When Amstrad took
over Sinclair's computer business in 1986, a change
in direction for the Spectrum was not long forthcoming.
In early 1987, the change came with the launch
of the Spectrum +2. It was very different from
any previous Spectrum, coming with a proper typewriter
keyboard and built-in tape recorder and twin joystick
ports. Externally at least, it was very similar
to Amstrad's CPC464.
there were far fewer changes. The firmware was
not greatly different from the earlier Spectrum
128, but the ROM had a few changes,
causing more compatibility problems with earlier
products. It was released in two versions - the
+2 in a grey case and the +2A in black. The latter
version was, in fact, a Spectrum
+3 minus the built-in disk drive.
The familiar quality
control problems were, thankfully, largely absent
with the +2. The machine was built in Taiwan (making
it the first Sinclair product built outside the
UK) and Amstrad's greater emphasis on quality
control made it far more reliable than the first
also took a very different line in marketing the
Spectrum +2. Unlike Sinclair, Amstrad did not
attempt to market the Spectrum as anything other
than a games machine and sold it in packages such
as the "James Bond 007 Action Pack"
(with bundled games and a light gun). This approach
was extremely successful, and the Spectrum +2
sold very well.