Over the last four years, the portable Steam machine concept has grown from being just an idea, to a full-blown product under the name ‘Smach Z'. The handheld gaming PC has had a long and somewhat troubled development, but it looks like the device will finally make its way out this year, and with better specs than originally pitched too.
Originally, the Smach Z was going to ship based on an AMD Carrizo APU. However, lilputing has since learned that it will now ship with an AMD Ryzen V1000 series embedded processor instead, with Vega integrated graphics to boot. Specifically, the Smach Z will contain the AMD Ryzen Embedded V1605B processor, which according to the folks behind the handheld, should offer similar graphics performance to a Ryzen 5 2500U desktop chip.
In total, buyers will get a 4C/8T processor with a 15W TDP, a 2GHz base frequency, 3.6GHz boost, and a 1.1GHz Radeon Vega 8 GPU, similar to the one found in the Ryzen 3 Raven Ridge APU.
The display on the Smach Z will be 1080p, but you'll likely have to run most Triple A games at a lower resolution to get good frame rates. In the long run, Smach CEO, Daniel Fernandez, would like to see the handheld compete with the Nintendo Switch, though it still needs to come to market first, which will hopefully happen later this year.
KitGuru Says: I think the Smach Z is a really cool idea, but the move to Steam controller style trackpads over analogue sticks does put me off a bit. Have any of you been following the development of the Smach Z since it was first announced? Do you think the handheld gaming PC concept will take off?