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?