Say what you like about the massive technological hurdles a handheld PC must face. Shout about the battery life issues involved with running triple-A PC games on the go, right in its face. The Smach Z keeps singing its 'I'm not listening' song, promising 1080p PC gaming vi your Steam library with 5 hours of battery life. Will it ever happen? I'd be surprised. But crikey, it'd be nice.
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This isn't the first go-around for the Smach Z. Formerly the Steamboy, it's been doing the rounds for over a year and even appeared on Kickstarter before its creators pulled the plug and promised to come back with a working prototype.
Operating on SteamOS, it's powered by an AMD APU, features a 5-inch touchscreen 1080p display, 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. It's also taken some design cues from Valve's Steam controller, featuring two large haptic pads in addition to the usual face buttons and triggers. Conceptually, it's attention-grabbing.
Originally it was conceived with a price tag around $350/£299, and that also set eyebrows a-raisin' - isn't that quite a lot of expensive tech for the price?
The latest incarnation of Smach Z is currently in the prototyping phase, and as such the new Kickstarter isn't live yet. It may never go live, in fact. But if it does, it'll be a pretty unique offering.
To give some idea of the system's performance, its creators have released a list of over 1000 games it'll be able to run. Among them are ARK: Survival Evolved, and Metro 20133: Redux. No slouches in the graphics department. What settings those games will run on, or indeed if you'll get the chance to fiddle in the graphics menus, is as yet undisclosed though.
There's a 'Pro' model in the pipeline too, with includes 128GB of storage, 8GB RAM and built-in 4G for multiplayer on the move. There's no word on how much more expensive the Pro will be.
Until the Smach Z returns to the crowdfunding sphere to have another go at becoming reality, you can check out its official site for updates.