Introduced as a big brother to the 400/800 in 1982 and shipped in 1983, the
1200XL now uses Atari’s slightly customized 6502C microprocessor, SALLY, and
includes a full 64K RAM. The 1200XL was the first 8-bit Atari with just 2
controller ports. In addition, the 1200XL includes 4 programmable Function
keys and a Help key, 4 LEDs, built-in diagnostic and graphics demonstration
programs, and probably the favorite keyboard of any 8-bit Atari computer.
Clicks previously output through the built-in speaker are now heard from the
television or monitor’s speaker. The revised 16K Operating System offers many
new features, including an alternate International Character Set.
The 1200XL was the biggest single step forward in development of the 8-bit
Atari platform, but the corresponding software compatability problems hurt its
The 1200XL lacks separate chroma video signal, and also lacks the +5 Volts
power on pin 10 of the SIO port.
There is no PAL (European) version of the 1200XL.
The 1200XL was discontinued in 1983.
According to 1200XL serial number analysis by Karl Heller (2007), about
105,000 1200XL units were produced in total:
o From Mid March to late May USA production was about 78500 units in not so
o From early April to late June Taiwan produced about 26000 units in perfect
AtariAge thread: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=107234
Scott Stilphen mentioned this 1200XL easter egg on 10 Feb 2006:
On 1200XLs, if you select ’all tests’, when it gets to the keyboard test
it’ll type out the programmer’s name.