Referred to during development as the ZX81 Colour and ZX82, the machine was launched as the ZX Spectrum by Sinclair to highlight the machine's colour display, compared with the black-and-white of its predecessor, the ZX81.
The Spectrum was ultimately released as eight different models, ranging from the entry level model with 16 KB RAM released in 1982 to the "ZX Spectrum +3
" with 128 KB RAM and built in floppy disk drive in 1987; together they sold in excess of 5 million units worldwide (not counting numerous clones).
The Spectrum was among the first mainstream audience home computers in the UK, similar in significance to the Commodore 64 in the USA.
Over 24,000 software titles have been released since the Spectrum's launch and new titles continue to be released.
On 23 April 2012, a Google doodle honoured the 30th anniversary of the Spectrum. As it coincided with St George's Day, the logo was of St George fighting a dragon in the style of a Spectrum loading screen.