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Information
Primary Name
ZX Spectrum +2
Alternate Names
Release Date
1986-00-00
Hardware Category
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Description Edit | History

The ZX Spectrum +2 was Amstrad's first Spectrum, coming shortly after their purchase of the Spectrum range and "Sinclair" brand in 1986. The machine featured an all-new grey case featuring a spring-loaded keyboard, dual joystick ports, and a built-in cassette recorder dubbed the "Datacorder" (like the Amstrad CPC 464), but was in most respects identical to the ZX Spectrum 128. The main menu screen lacked the Spectrum 128's "Tape Test" option, and the ROM was altered to account for a new 1986 Amstrad copyright message. These changes resulted in minor incompatibility problems with software that accessed ROM routines at certain addresses. Production costs had been reduced and the retail price dropped to £139 - £149.

The new keyboard did not include the BASIC keyword markings that were found on earlier Spectrums, except for the keywords LOAD, CODE and RUN which were useful for loading software. This was not a major issue however, as the +2 boasted a menu system, almost identical to the ZX Spectrum 128, where one could switch between 48k BASIC programming with the keywords, and 128k BASIC programming in which all words (keywords and otherwise) must be typed out in full (although the keywords are still stored internally as one character each). Despite these changes, the layout remained identical to that of the 128.

The ZX Spectrum +2A was produced to homogenise 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 +2A was derived from Amstrad's +3 4.1 ROM model, using a new motherboard which vastly reduced the chip count, integrating many of them into a new ASIC. The +2A replaced the +3's disk drive and associated hardware with a tape drive, as in the original +2. Originally, Amstrad planned to introduce an additional disk interface, but this never appeared. If an external disk drive was added, the "+2A" on the system OS menu would change to a +3. As with the ZX Spectrum +3, some older 48K, and a few older 128K, games were incompatible with the machine.

The ZX Spectrum +2B signified a manufacturing move from Hong Kong to Taiwan later in 1987.

Source: Wikipedia, "Zx spectrum 3", available under the CC-BY-SA License.

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