Around 1984 Commodore decided it was time to put a product in place next to its Commodore 64/128 line of products and basically become the next big thing to sell. The line of computers, was the 264-series (with the amongst others the C116, Plus/4 and C16), sporting an new kind of chip, the TED (Text Editing Device).
The C116 would be the “step-in” model of the series (competing directly with the ZX Spectrum), having 12K of memory and the smallest Commodre (in size) around – it’s only about 25 cm wide. It was only released in Europe (primarily in Germany).
One can discuss wether or not the whole 264-series was a good idea from Commodore, as although the machines had faster processors, they lacked the game-capabilities that the so successful 64/128 line had (it wasn’t even designed to be compatible with the C64). Personally, I feel that because of the pricing strategy (they were supposed to sell for less that € 100!) they could have pulled it off, were it not for the state of things at Commodore when Jack Tramiel left in a row over the future of Commodore with Irving Gould. Although what was actually discussed during that fatefull boardmeeting on January 13th 1984 has never been disclosed (and as Leonard Tramiel said to me, it is his father’s wish it remains secret), it meant a change in philosophy for Commodore.