Atari Lynx Specifications

This page details the specifications for Atari Lynx for both the Model I and Model II. If you're after details of various console box releases, you can find them here.

The Atari Lynx was the world’s first full-color portable video game system released in 1989 (US) and 1990 (UK). You can read its history over at the brief history page.

Atari Corporation
TypeHandheld game console
Fourth generation
Two models available
Price$179.99 at launch (Lynx I, 1989)
$120 at relaunch (Lynx II Deluxe Set, 1991)
$99 at relaunch (Lynx II Base Set, 1991)
Retail Availability1989 - 1995
Around 3 million were sold

3.5-inch LCD back-lit display (with backlight on/off on Lynx II)
160 × 102 resolution
4096 colours

Note: The original screen can be easily replaced with a modern LCD mod kit, which makes an enormous difference to the quality of picture produced.

AudioSpeaker: 8Ω 0.2W (Lynx I), 16Ω 0.2W (Lynx 2)
4 Channel Sound
32-bit DAC (8-bit × 4 channels)
100Hz to above 20kHz
Lynx I - Mono
Lynx II - Stereo

Dual custom CMOS chips

“Mikey” 16-bit running @ 16 Mhz

  • 8-bit 65SC02 processor (based on the MOS 6502) running at up to 4 MHz (~3.6 MHz average)
  • Sound engine - 4 channel, 8-bit DAC (per channel), stereo with panning (Lynx II only)
  • Video DMA driver for liquid-crystal display, 160 × 102 resolution, 4096 colours (12-bit palette), 16 simultaneous colors (4 bits) from palette per scanline

“Suzy” 16-bit running @ 16 Mhz

  • Unlimited number of blitter "sprites" with collision detection (practically just 128)
  • Hardware sprite scaling, distortion, and tilting effects
  • Hardware decoding of compressed sprite data
  • Hardware clipping and multi-directional scrolling
  • Variable frame rate (up to 75 frames/second)
  • Math co-processor
Memory and Storage

512b of bootstrap and cartridge-loading ROM
64 KB 120ns DRAM
Cartridges of 128, 256 and 512 KB (up to 2MB with bank switching)

Note: There are SD/Flash card cartridges for the Lynx that let you play many ROMs including official and homebrew ROMs.

NetworkComlynx serial UART with up to 18 player connectivity
Ports3.5mm Stereo Headphone (mono in Lynx I)
Comlynx network port
9V Power
Power9V DC power supply
6x AA batteries inside the unit with 4-5 hours (Lynx I) and 5-6 hours (Lynx II) play time
DimensionsDisplay - 82.55 × 47.75 mm (3.25 × 1.88 inches)
Lynx I - 273 × 108 × 38 mm (10.75 × 4.25 × 1.5 inches)
Lynx II - 235 × 108 × 51 mm (9.25 × 4.25 × 2 inches)
(console only)
Lynx I - 519g
Lynx II - 441g
Written On
26th August 2018

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