Retro Home Computers – ZX Spectrum +


ZX Spectrum +,
1984 – 1987

ZX Spectrum 128 Retail Box

Above: ZX Spectrum 128 Retail Box

The ZX Spectrum 128 was launched in 1985 in Spain. This was not a modest upgrade like the previous ZX Spectrums, the ZX Spectrum 48K and the ZX Spectrum +.

The Spectrum 128 contained 128K of memory, a significant upgrade for the computer and designed to help it compete against other home computers of the time. Top selling home computers of the time include at least 128K of memory including the Macintosh, Amiga and Atari ST.

ZX Spectrum 128 Retro Computer

Above: ZX Spectrum 128 Retro Computer

Other upgrades include a sound chip with three channels, not a lot for the time, but a definite upgrade appreciated by Spectrum users of the day. Visible differences include the rather large heat sink sticking out of the right hand side of the computer.

Spanish Version

ZX Spectrum 128 Numeric Keypad

Above: ZX Spectrum 128 Numeric Keypad

The Spanish version of the ZX Spectrum 128 came with a separate numeric keypad. While not included in the rest of the world, it could be purchased separately. In the UK, the numeric keypad was sold for £19.95.

As the ZX Spectrum was not sold as a business computer and software did not require it to run, there was not much need for the keypad. As such, not many were sold and it remains a rare item today.

Financial Trouble

The ZX Spectrum sold for £179.95 and the ZX SPectrum+ was reduced to £129.95. However, Sinclair Research was in trouble after spending a lot of research and development on the C5 electric vehicle and seeing it not sell very well. This would be the last ZX Spectrum with Sinclair Research.

Sinclair C5 Electric Vehicle

Above: Sinclair C5 Electric Vehicle

The technology would later be sold to Amstrad for £5 million.