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Commodore 64 rises from the ashes (sort of)

Phoenix debuts, recapturing "computer in a keyboard" design of classic 1982 model.

Commodore Phoenix
The Phoenix measures 17.5 inches wide and 2 inches tall and is available in black or silver. Commodore USA

One of the earliest and most popular computer models ever is about to make a comeback of sorts.

The Commodore 64, introduced in 1982, sold 30 million units over the next dozen years. Its graphics capabilities made it popular with gamers; at least 10,000 software titles, including games and business applications, were developed for the computer.

But the company folded, and the model became a nostalgia piece, its early fans resorting to running 64 games on emulators.

Commodore Phoenix
Quick-launch keys offer instant access to Web favorites, Web browsers, and e-mail accounts (click to enlarge). Commodore USA

Now, the Commodore 64 is rising from the ashes in a much reworked version named, appropriately, Phoenix. is now selling new versions of the "computer in a keyboard" design, though with added extras not available in 1982, such as Intel Pentium processors, a DVD drive, wireless Ethernet, and USB ports.

And whereas the classic 64 held a hefty 64KB of RAM, the Phoenix runs on more than 4GB, and can store 2TB. It measures 17.5 inches wide and 2 inches tall and runs Microsoft Windows 7 or Ubuntu (Linux).

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Commodore USA also has other models available, including the Invictus (which sports a touch pad) and Amigo. Prices start at $475 for a bare-bones model, topping out at $1,300.

The Phoenix does not, however, represent the first attempt to resurrect the Commodore brand. A few years back, a company called Commodore Gaming rolled out high-end gaming PCs based on the iconic C64.

Commodore Phoenix
The Commodore Phoenix has four USB ports, one parallel port, two serial ports, two PS2 ports, plus one LAN, one VGA, one audio/line, and one DVI port. Commodore USA

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