Sinclair ZX80

Released in 1980, the ZX80 is the first home computer developed by Sinclair (known as Science of Cambridge at the time).

System Overview

Very much a personal goal of Sir Clive Sinclair, at the time his goal was to launch the first home computer under £100. You could buy the ZX80 is either kit form or prebuilt, this was typical of the time.

With a modest 1k of RAM and utilising the Zilog Z80 CPU, the ZX80 was a fantastic starting point for enthusiasts and newcomers alike. The ZX80 is many people’s first experience of computing at home.

Sinclair, who himself was a well-versed writer, delivered excellent documentation with the ZX80. This received wide praise as it provided beginners with an excellent introduction to computing at home, rather than attending classes.

The build of the ZX80 was basic and suffered from a number of issues including reliability, overheating and durability. The keyboard is membrane-based, meaning the user had no ‘fee’ as such but was something that saved on cost.

The system was discontinued in 1981 when it was succeeded by the ZX81.

Sinclair ZX80
The Sinclair ZX80


How to Emulate this system?

Due to the Sinclair ZX80 being more niche than many popular systems, emulators are a little harder to come by. This is especially the case when looking at all in one solutions such as RetroArch. There are however options available to allow you to emulate the Sinclair ZX80 and relive those memories. Take a look at the options below:

Emulator Description Platform
EightyOne EightyOne is one of the more popular standalone emulators for the ZX80 and ZX81 systems. Windows

Sinclair ZX80 emulation using a Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a compact single board computer which has become very popular for emulating retro computers and consoles. You can buy the Pi very cheaply and has a whole community supporting and building accessories and applications that are compatible with.

Significantly, for Retro Gaming enthusiasts, the Raspberry Pi offers fantastic all round emulation of many systems. It offers the ability to play Sinclair ZX80 games on HDTVs via HDMI or older CRT TVs via composite outputs. Combining the Raspberry Pi with Retropie, you have a device capable of emulating anything from the Atari 2600 to the Sony PlayStation.

Check out the different Raspberry Pi packages you can pick up on Amazon using the button below.

Check Raspberry Pi prices on ebay

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