Secret Weapons of Commodore - the 128 Remixes

The 128 Remixes: Commodore 256, 128D/81, 128DL, 128CR


128D/81
Introduced Never officially. May have been developed around 1986 or 1987.
Hardware Identical to the plastic-case 128D; integrated 3.5" disk drive (may have been a 1581 prototype or possibly a 1563.).
Graphics and Sound Identical to the 128D.
Eventual Fate Scrapped prototype. Some models are known to exist.
Comments
The 128D/81 designation is not the name the unit shows (the unit has no name stamped on it at all); I've simply used Jim Brain's name for the unit in the Canonical Commodore Products List for consistency.

Unlike the DL units, the other 128s with integrated 3.5" drives, the 128D/81 is actually made from injection-molded plastic, meaning that Commodore was at least halfway serious about producing the unit (according to Doug Cotton).

See the DL for additional comments.

Commodore 256
Introduced Never officially. May have been developed around 1986 or 1987.
Hardware 128 (D? DCR?) with integrated 3.5" disk drive, single-button mouse (therefore not one of the 1350 series), 125MB internal hard drive. Could have been a 128D/81 with internal HD(?).
Graphics and Sound Identical to the 128.
Eventual Fate Scrapped prototype; however, a few models are known to have leaked out.
Comments
The 256 is undoubtedly a descendent of the D/81.

See the DL for additional comments.

Commodore 128DL
Introduced Never officially. May have been developed simultaneously with the 128D/81.
Hardware Flat 128 (or possibly 128CR) with integrated 3.5" drive in various positions envisioned but all models eventually released in liquidation are dummy mockups with non-functional electronics and milled (not production plastic) casings.
Graphics and Sound Presumed identical to the 128.
Eventual Fate Never completed. Known liquidated models all non-functional models or mockups.

Comments
The three prototypes shown above are probably chronologically ordered with Prototype 2, since it has the most integrated design, being the final one. 1 and 3, both pop-up drives, appear to be variations on the other, possibly as simple as a hinged section of the case under which the drive fit.

Since the D/81 is a working unit, and these are not, it is possible that the DLs may have been forerunners of that unit. What is unusual, though, is that the port views show actual ports and connectors, so there must have been some sort of mainboard (even if merely a mockup). There is an additional 'Floppy Disk Drive' port shown, possibly for a mythical TCBM or Shugart drive (the 1563?), but the others are bog-standard, including the user port and expansion port.

One other point of argument is exactly what kind of 3.5" drive exists in these units (the D/81, 256 and DLs collectively). The obvious answer, the 1581, is not necessarily correct, because the unreleased 1563 drive was originally targetted at the 128 series also.