Actually, the TS1000 was the US-version of the well-known ZX81, which was selling hot in Europe.
Few changes were made to the ZX81 architecture: 2Kbytes of RAM instead of the standard 1K, NTSC video output instead of PAL and a below-the-case switch for TV-channel.
Besides these features, the two computers were almost identical and ran the very same software.
The $99 price tag was crucial to most users: the TS1000 was actually the very first fully working home computer to sell under $100.
This ignited a price war for US companies like Commodore – its VIC20 street price fell almost immediately, even though somehow related to the Commodore 64 introduction.
According to Timex, some 600,000 TS1000 units were sold in USA: quite a good achievement considering the minimal hardware (compared to other US computers) and the dreaded keyboard.
These are mine, just for comparison: as you can see, it’s almost the same unit.
Fancy a ZX81 online emulator?
Here we are, just click this great Jtyone Online ZX81 Emulator and enjoy full browser-based ZX81 features – along with some games too.