A vintage classic PC is revived with the ZX Spectrum Next Plus

Those stateside may not remember the ZX Spectrum, but there was a time when the British-born PC was a hot-ticket item. With a classic design that’s instantly recognizable for vintage tech fans, there’s still a bit of wonderment that comes with this product. Fast forward nearly 40-years later and the ZX Spectrum is set to make a return with the Next Plus, a recreation of the iconic original that’s been remade for 2020. Having just launched on Kickstarter, it’s already blown past its initial goal and raised well over $1 million. Hit the jump for full details on pricing, availability, and more.

ZX Spectrum Next Plus delivers a revival

First up, any fan of design or the original Spectrum is sure to enjoy the second-coming of this 1980’s release. The ZX Spectrum Next Plus is set to arrive with many of the visual cues found on the original.

There’s the full black casing with its all-in-one design. On the side, you’ll find that same rainbow design that’s reminiscent of early Apple logos. But don’t be fooled by the case, there’s plenty of modern upgrades on the inside.

However, this isn’t to say it will replace your daily driver. It’s still made to be a primarily retro-functioning machine. The ZX Spectrum Next centers around a Z80n processor that runs at 3.5 and 7MHz, but it can also be boosted to hit 28MHz. The boosted version is powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero that serves as a co-processor.

Inside, you’ll find a megabyte of RAM which can be doubled and a graphics card that outputs at 640 x 256 and 60Hz. VGA and HDMI outputs are set at the rear of the keyboard. Storage is handled by an SD card, which comes loaded with the operating system, games, and more.

Here’s a full breakdown of specs:

  • Processor: Z80 3.5MHz, 7MHz, 14MHz, and 28MHz turbo modes
  • Memory: 1Mb RAM (expandable to 2Mb internally)
  • Video: 256 & 512 colours modes, 256×192 & 640×256 high resolution mode
  • Video Output: RGB, VGA, HDMI, 50Hz and 60Hz modes
  • Extra Hardware: Hardware sprites, DMA, Copper, Enhanced ULA, Tilemap, Layer2
  • Storage: SD Card slot, with DivMMC-compatible protocol
  • Audio: 9 channels via 3x AY-3-8912 chips with stereo, plus 2x 8bit DACs output

Pricing and availability

Having already collected $1.2 million on Kickstarter in a day, it’s safe to say that there is significant demand for the ZX Spectrum Next. If all goes to plan, it’s slated to ship in about a year. Like Kickstarter campaigns, it’s wise to practice caution if you are interested.

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