The Tandy 10

written by Matthew Reed

The Tandy 10

The Tandy 10 from the 1978 product brochure

The Tandy 10 was the second computer introduced by Radio Shack, although it wasn’t part of the TRS-80 line. It was actually manufactured by Applied Digital Data Systems, also known as ADDS. ADDS (which still exists today as Boundless Technologies) was the largest independent supplier of video display terminals at the time. Unlike the TRS-80 computers, the Tandy 10 was branded using the Tandy name (Radio Shack’s parent company) rather than Radio Shack.

First offered in 1978, the Tandy 10 (catalog number 81-2110) was actually the ADDS System 50, a variant on the earlier System 70. Described as a workstation, the Tandy 10 was clearly targeted at businesses. It had a good set of features for a computer at that time:

  • an 8080 processor (a predecessor to the Z80 used in the Model I)
  • 48K of RAM
  • a 51 key keyboard with an 11 key numeric keypad and 24 function keys
  • an 80 by 24 text display, supporting upper and lower case, blinking, underlining, reverse video, and half intensity
  • two double-sided floppy drives
  • extended “Dartmouth BASIC”
  • ADOS (ADDS Disk Operating System)
  • integration into its own metal desk, described as “Desk Packaging”
The Tandy 10

Another view of the Tandy 10 from the product introduction in H&E Computronics

The Tandy 10 itself cost $9,995.00. There were also two other fees attached to the computer:

  • a local installation fee of $150.00
  • a local maintenance fee that ranged from $100.00 to $125.00

Radio Shack offered a number of options for the Tandy 10 including:

  • a Fortran compiler for $300.00
  • a 60 characters-per-second 80 column printer (catalog 26-1152) for $1,559.00
  • a 120 character-per-second 132 column printer (catalog 88-1001) for $2,295.00
  • a 180 character-per-second 132 column printer (catalog 88-1003) for $2,995.00
The Tandy 10 logo

The Tandy 10 logo

Radio Shack sold very few Tandy 10 computers. It was discontinued by 1980 and remains mostly forgotten today. But in 1979, Radio Shack introduced their own business computer, the TRS-80 Model II. The Model II had almost all of the features of the Tandy 10 at a base price of $3450.00 and could be expanded to match it for a much lower price. It was the first in Radio Shack’s own line of business computers which later included the Model 16, Model 12, and Model 6000.

Categories: Computers


Roger Kuchenmeister says:

I worded on them, 1975 trained on the System 70 for ADDS on Long Island, NY. Then moved over to the Tandy 10. Brings back memories.