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Among the monitors offered by Commodore were the 1701 and the 1702, which, to my recollection, looked pretty much identical. Were there any cosmetic, functional, or other differences between the two?

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The 1701 and 1702 are virtually identical. They have the same specs, tube, inputs, casing, and manufacturer. The only real difference is the 1701 is older (1982 to early '83, 1702 is late '83) and the fact that the 1701 shipped with a 5-pin composite video cable instead of an 8-pin luma-chroma cable in the box (both monitors support both inputs).

A full list of the different Commodore monitor specs can be found here.

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