launched in 1980, is widely regarded as having
founded the British home computer market.
Although it is primitive compared even to the ZX81 and Spectrum, it
laid the pattern for virtually every Sinclair
machine to come. It was the smallest and cheapest
computer in the world and was one of the first
aimed at the home user, as opposed to the
hobbyist. It's less well known now than the later
Sinclair machines, probably because it sold
"only" around 70,000, as against
millions of ZX81s and Spectrums.
ZX80 marked a key point in the development of
Sinclair and the British home computer market,
and is now a rare collector's item. But,
ironically, its development - and that of its
successors - was essentially an accident:
Sinclair was seeking money to develop one of his
pet ideas, a flat-screen TV,
and realised that home computers offered the best
prospect for making a "quick buck".