Happy 30th Birthday to the ZX Spectrum. The successor to Sir Clive Sinclair’s ZX81 at the time was the world’s best selling consumer computer and most people can remember the annoying plastic and often indented keyboard. The thin Bauhaus-inspired design was sleeker than anything else on the market, but what was more impressive was its price: £125 for the basic model with 16 kilobytes of RAM, or £175 for the 48k model.
That allowed adverts at the time to boast: “Less than half the price of its nearest competitor- and more powerful“. It seemed the best way to overcome that promotional advantage was to undercut the BBC Micro’s £299/£399 charge – and the strategy worked. Manic Miner packaging and screenshot Titles such as Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy and Head over Heels helped drive the Spectrum’s appeal
It also protected the Spectrum from the higher-specced, but more expensive, Commodore 64 which was unable to dislodge Sir Clive’s computers from being the UK’s number one selling computer.