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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Wed Feb 07, 2024 9:53 am

In December of 1983, Commodore released the first full-color portable computer: the Executive 64, or more commonly the SX-64. It retailed for $995 US, which today would be equivalent to around 3 grand.

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I'm extremely fortunate to own a nearly museum-quality SX-64 built in April of 1984. Note the original double-boxed packaging (take note, Ebay!) as well as original SX-64-stamped styrofoam. There is also a yellow sticker of "Philadelphia" on the outer box that suggests it came from the West Chester headquarters.

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The "SX" apparently stood for "Single-Drive Executive" as there were plans for a DX (dual drive) machine that never came to pass.

Weighing in at an arm-stretching 23 pounds, the luggable SX-64 was from a class of computer that was a direct ancestor to the laptop.

Photo © AmigaLove

Photo © AmigaLove

While marketed to business customers the SX at its core was a Commodore 64 - a machine not generally perceived to have an extensive business software library compared to its CP/M and MS-DOS competitors of the day. And the truth is the SX’s 5” screen is pretty terrible for reading text but it can handle most game graphics pretty nicely. Take that, Game Boy!

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The tiny Game Boy Advance screen is only 2" smaller than the SX-64s!

And hey, if you want a pure Commodore experience on-the-go and emulation isn’t your game, the SX-64 would like to help you break a sweat.

While kind of hilarious by today’s standards for serious computing, the SX-64 sports a design language that is similar to the Plus/4 and other early-days black-cased Commodore machines, but it is unique and very cool in its own way.

Most importantly it brought a two-tone color palette to the case, with interesting tertiary electric blue highlights.

Photo © AmigaLove

I decided to retire my cool-looking but terribly fragile see-through acrylic Plexilaser case that houses my awesome Ultimate 64 computer and migrate things over to a brand new SX-64 inspired case. I also gave the keyboard a big-time upgrade and used my spare Mechboard (mechanical keyboard) with Cherry MX yellow switches.


By the time I was done, the entire computer consisted of 100% entirely new components.

The Build

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In an homage to the SX-64, I purchased one of the SX-styled new cases from, which is reselling the case designs originally produced by Pixel Wizard.

When you do a build with one of these reproduction 64C cases (warning: the site is slow) you need to get keyboard stands if you aren’t using parts from an original 64C computer. You can either 3D print your own or buy pre-made ones.

I also picked up a very cool dual-color LED light from Corei64. One color is for power and the other for disk activity. You get to even pick the colors you want. I went with a red/green combo since all of my original Commodore computers have red power lights, and many of the disk drives use green lights. I can see you nodding along to my amazing logic. ;)

I decided to also use some keycaps from Jim Drew’s keycap campaigns . And while the SX-64 had white and gray keycaps, I personally wanted to go darker.

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Man, those 3d printed keycap adapters can make your thumbs sore during the install. A small price to pay, though!

Finally, let’s not forget to put the sticker on the bottom to cover one of the case’s less attractive extrusion points. Stop looking at all of the weird streaking in the plastic. It’s fine it’s fine!

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The bottom shell, which you almost never look at, is covered in streaks in the plastic. The top shell is much better looking overall.

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And there we have it: a 100% brand new Ultimate Elite Commodore 64 in the SeXy style of the SX-64.

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Posted Wed Feb 07, 2024 11:20 am

Awesome! Thank for this beautiful visual journey. <3

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Posted Mon Mar 18, 2024 4:03 am

Very nice! :)

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