The Amstrad PCW series was a range of personal computers produced by British company Amstrad from 1985 to 1998, and also sold under licence in Europe as the "Joyce" by the German electronics company Schneider in the early years of the series' life. When it was launched, the cost of a PCW system was under 25% of the cost of almost all IBM-compatible PC systems in the UK. As a result PCWs became very popular in the home and small office markets, both in the UK and in Europe, and persuaded many technophobes to venture into using computers. However the last two models, introduced in the mid-1990s, were commercial failures, being squeezed out of the market by the falling prices, greater capabilities and wider range of software for IBM-compatible PCs. The last model branded as a PCW was totally incompatible with the earlier ones.The PCW 9512, introduced in 1987 at a price of £499 plus VAT, had a white-on-black screen instead of green-on-black, and the bundled printer was a daisy-wheel model instead of a dot-matrix printer. These models also had a parallel port, allowing non-Amstrad printers to be attached. The 9512 was also supplied with version 2 of the Locoscript word processor program which included spellchecker and mail merge facilities. In all other respects the 9512's facilities were the same as the 8512's.
In 1991 the 9512 was replaced by the PCW 9256 and 9512+, both equipped with a single 3½-inch disk drive that could access 720 KB. The 9512+ had 512 KB of RAM, and two printer options, the Amstrad daisy-wheel unit and a series of considerably more expensive Canon inkjet printers: initially the BJ10e, later the BJ10ex and finally the BJ10sx. The 9256 had 256 KB of RAM and the same dot matrix printer as the 8256 and 8512, as well as the older Locoscript version 1. The PCW9256, in particular, a model released in 1991 and sported a 3.5" drive instead of the more traditional (for Amstrad) 3-inch.
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