sharp Z80-Based MZ-Computers

The diagram below, first reproduced in Vol. 18 No. 1, is of Japanese origin and shows the development of Sharp MZ-computers over the period 1978 – 1985. lt therefore includes the MZ-5500 and MZ-5600 but those two machines have been omitted from this review because they are not Z80-based machines. All other machines on the diagram are covered in the following pages.


If a machine was imported into the U.K. for sale to the public, I have given its date of introduction into the U.K. and, where possible, the date it was reviewed in PCW. I have also included other historical and technical information and, where applicable, I have described the causes and remedies of any minor hardware problems that are commonly encountered. I have also given my own personal assessment of its ‘collectability‘ today.

If a machine was not imported into the U.K. for sale to the public I have had to rely mainly on bits of data gleaned from the collection of Japanese Sharp brochures given to the SUC in 1986, by Martin Winbow, a member who had visited Japan several times as an airline pilot. Anyone interested in more detail on these machines should read the article Martin wrote for us at that time ( Vol. 5 No.3 pp. 6 – 10 ).

However, during the last 5 years we have been fortunate enough to acquire working examples of two of these ‘Japanese‘ MZ-machines i.e. the MZ-2500 and the X1; so in those two cases I have been able to give more detail than for the other ‘Japanese‘ machines, the MZ-2000 and MZ-2200, which we have never seen in the flesh.