ZX Spectrum +2A,
1988 – 1992
Above: ZX Spectrum +2 Retail Box
The ZX Spectrum +2A was produced to homogenize Amstrad’s range in 1987. Although the case reads “ZX Spectrum +2”, the +2A/B is easily distinguishable from the original +2 as the case was restored to the standard Spectrum black.
The big difference in this model is the reduced chip count that reduced the cost to make. A more powerful power supply was also added. However, for the average consumer, the only difference was that it was now in black and now had the 3.5 floppy disk drive.
The Zx Spectrum +2 was the first ZX Spectrum released by Amstrad. Amstrad purchased the rights to ZX SPectrum from Sinclair Research in 1987 for 5 million. The Spectrum +2 offer several welcomes upgrades to the original hardware design and gone was the nasty looking heat sink brought out in the ZX Spectrum 128.
Above: ZX Spectrum +2
The case kept the professional style keyboard and added a cassette played and recorder on the right hand side of the unit. It also came with dual joystick ports and a spring loaded keyboard.
Above: ZX Spectrum +2A boot loader
With all these new features, the ZX Spectrum actually cost less than the ZX Spectrum 128. The ZX Spectrum retailed for £139 to £149 depending on the location it was selling. As the hardware had not changed significantly over the past 6 years, it was easy to benefit from lower cost items especially as 3.5 floppies and 16 bit processors were now on the seen.
Eight-bit technology was now vert cheap. So, a lower price and the same 128K memory. It is not hard to see how this computer became popular in the low cost computer market.
Quality control issues that plagued the ZX Spectrum under Sinclair Research were largely nonexistant.