Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Speed3.5 MHz
Memory48 KB

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Release Date: 4/23/1982
Manufacturer: Sinclair
Original Retail Price:
Adjusted Inflation Price:
Donated By: Paul Williams
The ZX Spectrum is a home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research Ltd. Originally dubbed the ZX81 Colour and ZX82, the machine was later renamed the ZX Spectrum by Sinclair to highlight the machine's color display, compared to the black-and-white of its predecessor, the Sinclair ZX81. It is affectionately known as the Speccy by some of its fans.

The Spectrum was among the first mainstream audience home computers in the UK, similar in significance to the Commodore 64 in the USA; the C64 was the main rival to the Spectrum in the UK market during the early 1980s. The introduction of the ZX Spectrum led to a boom of companies producing software and hardware for it.

The Spectrum enjoys a vibrant, dedicated fan-base. Since it was cheap and simple to learn to use and program, the Spectrum was the starting point for many programmers and technophiles who remember it with nostalgia. The hardware limitations of the Spectrum imposed a special level of creativity on game designers, and for this reason, many Spectrum games are very creative and playable even by today's standards. The early Spectrum models' great success as a games platform came in spite of its lack of built-in joystick ports, primitive sound generation, and color support that was optimized for text display.

The Spectrum family enjoys a very large software library of more than 14,000 titles.

Other Technical Specs:

  • Display: 32 x 22 character text display
  • 256 x 192 pixel resolution
  • 8 colours
  • Sound: 1 channel, 5 octaves
  • I/O: Z80 bus, tape, RF television
  • Storage: External tape recorder or microdrives

User Comments
Hein Krohne on Wednesday, January 12, 2011
as a hamoperator y used de spectrum with ssmortv to decode slowscan v and waether stations, hi. y just got my licence as a ham (pa3cuu) and decoded morse signals from russian satelites. i workt unbeliefable good, hi greetings from holland. 73, hein
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* Inflation data courtesy of Values are approximate using our own calculations.