SMACH Z handheld back now on Kickstarter

SMACH Z handheld back now on Kickstarter for linux and windows

SMACH Z is a #handheld #console to play Linux and PC games on the go, selling at 299 euros to Kickstarter backers. The project will last another 27 days, ending on November 19th, with the funding goal set at 250.000 euros. SMACH Z will begin shipping to Kickstarter backers on April 2017. The device will run Linux or Windows 10, boasting compatibility for more than 10,000 games out of the box.

SMACH Z, will be powered by AMD’s latest generation embedded R-Series SoC, Merlin Falcon RX-421BD (12-15w) at 2.1 GHz with Radeon R7 at 800 MHz, and will feature 4GB of RAM (8GB on the PRO version), 64GB of internal memory (128GB on the PRO version) with a SD Card slot, and a 6-inch 1080p touch screen. The following games have been tested to demonstrate the performance of the console:

  • Metro: Last Light Redux (720p. High settings) ~ 35 FPS
  • Company of Heroes 2 (720p. Medium settings) ~ 25 FPS
  • Jotun (1080p) ~ 45 FPS
  • Skyrim (720p. High setting) ~ 25 FPS
  • Just Cause 2 (720p. Medium settings) ~ 35 FPS
  • Spiral Knights (1080p) ~ 50 FPS
  • Overwatch (720p. Medium) ~ 30 FPS
  • Torchlight II (1080p. Very high settings) ~ 35 FPS
  • Xcom: Enemy Unknown (720p. High settings) ~30 FPS
  • Civilization 5 (1080p. High settings) ~ 28 FPS
  • Tomb Raider: Survivor (720p. Medium settings) ~ 40 FPS
  • Alien: Isolation (720p. Ultra settings) ~ 35 FPS

“We’re able to modify and adapt the OS to SMACH Z creating a better interface and experience. We recommend choosing Linux for better performance. More and more games are becoming compatible with Linux with time; now are about 2,500.”

Alright, so the SMACH Z OS unit will run Linux, which is interesting seeing this Steam-controller like device comes spec’d with an AMD CPU and Radeon GPU to minimize the cost factor. Fair enough.
We would be interested to see just how well the Linux ports in this game list function on the SMACH Z?
And then the other question, would it be worthwhile to dual-boot the device to play games like Overwatch, Skyrim or Tom Raider?
This means that anyone seriously interested in the handheld console will likely have to buy the 128GB Pro version. Making the unit a step up for any of the Android devices available, maybe even a competitor for the NVIDIA Tegra devices?

In case you didn’t notice, the Company of Heroes 2 gameplay shows the game hanging briefly, then later there is a significant load time for the next screne near the end. Similarly with the beginning cut-scene for Just Cause 2, there seems to be a moment when the game hangs.
Given these minor tweaks that need to be ironed out, we can see where the SMACH team recognise the devices potential. Given the amount of further possibilities outlined in the Kickstarter, this could be a nice little mini-computer.
But again, the Linux in-game performance is what has our attention, obviously. Which is not shown nor is it available on the SMACH Z YouTube channel.

Pledges run from 5 euros to participate in the SMACH Team forums to 499 euros to get a SMACH Z PRO with double amount of RAM, space capacity, front-camera and 4G connectivity. The first Kickstarter backers can benefit from a series of limited Early Bird offers to pre-order SMACH Z at a special price.


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