Cambridge Z88

Computer facts

CompanyCambridge Computer
Type home
Year 1988
Language BBC BASIC (and built-in office programs)
Speed 3.2768MHz
RAM 32 KB, 128 KB or 512 KB depending on installed RAM cartridge
ROM 128 KB (up to 1 MB)
Text modes 104 x 8
Graphic modes 640 x 64
Colors 3 levels of gray
Sound built-in speaker, for beeps
IO RS232, 3 Expansion ports (RAM or EPROM), Z80 Bus
Cambridge Z88

In my collection

Cambridge Z88

Very good condition, with cover, manual and carrying case. Installed with 128 KB RAM and 32 KB EPROM.
Bought from Mikael Holm, 2016-09-05. for 500 SEK.


The Cambridge Computer Z88 is an A4-size, lightweight, portable Z80-based computer with a built-in combined word processing/spreadsheet/database application called PipeDream (functionally equivalent to a 1987 BBC Micro ROM called Acornsoft View Professional), along with several other applications and utilities, such as a Z80-version of the BBC BASIC programming language.

The Z88 evolved from Sir Clive Sinclair's Pandora portable computer project which had been under development at Sinclair Research during the mid-1980s. The machine was launched at the Which Computer? Show on 17 February 1987.

Technical description

The Z88 is a portable computer weighing 0.9 kg, based on a low-power CMOS version of the popular Zilog Z80 microprocessor. It comes with 32 KiB of internal pseudo-static RAM and 128 KiB of ROM containing the operating system (called OZ). The memory can be expanded up to 3.5 MiB of RAM, the contents of which are preserved across sessions. An integrated capacitor prevents the Z88 from losing its data for the limited amount of time it takes to change the batteries.

The machine uses a membrane keyboard, which is almost silent in use; an optional electronic "click" can be turned on to indicate keystrokes. The Z88 is powered by four AA batteries, giving up to 20 hours of use. It has three memory card slots, which accommodate proprietary RAM, EPROM or FLASH cards, the third slot being equipped with a built-in EPROM programmer. Card capacities range from 32 KiB to 1 MiB.

The Z88 has a built-in eight-line, 64 × 640 pixel "super-twisted" LCD display which has greater contrast than conventional twisted nematic LCDs.

Cambridge Z88 images