For many computing enthusiasts, particularly in Britain, the ZX Spectrum is a near-legendary piece of nostalgia. That status has made it particularly sought-after in the retrocomputing scene, and subsequently difficult—and expensive—to acquire. Last year, a Kickstarter campaign was successful in bringing back the classic computer in the from of the ZX Spectrum Next.
The ZX Spectrum Next is a reproduction of the original ZX Spectrum hardware recreated with an FPGA. That means that the operating system is running on actual hardware, unlike traditional software emulation. The ZX Spectrum Next can be purchased as just the hardware board, or in a gorgeous case reminiscent of the original.
Dan Birch bought both, with the intention of using the board to build the ZX Spectrum laptop that never was. And boy howdy did he succeed in a big way! His build uses a 8" 4:3 LCD and a low-profile USB keyboard, all fitted into a professional-looking case 3D-printed by Shapeways.
To round out the laptop, there are speakers, a USB hub, an LCD controller, and a Raspberry Pi Zero inside. The final result looks exactly like what a mid-’90s ZX Spectrum laptop from Sinclair probably would have. If you want to build your own, and we know you do, Birch is going to make the STL files available soon, and they’ll run you about £280 to print through Shapeways.