With the Amstrad PPC-512 and 640, Amstrad wanted to make the cheapest portable PC compatible computer, in the same way as the Amstrad PC1512 was for desktop computers.
But, despite its pleasant form, this computer suffered due to its poor 9" LCD screen. It had one or two 3.5" 720 KB floppy drives and some versions could also be found with a 10 or 20 MB internal hard disk.
If you were tired of the poor LCD screen, you could connect a monochrome or CGA monitor to the PPC at home. The Amstrad CPC series monitors could be used too.
The differences between the PPC-512 and PPC-640 were a different colour case, a built-in modem (v21, v22, v22 bis and v23 protocols) and 640 KB RAM for the PPC-640. Both versions could run with 10 C size batteries (1 hour battery life), or with an external AC adaptor.
PPC 512 / 640
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
complete 102 key QWERTY mechanical keyboard With numeric keypad, editing block and function keys
PPC-512 : 512 KB PPC-640 : 640 KB
40 or 80 chars x 25 lines
320 or 640 x 200 dots
Monochrome green - 4 or 16 colours with external monitor
SIZE / WEIGHT
45 x 23 x 10 cm / 6 kg
Centronics, RS232, CGA Monitor, Expansion ports A (25 pin port just bigger than a parallel port) and B (37 pin RS494)
BUILT IN MEDIA
One or Two 3.5'' floppy-drives (720 KB)
MS DOS 3.2 or 3.3, GEM, Q-DOS II (menu driven interface)
10 x C cell batteries
Mouse Systems driver
PPC 512 - 2 disk drives : 6500 F (France, dec. 1987) PPC 640 - 2 disk drives : 7697 F (France, dec. 1987)