The Smach Z handheld gaming PC has been in development for years, and while the company has shown off early prototypes to the public a few times, up until recently they haven’t been fully functional.

But this year the folks at Smach started posting a series of videos showing the little computer playing real games. And last week the company showed off some real, functional prototypes at the AMD booth at the Embedded World conference in Germany.

This thing is real… and that’s honestly about all I’m willing to say about it until it actual begins shipping.

Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.

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16 replies on “Lilbits 352: Smach Z finally shows off working prototypes”

  1. Anyone could build one of these right now for half the price. Get a ASRock DeskMini A300 mobo, Ryzen 3 2200G, memory stick, ram stick, anker battery a 3d printed case and bluetooth controller.

  2. These ‘portable’ games have gone from pocket size to compact keyboard size.

    So why not drop the pads/stick and add a keyboard: the top, screen-half-slides out like the orignal sidekick, but the upper screen-half and the lower keyboard/battery half join cleanly like a foldable phone.

    Two USB ports and one full ethernet jack. Two types: with/without WiFi/Bluetooth.

    1. Currently I have a gaming laptop, and even though I agree with some of your points, my thinking always goes to the same idea: it’s not the same. The portability that a laptop or a device with a keyboard offers in term of gaming portability is just not the same as one with a pads or a more gaming layout. That’s why Switch or other great real portable gaming devices throughout history have gone without keyboard.

      Keyboards are just uncomfortable if you are not sitting in front of a desk. And for me, having to add external accessories to make it really playable on the go kills the whole “handheld gaming device” idea.

  3. I really think this is interesting! That they are showing off at an AMD booth, really gives them quite a bit of credibility! I look forward to see reviews 🙂

  4. They’ve been caught faking videos before. Until its shipped and in the hands of a neutral third party to review, everything they say about it will be a lie.

  5. Man, i really wish this is real and they actually get to launch this because i would love to have one.

    But, i will wait until reviews to see if i should get one or not

    1. I can sort of see the reviews already:
      – it’s a very niche case product
      – not as good as expected/marketed
      – a case of too little, too late
      – the GPD Win2 is better, and much better is GPD Win3

      I mean we’re about to get much more efficient microarchitecture in both CPU and GPU very soon, that’s on top of the efficiency gains from the latest node jump, to a product that depends heavily on efficiency. It’s kind of illogical. It’s akin to releasing an Xbox 360 when we have PS4’s in the market.

      1. Do not make logic to PS4 and Xbox? Then it makes sense to see the logic to buy a gpdwin and not buy a laptop ASUS TUF https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B07N99XR14

        Although it is bigger and has more weight insurance that will allow you to play Monster Hunter World without receiving blows of FPS as with win 2.

        1. I meant it as an analogy; the Xbox 360/PS3 uses more power, generates more heat, and has worse performance than a PS4/Xbox One. Granted the analogy wasn’t the best, apologies.

          There’s little reason to trust Smach company, and even if you get over that and receive your unit in 2020…by that point the industry has moved forwards, since this is still 2015-2017 level technology.

          I would rather get the GPD Win2 than this in 2020, but I don’t quite fall in this niche (at least not anymore) so I wouldn’t get either. And not to mention a GPD Win3 is likely to come sooner than later.

          1. – the GPD Win2 is better, and much better is GPD Win3

            > Really? In what’s better GPD Win2. SMACH is like 3 times more powerful… We know nothing about GPD Win 3, but whenever they will announced it will be a notebook, not a real console.

            I mean we’re about to get much more efficient microarchitecture speaking in both CPU and GPU very soon, that’s on top of the efficiency gains from the latest node jump, to a product that depends heavily on efficiency. It’s kind of illogical. It’s like releasing an Xbox 360 when we have PS4’s in the market.

            > The SMACH’s technology is from this year, any other device has it yet. It’s the most powerful technology at the moment for that size format so I don’ understand what you mean when you say that there are already better technologies on the market…

          2. While we’re at it, can I interest you in some snake oil?

            But really, we haven’t seen any benchmarks yet, or even a fully working prototype (in public). It could thermal throttle horribly for all you know, while having an abysmal battery life. And about being “current technology”, its a low power variant of the first ryzen. I mean ryzen is great, but this is a cutdown version of the previous gen. Its big and bulky, and actually I see no point in having the SmatchZ now that we have the Switch. The SmatchZ was an idea before the Switch existed.

          3. I would love to have a switch, but part of me really wants a SmachZ/GPD Win because of all the game that i already have on Steam/GoG that i can play right out of the box on this machines without having to buy it again.

            Also the ability to play emulators. That is really nice

          4. “But really, we haven’t seen any benchmarks yet, or even a fully working prototype (in public)”.

            This comment section belongs to an article about SMACH Z having several working prototypes at the Embedded World 2019 a week ago, an event open to the general public. Are you even reading or just typing blindly?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfUnTsNbkUE

          5. Given SmatchZ’s track record, I will call it a working prototype, when Brad gets one from them to keep, and the benchmark will be when he benchmarks it.

      2. Yeah you are probably right. If the GPD Win3 come with some SoC in the same power and efficiency than SmachZ, then i would get that one over SmachZ.

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