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The Smach Z handheld gaming PC is an interesting device, utilizing elements from the Steam Controller to make PC games more portable. LowSpecGamer had a chance to check one out.

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There is also now an official Smach Z impression video from Gamescom:

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I've been rather sceptical about the Smach Z device, but considering they have devices actually built and working with impressions from people it seems to be coming together nicely.

Overall, I think people will end up expecting too much from it. A PC handheld that can play PC games to me seems risky.

For me personally though, if it does ever actually launch properly and come to market then I will pick one up for sure to cover here.

The Smach Z is due on Kickstarter sometime this month, so I will keep an eye on it. I am personally hoping it is a success, as it is a very cool idea.

It will run either SteamOS or Windows 10 (Windows being a stretch-goal when it comes to Kickstarter), so it will be very interesting to see how each OS goes down with people.

What I am most curious about is the chipset it will use, as they claim it will use an AMD Falcon SOC. I know AMD + Linux is a heated topic, so I will leave my thoughts on that for when I am able to test it myself. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Hardware, Video
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Hori 8 September 2016 at 11:00 am UTC
This looks promising. I might buy one of those after release.

I really hope it will be a success and that it will be a viable handheld gaming station! It will not only offer us a handheld gaming solution, but it will also boost Linux gaming as a whole, since they sell models with SteamOS as well. Of course, that will be up to Valve as well, as they really need to improve SteamOS and gain a foothold against Windows (the desktop Steam client running on Windows OS). So far it seems to me that Valve isn't really exploiting the gold mine of advantages that being able to access and customize every part of the OS offers. I'm not talking about exclusive features, but about things that can never be achieved on Windows, or at least not easily and as optimized as they can on their own OS.

This handheld console goes "hand-in-hand" with the Steam Machines... Valve should really fund this, as it would benefit them very much if those new devices are a success. They should really go into the handheld gaming market as well, as they already did most of the work already, with Steam Controller and Steam OS, so teaming up with this guys, and advertising them on their website (like they do with Steam Machines, the Steam Link and Controller, and the HTC Vive) would be very beneficial for both parties, IMO.


Last edited by Hori on 8 September 2016 at 11:13 am UTC
Shmerl 8 September 2016 at 11:45 am UTC
This looks pretty neat and I might buy it once it will come out, if there will be a way to use it without Steam and UI will be open source. But hardware crowdfunding is rather risky. More so than games crowdfunding. So if you have spare money to invest - sure, but expect it to be a gamble.


Last edited by Shmerl on 8 September 2016 at 12:02 pm UTC
WorMzy 8 September 2016 at 11:58 am UTC
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It looks like the Sega Game Gear, hopefully it doesn't have the same battery problem that did!

From the second video it looks like they brought Windows-based devices with them to Gamescon, hopefully they also brought SteamOS-based ones too so people could see how well that worked. I do like that the price for the SteamOS variant is much lower than the Windows one.
wolfyrion 8 September 2016 at 12:40 pm UTC
Well..ehmm... I had almost the same idea before 3 years

Actually I was looking for a keyboard with a small screen to broadcast what ever things I was running on the computer.(if you know any let me know)

You know laying on the bed and controlling your pc with a wireless keyboard/mouse, sometimes is hard to see from distance what are you clicking.

The only thing that worries me a bit is AMD due to the bad performance with Linux.

Anyway hopefully this project will be a success and if its open source I know that many programmers will do crazy things with Smach Z handheld.


Last edited by wolfyrion on 8 September 2016 at 12:41 pm UTC
Eike 8 September 2016 at 12:54 pm UTC
From the FAQ:

"04. Will the specs allow to run WWE 2k15, GTA V and PES 2016? And will it be possible to run Windows, since those games aren't available for SteamOS?

If you install Windows on your SMACH Z, the specs should be enough to play them. Another option is playing them via “In-Home Streaming”. Or even nicer, if we are enough smachers we can pressure to get proper SteamOS version of those games. "

Well, (wo)men can dream. :o)
Eike 8 September 2016 at 12:55 pm UTC
WorMzyI do like that the price for the SteamOS variant is much lower than the Windows one.

I think it's two hardware variants.
Liam Dawe 8 September 2016 at 2:33 pm UTC
Eike
WorMzyI do like that the price for the SteamOS variant is much lower than the Windows one.

I think it's two hardware variants.
Yes it's that, they haven't announced prices with Windows at all as it will be a stretch goal as noted.
Incandescent 8 September 2016 at 3:25 pm UTC
wolfyrionActually I was looking for a keyboard with a small screen to broadcast what ever things I was running on the computer.(if you know any let me know)

I don't know of any keyboard computer with a small screen attached, but the GPD WIN might fit your needs.
Arehandoro 8 September 2016 at 3:30 pm UTC
What concerns me is that AMD SoC and the SteamOS version.
crt0mega 8 September 2016 at 4:21 pm UTC
It'll be okay if they don't rely upon Catalyst.
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