Remember the rubber keyed ZX Spectrum of the 1980s? Well its back in the form of a Bluetooth/USB recreation that can be used as a normal keyboard or with a Spectrum emulator. The project started life as a Kick Starter campaign last year and this week I had my device delivered.
The recreation is almost perfect, the feel of the rubber keys is exactly the same as an original Spectrum and it looks almost identical to the original 80s computer. The only difference is the rear panel where the USB port and switches replaces the old cassette and expansion ports, it’s a brilliant recreation.
You can connect to the keyboard via Bluetooth or USB cable and it works with Windows, Macs, iPhone / iPad or Android devices. There are two ways you can use the new Spectrum, normal keyboard mode and Spectrum emulation mode. In keyboard mode the Spectrum keys work exactly as a standard USB/Bluetooth keyboard so you can use it with Word, the browser, email or whatever you want. It actually makes a good keyboard for a small tablet and there are even special key combinations for things like the Windows key or the curser keys. So as a keyboard is works great and really good with a tablet.
The other mode is in Spectrum/game mode (called layer B on the device). You can use this with the iOS, Android or web based ZX Spectrum emulator. Elite systems the makers of the device have a Spectrum emulator on their site designed to work with the keyboard and it includes 48/128K Sinclair Basic so you can program away as you did in the 80s and there is a big bundle of games including the classic Manic Minor, Jet Set Willy and Chucky Egg. The games work perfectly with the keyboard and you really get taken back to the 80s when playing the games with the rubber keys.
It’s a great little keyboard that not only is a great for using with Spectrum emulators it is also a great keyboard for using with iOS, Android and Windows.
In this video I compare the recreated ZX Spectrum with an original 1980s Spectrum and try using it as a keyboard with Windows and a Spectrum emulator. You can find out more about the Spectrum at RecreatedZXSpectrum.com and the device costs £89.99 on Amazon.