In October 1992 the Amiga 1200 was launched. This machine took the A500 approach to computing with the "distinct" Commodore case, but including the AGA chipset present in the A4000, 2 MB RAM, and the PCMCIA slot from the A600.
At the price of £399 it sold like hot cakes and is seen as one of the best Amigas to date. It appears to have been rushed to launch for the Christmas period with manuals claiming to give you the opportunity to upgrade from 1mb to 2mb chip ram with FPU. It is, however, a darn fine machine that can be easily upgraded for most of your needs.
After Escom bought the Amiga during 1995 it was relaunched to mass outrage. The machine still cost £399, £150 more than it had done a year previously and was not enhanced in any dramatic fashion. It was released in two versions- the Amiga Magic pack and the Amiga Surfer bundle. Unfortunately, the former was never released due to Escoms financial situation. The Escom Amigas were also struck by incompatibility problems due to a different disk drive being used, it was actually a PC high-density drive mechanism that had been altered to allow compatibility with the Amiga file system. Unfortunately, some games that hit the hardware directly would not run. A circuit upgrade was released free of charge that allowed users to fix the drive problem.
More information from Chris Green:
We got our A1200 in about 1995.It was part of a part exchange deal I think from Escom. You had to bring in an old A500 and then you got the A1200 for £199. I think it was the Magic pack (it had a spaceman on the box).
The hard drives you could add were internal 2.5" drives as the 3.5" were too big for the case. You could also add any amount of external floppy drives, we had 2.
We had a Reno 2X cd rom which fitted onto an SCSI adapter. You could also have an ATAPI-IDE drive if you threaded the IDE cable out the back of the case.
I had an A1200 on the week it launched. When they first launched hundreds of them had to be returned as the internal modulator (Commodore replaced the A520 external modulator) did not provide a clear picture or sound of any quality. I also remember most games not working on the machine probably due to the 68020, Rom v3 and the AGA chipset. I got shot of mine, bought a second hand A500+ (That I had sold to get the A1200) and saved up for a PC. A friend of mine remained faitful to the A1200 and even had the 060 card in his (that bulged out of the expansion slot) by this time there was some software for the machine. To be honest the machine was never well supported, you were far better off with a A500+ for games and a A3000 for the more serious stuff. Interestingly the A1200 was built at SCI in Irvine in Scotland, about 3 miles from my house. 2 of my cousins worked on it and they told me of the majour problems they had with the machine, especially with mdulators.
The Magic Pack was definitely released - I worked at a computer store (that did not sell second-hand gear) in Cork back in the mid-90''s and I remember talking to a manager about the Escom-released Amiga 1200, and it was a Magic Pack bundle. Just fyi.
Sunday 1st April 2012
Azhrei (Cork, Ireland)
The A1200 was far the best computer i ever own. i was for a wile in a small demoscene in my country, used it for grafic design and even on my own little video and audio event company. Sad that such a great machine was backup by moron decisions by the manufactures My A1200 was tricked out with a wooping 128mb ram, 060/PPC Blizzard with a Blizzardvision graphics card, 240mb HDD and a 4x CDrom at the end of its life ...i still own it, but its literaly stripped apart in a box right now...one day might take a travel back in time and reassemble it
Thursday 15th September 2011
END OF PRODUCTION
built-in keyboard, 96 keys
Motorola MC68EC020 + MC68881 FPU
14.18758 MHz (PAL) 14.31818 MHz (NTSC)
AGA based chipset: 8374 Alice (memory controller and blitter), 4203 Lisa (video control chip), 8364 Paula (sound & I/O), Gayle (I/O, IDE interface), 391425 Budgie (bus controller)
2 MB Chip RAM, expandable to 10 MB max (2 MB Chip RAM + 8 MB Fast Ram)
Kickstart 3.1: 512 KB
320x200 to 1280x512 max
Palette: 16.7 million On screen: 256 in normal modes, 262144 in HAM-8
4 channel 8 bit PCM, stereo output
SIZE / WEIGHT
9.5" deep × 18.5" wide × 3" high / 8 lbs 25cm deep x 49cm wide x 7cm high / 3.1 Kg
RS-232 serial port, Centronics parallel port, external disk interface, 150 pin local expansion port, Clockport, 2x RCA audio, PCMCIA/JEIDA card interface, IDE hard drive interface, composite video out, RF out, 2x Atari joystick/mouse ports