Hide information about Sinclair ZX Spectrum

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was launched in 1982 by Sinclair Research Limited, as a successor to the Sinclair ZX80 and Sinclair ZX81 home computers.

An 8 bit computer, based on the popular Z80 chip which had powered the ZX80 and ZX81, this introduced colour (8 colours) and sound to the home computer market.  It had either 16K or 48K memory as standard and relied on a cassette recorder for loading and saving programs.

Each key on the Spectrum's keyboard represented up to 4 different keywords, which allowed you to enter commands at the push of a button - although it could be confusing to remember the combination of keys needed for some of the more obscure commands.

The ZX Spectrum led to the first home computer boom with 1000s of software titles being produced and many companies selling new add-ons and upgrades.

The original Sinclair ZX Spectrum came with a fawn/light grey rubber keyboard, with an issue 1 circuit board which was infamous for having a smaller daughterboard to hold the extra 32K RAM (if installed) and what looked like a dead cockroach connected by various wires inside to overcome problems with its early ULA. That version of the ZX Spectrum is much sought after.  Later versions had all the memory on the main motherboard and also had a blue-grey keyboard.

Over 1,000,000 ZX Spectrum computers were sold throughout the World, with many clones appearing in Russia and South America.

Having seen the popularity of people adding after-market keyboards, Sinclair later released a ZX Spectrum+ with a full size keyboard, which was available as an upgrade to the original. 

The later ZX Spectrum 128 had a full sized keyboard, 128K RAM and an upgraded 128K operating system (which allowed you to enter commands one letter at a time) and has a heatsink bolted onto the side of the Computer (colloquially known as a toastrack).  Enhancements included the addition of an AY sound chip and MIDI out interface. This edition remains popular and sought after. 

This version was developed in conjunction with their Spanish distributor Investrónica and had an optional plug in numeric keypad (although these are now rare and never appear to have been marketed in the UK).  Oddly, the Spanish version of the ZX Spectrum 128 is not as compatible with add-ons as the UK version as it lacks a CLK signal from the Z80 on the edge connector.  The Spanish version can be identified by the fact that the 128 is in white, whereas on the UK version it was in red.

Once Sinclair Research Limited had sold the rights to the Sinclair range of computers to Amstrad, four new versions of the Spectrum were launched by Amstrad, which can be identified by a built in cassette deck (or disk drive).  These were:

  • ZX Spectrum +2 (grey with built in cassette deck)
  • ZX Spectrum +2A (black with built in cassette deck)
  • ZX Spectrum +2B (black with built in cassette deck)
  • ZX Spectrum +3 (black with built in 3" disk drive)

Unfortunately, the +2A and later models were not as compatible with existing software and their popularity waned, although the +3 remains a favourite amongst Sinclair fans.

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer remains popular amongst enthusiasts even today and continues to attract people seeking that retro feel and a simple way to learn how to program.  Programs and hardware continue to be developed for this humble computer.

More details about the ZX Spectrum including an archive of its software and hardware can be found at www.worldofspectrum.org

Sinclair ZX Spectrum Subscribe to Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Sort By

Item Ending in Current price
Howard The Duck - Adventure On Volcano Island Howard The Duck - Adventure On Volcano Island 14 days, 02h:07m:31s £6.95 Buy now!
The Running Man The Running Man 14 days, 02h:08m:34s £2.95 Buy now!
He-Man - Masters Of The Universe - The Movie He-Man - Masters Of The Universe - The Movie 14 days, 02h:40m:43s £4.95 Buy now!
How To Be A Complete Bastard How To Be A Complete Bastard 14 days, 02h:42m:46s £19.95 Buy now!
Foxx fights Back Foxx fights Back 14 days, 02h:44m:50s £3.75 Buy now!
Mickey Mouse - The Computer Game Mickey Mouse - The Computer Game 14 days, 02h:44m:50s £8.95 Buy now!
Killed Until Dead Killed Until Dead 14 days, 02h:47m:56s £7.50 Buy now!
Bounces Bounces 14 days, 02h:51m:00s £5.95 Buy now!
The Train The Train 14 days, 02h:53m:09s £3.25 Buy now!
Castle Master Castle Master 14 days, 02h:54m:09s £4.35 Buy now!
The Munsters The Munsters 14 days, 03h:48m:27s £3.95 Buy now!
Pac-Land  /  Pacland Pac-Land / Pacland 14 days, 03h:55m:06s £5.95 Buy now!
Krakatoa Krakatoa 14 days, 03h:57m:15s £3.95 Buy now!
Wheelie Wheelie 14 days, 03h:57m:15s £3.95 Buy now!
Rasterscan Rasterscan 14 days, 03h:59m:17s £1.35 Buy now!
Rambo - First Blood Part 2 Rambo - First Blood Part 2 14 days, 03h:59m:17s £2.75 Buy now!
Milk Race Milk Race 14 days, 03h:59m:17s £0.95 Buy now!
Tau Ceti Tau Ceti 14 days, 04h:00m:28s £3.65 Buy now!
Star Wars Droids Star Wars Droids 14 days, 04h:00m:29s £2.95 Buy now!
Terminus Terminus 14 days, 04h:01m:29s £1.85 Buy now!
Webstores in this Category
Name Description Listings in category
eBay Webstore
eBay Webstore
Similar offers on eBay - if you can't find what you are looking for 12401
RWAP Software - Retro computer specialists
RWAP Software - Retro computer specialists

Although our roots are firmly based with the Sinclair QL, we supply a wide range of second hand and original software and hardware, for both the QL, ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64.

Over the past few years, we have been instrumental in getting the DivIDE Plus compact flash interface for the ZX Spectrum built, along with replacement ZX81 Keyboard Membranes, 48K ZX Spectrum keyboard membranes and ZX Spectrum faceplates.

Visit our website - http://www.rwapsoftware.co.uk for more details on what we offer.

ZX Spectrum Retro Shop
ZX Spectrum Retro Shop

We offer parts for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum like:

Modding Replica Cases, Faceplates, Keyboard Mats, Keyboard Membranes, DivIDE DIY Kits, DivIDE Interfaces, Bus Expanders, Voltage Regulators & Diverse other Parts


ZX Renew
ZX Renew

ZX Renew has been setup to facilitate users to be able to purchase aftermarket goods from suppliers all over the globe.