Sinclair Spectrum Vega plus – first thoughts

As many of you are aware, I was less than impressed with the first Spectrum Vega offering from Retro Computers Ltd (a partnership of Sir Clive Sinclair, Chris Smith, Dr. David Levy and Paul Andrews). It looked cheap and ugly and the whole concept of replacing a Spectrum with what was nothing more than emulation via a plasticky plug-in TV game really didn’t appeal. Enter the Sinclair Spectrum Vega Plus.

Pedigree is important. Especially to die-hard Speccy fans. This time the concept designs (seen below) have been produced by Rick Dickinson – the industrial designer responsible for a host of Sinclair projects including the ZX80, ZX81, QL, original ZX Spectrum computer and Sinclair flat screen TV amongst others.

The result of Rick’s input is a beautiful looking handheld, this time with a built-in LCD screen. There is still the option to plug your + into a TV via an AV cable and extra games can be loaded via an SD card slot in the top of the unit.

One thing that still baffles me about the whole re-release of the ZX Spectrum thing is Uncle Clive’s involvement in what is essentially a games machine. I mean, this thing may even have Jet Set f*cking Willy on it. Perhaps he needs the funds to further his A-Bike project, or a new C… no let’s not go there.

Whilst this still isn’t everything I was looking for in a modern Spectrum (keyboard anyone?) I will be backing this one to the hilt. Expensive for what it is? Maybe. But designed and produced in Britain, looking gorgeous and branded with Sinclair. What else is there not to like?

What do you think of the Spectrum Vega+? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Ant Harper

Father, Husband, website developer, avid gamer since the mid-70s and collector of just about anything video game related. 8-Bit microcomputer and Sinclair specialist with a huge Sinclair related collection of his own. Blogs about retro gaming here but occasionally elsewhere when people ask. Bored of Mario and never much liked Zelda. Performs quirkafleegs for cold hard cash. Often found destroying ice crowns in the Lands of Midnight. Remembers: Lunar Lander. Plays: Steel Battalion, Gears of War

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  1. As mentioned above, they seem terrible reticent to say whether or not a keyboard will even be implemented at all.
    Considering the fact that a GREAT many games will require keyboard input (Elite, Lords of Midnight, Football Manager, Back to Skool etc etc) it seems a little bit disingenuous to claim it can *play* every game made.

    Worse is that those running the kickstart are busy commenting and re-tweeting anything which suggests it’s the greatest thing since the Speccy itself, but ignoring any questions about the machine.

    I *love* the idea of this – but without a keyboard I think we’re as well sticking to emulation…sadly
    I *really* hope this is re-visited and keyboard support (whether wireless or USB) is added to its features.
    It really is a deal breaker for me.


  2. Keyboard support finally announced. According to the recent specs posted on the campaign page :)

    Thanks, just what I wanted, will buy :-)

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