ZX Spectrum

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ZX Spectrum 48K.

The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit personal computer developed and sold by Sinclair Research in the UK on 1982-04-23 and later sold throughout Europe. It was designed to be very low-cost which resulted in it being technologically inferior to most of its competitors like the Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC, however, by being about a quarter of the cost of the Commodore 64, it appealed to more people and allowed the computer to sell well despite its limitations. Several upgraded models of the computer were made until the last were released in 1987, but new software continued to be made for it, and the hardware was supported until 1992. The computer runs a Zilog Z80. The Spectrum was severely graphically challenged for the time featuring a resolution of 256x192 where every 8x8 block was monochromatic with a black background and a single foreground color from a palette 8 colors and 2 intensities. The original model used a PC speaker, while the Spectrum 3 added an General Instrument AY-3-8910 audio chip.


Since it was only released in Europe, I didn't hear anything about the ZX Spectrum growing up. It wasn't until video game web sites began expanding in the early 2000s that I learned about it. I kind of have a soft spot for such an underdog computer that was highly loved by so many people and which showcased a lot of really ingenious software tricks to get beyond they weak technical specs, but I have only ever emulated the device and found most of its software library to be lacking.

I do not own, nor have I ever used a ZX Spectrum in real life. But I have used some of its software in emulators.


See all ZX Spectrum Games.


I don't know enough about the ZX Spectrum to review it.


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