In April 1983, Texas-Instruments sent this press release about the TI-99/2:
The TI-99/2 Basic Computer from Texas Instruments may be the first 16-bit computer for less than $100.
Targeted at the technical enthusiast, engineer, and student, the TI-99/2 has a standard typewriter-like keyboard, 4.2 Kbytes of RAM
(random-access, read/write memory) that can be expanded to 36.2 Kbytes, a built-in RF (radio frequency) modulator, and
monochrome display capabilities.
For expansion, this system is equipped with a rear-panel peripheral interface connector for a
variety of units especially designed for it, including an RS-232C interface, a digital tape drive, and a four-color printer-plotter.
Later this year, Texas Instruments plans to release other peripherals, such as modems, printers, a wand input device, and a
The TI-99/2 uses software on solid-state cartridges and cassettes. Initially, two cartridges are available: "Learn to Program" and
"Learn to Program BASIC". In addition, 20 cassette-based programs covering education, personal management, and entertainment
are scheduled for introduction this quarter. The suggested retail price of each cartridge is $19.95, and most cassette-based
programs cost $9.95.
The TI-99/2 comes with a video cable and antenna switch for connection to any television, an interface cable that hooks directly to
a cassette-tape player, an AC adapter, a user's manual, and a demonstration cassette.
It costs $99.95.
Glenn Petersen adds:
Contrary to your report, The TI 99/2 did make it to retail stores. I
spent some time at a Radio Shack store in Salt Lake City, looking at the
model they had in their display case. The price was $99.00. A quick
glance and I determined it was no better that my ZX-81, apart from the
Andy Frueh doesn't agree
I have to wonder if Glenn Peterson actually
saw a TRS 80 COCO model MC10.
This was a Sinclair-ish (and thus 99/2-ish) computer of roughly the same
size, shape, and keyboard configuration.
I simply can't imagine Radio Shack selling ANY computer other than a Tandy
during this time period. The MC10 is the most likely thing he saw.
I'm a firm believer that the 99/2 never made it to retail shelves.
If so, it would have been distributed at KMart, JC Penny, and Montgomery
Wards in the US - the primary distribution channels for TI at this
I believe that, at this time period, Radio Shack wouldn't even sell TI
calculators. They branded their own.