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A Wild SteamBoy Appeared. Smach Zero. From $699...

Maximo

Member
Jun 23, 2014
8,078
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For the Smach Z? 399 Euros (449 for the Pro version I chose), so...about 15 million Canadian dollars.

And, just to clarify: Backers got a discount on the expected retail price.



Gaming palmtops making a comeback would be nice...but i'm skeptical that the likes of the GPD WIN, Smach Z and the Razer Switchblade (if the latter two come out) will be anything more than niche products.
Niche is fine I just want something of actual quality, the GPD win was disappointing.
 

GaimeGuy

Volunteer Deputy Campaign Director, Obama for America '16
Jun 18, 2004
49,328
0
1,710
They destroyed every board they ordered. Are they even crunching the numbers, or are they just trying to feel out the appropriate cooling / power balance? Jesus
 

Lonely1

Unconfirmed Member
Jul 20, 2009
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Niche is fine I just want something of actual quality, the GPD win was disappointing.
You can't expect these small OEM to deliver Sony/Nintendo quality. GPD has years of experience of producing handhelds, If the Smach ever releases, I expect it to have rougher edges than the GPD Win.
 

CazTGG

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Jan 24, 2015
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LOL these might be worse than no analog sticks at all.
I think it's a neat way of allowing emulation of a given console to be more authentic i.e. matching the button setup on the Gamecube controller while using the Dolphin, etc.

Niche is fine I just want something of actual quality, the GPD win was disappointing.
The GPD Win lacked the power I was looking for in a gaming palmtop, hence why I so enthusiastically supported the Smach Z project. That said, the recent delays and negotiations with new partners have curbed by optimism in the project so, while I hope that it comes out as a success so that we see more devices like it or the Win, i'm skeptical it won't be a shadow of its former self, especially when it comes to modularity.
 

SharkJAW

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Jun 27, 2011
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It sounds like Horned Owl could be the SoC. That's promising, but the associated delays and expectations of running a 15W processor in this form factor seem like mistakes due to inexperience. This is understandable, but I'd absolutely love a company with manufacturing capability to build a Zen(2?)/Vega APU palmtop.
 

GhostTrick

Banned
Jan 11, 2012
16,580
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0
It sounds like Horned Owl could be the SoC. That's promising, but the associated delays and expectations of running a 15W processor in this form factor seem like mistakes due to inexperience. This is understandable, but I'd absolutely love a company with manufacturing capability to build a Zen(2?)/Vega APU palmtop.

Horned Owl might consume just too much. Let's be honest, in that form factor, the most you want is 7W for your TDP.
 

CazTGG

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Jan 24, 2015
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Bit of an update on the project (by which I mean I checked out the forums and saw the posts made by the team's PR, Daniel Fernandez). Here's a quick summary:

-It turns out that ImasD's announcement violated the contract set between them, owing to a failure of meeting the signed terms (which, according to Team Smach, were set out by ImasD) and breaking the NDA in their breakup announcement. While they will provide further details in a future update, Smach's lawyers are currently taking care of the situation.

-In addition, while ImasD had completed about 50% of the project, not all their work can be re-used with their new partners, namely SoC integration. In addition, they've yet to deliver the materials for evaluation.

-Development costs likely won't change dramatically since previous costs were fixed by the contract. Their new partners are less costly and while they may vary slightly depending on the components they choose, they should remain similar to the expected costs from before.

-One of the new collaborators, Bleujour, was recommended by AMD. The other one, On Testing, is a team of five whose work will be "complemented by external companies". This was mentioned in response to a post on Reddit that was inaccurate.

-"The hardware won’t be out-of-date. We can’t give more details at the moment/We can’t opine on leaked information." For the record: The reason we know about the Horned Owl is due to a leak.
 

CazTGG

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Jan 24, 2015
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d00I_3THLBQ

An interesting video that outright accuses the whole thing of being a scam.
Well, that was 18 minutes i'll never get back.

In the first three minutes, all they've done is make obnoxious noises and joke about pronouncing the console's name before bringing up the GPD WIN as "the SteamOS console that beat the Smach Z to the door" despite the fact that the WIN doesn't run Steam OS which is misleading their viewers in regards to that missing quote, not to mention that the updates not being public isn't unique to the Smach Z kickstarter, even if I agree it's a bad decision for publicity, especially in light of recent events being covered whereas other updates have not. This isn't even touching on the content within the private updates or the forums that was clearly ignored in order to support their conspiratorial narrative. They accuse the developers of not having a prototype/the prototype being a Linx when in the very same video (which doesn't seem to be the case), they show off the prototype using the clickARM technology developed by Rhomb.io. LowSpecGamer even did a video testing it out via a developer board: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUN1XPsKv08. they bring up Rhomb.io's now infamous breakup post without addressing the fact that they broke the contract set out between them and Team Smach Z (which was one of the reasons why the updates were so infrequent). I don't normally like to make accusations such as this, but I get the impression that StopDrop&Retro are trying to capitalize on the current confusion surrounding the project in what amounts to an unfocused ramble of a conspiracy. There are legitimate concerns to be had surrounding the current development of the Smach-Z, but calling it a scam a la PGS exposes their ignorance in terms of what constitutes a prototype.

EDIT: The developers responded: https://forum.smachz.com/forum/qa-9/topic/youtuber-stopdropretro-analysis-272/

We've seen the video we has asked the creators to remove the word "SCAM" from the site and any reference in the video about the "SMACH Z" being a "SCAM". They are free to give their opinion and criticize our project and work, but publicly accusing our company of being SCAM, based on their own unfounded guesses, is libel.

Regarding the video content:

Team in the Kickstarter video: I think it's clear that the people who talk in the video are attendes to the Gamescom who tried the prototype in our booth. In the first KS we talked ourselves, in the second we wanted to let people talk about the console, I don't see the problem with that.

Prototype: We've never hidden that the prototype hadn't the final hardware and was just a representation of what we wanted to achieve. It matches completely the definition of a prototype, and it's always the first step on any hardware development. It's not any tablet hack as the video hints, even if it may make use of standard hardware used in other devices, it was a full development, not fake, and not cheap at all. If the video was expecting to have a final device or prototype ready to produce, it's not, that would the final result after the full development is completed.

Public updates: It's our decision if we make public updates or not and when to do them. The backers are the only ones that we have to informed about the progress and issues, and we're doing that with the forum and private updates. Making public updates when you don't have any specific information to announce and giving away information to the competition is not very clever, from our perspective.

GPD Win: Our project is not comparable to GPD Win in the sense that we're creating a new device from zero and we've raised the money on the crowdfunding campaign to actually develop the console. GDP was already a stablished hardware company that launched a crowdfunding campaign to promote and start pre-sales of the next version of the device, that was in the latest state of development. So it's normal that they have been able to show more stuff, do public updates and have the device ready to the market faster.

ImasD: I'm not going to defend ImasD work or professionality, but they are fully capable of carrying a full development and production process as they have demostrated in the previous tablets and devices that they have produced.

If you want any other clarification just ask me and we will solve it.
 

MJPIA

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Dec 15, 2014
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Rhombio has opened up again, seemingly in part to accusations that they broke the NDA and the video's allegations of faking the device.
This upcoming AMA sounds like it might be interesting.
https://blog.rhomb.io/rhomb-io-will-not-support-smachz-project/
Update: 12/07/2017

Leaving discussions about the Smach Z project aside, at Rhomb.io we would like to clarify that we have never received any crowdfunding money.

We are a hardware development company that was hired to design, develop and manufacture an electronic device. During development, a point was reached where work could not be continued due to discrepancies between our client and us.

We understand that the only way to clarify and demonstrate our value as a serious company is to announce that we will participate on a AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit. We will update this post to add date and time of the AMA as well as the link for anyone who might be interested.

However, as a company we have Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) with our customers and suppliers, and because of that we won’t reply any questions that might compromise said agreements.

The main cause of this publication is to show we have the confidence to prove we are a serious company, and that Rhomb.io is a great platform.

For this reason, during the next few weeks we will open our contest “Get Free Engineering”, to bring everyone the chance to have a product developed completely for free. Four electronic projects that fit within the Rhomb.io platform will be chosen, developed and displayed in our booth at the Embedded World Event of 2018.
The participation requirements will be available in our website.

If you want to know what the standard NDA that we usually sign with our clients is like, click here.
 

CazTGG

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Jan 24, 2015
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Damn thats a shame

this rhombio fallout is a setback for sure

This project looks like a ways out still
It was always going to suffer delays and setbacks, it's a Kickstarter project after all. What wasn't expected was how these delays would play out i.e. the Rhomb.io breakup.

Yeah, that Youtube video... don't think this product is ever coming out.
See my post for why it's misleading.
 

CazTGG

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Jan 24, 2015
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A brief update from the forums:

AMD has kindly agreed to let us inform backers about the new SoC upgrade. We can officially confirm that we are moving to the latest generation AMD technology which will be based on Ryzen and Vega technology.

We’re working together with AMD to bring the best performance to SMACH Z, so it will be the most powerful handheld console in the market. The new generation looks amazing, and we want to thank AMD for all the support and efforts contributed to our project.

At this point we cannot say any more information, but I hope that this announcement works to alleviate the long waiting and to confirm that SMACH Z will feature the best hardware when it will become available.

This decision has been taken after a thorough analysis of the situation. Being forced to move away from Romb.io technology and having to redo the SoC integration has moved our schedule opening the opportunity to bring the latest technology to our design.
 

apd_ng

Member
Feb 15, 2015
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What an awful ama, why didn't they get someone who speaks proper english to translate for him
 

2+2=5

The Amiga Brotherhood
Jul 28, 2011
12,405
2
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Man i really can't stand reddit's format, i just can't... anyone can tell me what's new?
 

CazTGG

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Jan 24, 2015
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Man i really can't stand reddit's format, i just can't... anyone can tell me what's new?
I don't touch Reddit with anything less than a 100-foot pole, but some of the Smach-Z forum goers highlighted that the guy who made that poorly structured and maliciously edited "SCAM-Z EXPOSED GONE SEXUAL" video asked about an e-mail they were sent by the CEO:



In addition, it appears that Rhomb.io is withholding key documentation until they receive payment. The Smach-Z team has responded to the two parties with the following:
Youtuber guy: The previous email had the confidentiality notice... which is valid for all the mail thread, but we won't lose our time and money in sueing a youtuber.

Pedro's payment & deliverys: The question is more complex than that. We have payed all approved milestones up to date. But to finish the contract they did a final report where they asked for an additional payment not agreed by the parts, without justification that it didn't make any sense. We're not going to pay.
Right now, it looks like the Smach-Z's main cause for delay is a legal dispute between them and Rhomb.io.
 

NoFaceNico

Member
Sep 8, 2014
3,135
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Man i really can't stand reddit's format, i just can't... anyone can tell me what's new?
Not much, just a few things stood out to me:

  • Smach Z has unpaid invoices to Rhomb, therefore Rhomb refuses to give them their work to date.
  • They dispute that the prototype was made from a Linx tablet.
  • Rhomb no longer believes in the Smach Z team "but that doesn't mean they can't do it."
  • Rhomb gave the prototypes over to Smach Z, which was an important point because it seems there may have been some discussion in the private forums claiming that Smach no longer has the prototypes and therefore can't do a tear down to prove what's in them.
  • All photos and video of the prototypes under construction are the property of Smach and they are in possession of them.
  • It's very interesting to note that Rhomb never, not even once, refers to the device they made for for Smach Z as a "prototype" they seem to refuse to do so. Instead they describe it with the term "proof of concept" six times! In fact, they're the only ones that ever used that term in the AMA!
 

Lonely1

Unconfirmed Member
Jul 20, 2009
16,360
1
30
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Not much, just a few things stood out to me:

  • It's very interesting to note that Rhomb never, not even once, refers to the device they made for for Smach Z as a "prototype" they seem to refuse to do so. Instead they describe it with the term "proof of concept" six times! In fact, they're the only ones that ever used that term in the AMA!
Tablet hack confirmed.
 

2+2=5

The Amiga Brotherhood
Jul 28, 2011
12,405
2
0
I don't touch Reddit with anything less than a 100-foot pole, but some of the Smach-Z forum goers highlighted that the guy who made that poorly structured and maliciously edited "SCAM-Z EXPOSED GONE SEXUAL" video asked about an e-mail they were sent by the CEO:



In addition, it appears that Rhomb.io is withholding key documentation until they receive payment. The Smach-Z team has responded to the two parties with the following:


Right now, it looks like the Smach-Z's main cause for delay is a legal dispute between them and Rhomb.io.
Not much, just a few things stood out to me:

  • Smach Z has unpaid invoices to Rhomb, therefore Rhomb refuses to give them their work to date.
  • They dispute that the prototype was made from a Linx tablet.
  • Rhomb no longer believes in the Smach Z team "but that doesn't mean they can't do it."
  • Rhomb gave the prototypes over to Smach Z, which was an important point because it seems there may have been some discussion in the private forums claiming that Smach no longer has the prototypes and therefore can't do a tear down to prove what's in them.
  • All photos and video of the prototypes under construction are the property of Smach and they are in possession of them.
  • It's very interesting to note that Rhomb never, not even once, refers to the device they made for for Smach Z as a "prototype" they seem to refuse to do so. Instead they describe it with the term "proof of concept" six times! In fact, they're the only ones that ever used that term in the AMA!
Thanks guys, i'm really allergic to that Reddit format!

It's all a big mess and i know the situation isn't good but i still want to hope that it will deliver in a way or another, i always cheer on new people, new things and competition.
 

MJPIA

Member
Dec 15, 2014
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Proof of concept and all that and it may not have just been slapped together and took some work to make but it is definitely a Linx 10 motherboard in there.
I wouldn't particularly be too annoyed with them making a proof of concept like this except for one thing.
Case Prototype: The current cased prototype is fully functional and has a similar look, but it's not the final form factor and it doesn't have the final hardware:

It uses a Bay Trail SoC with 2GB RAM.
It's bulkier and heavier than the final form.
All controls and functionality works.
It runs Windows.
It's using clickARM.
It's capable to run old 3D games such as Left4Dead 2 and Half-Life 2 at 15 FPS natively.
During the Gamescom the cased prototype was not 100% complete and had problems with power. Because of that it only ran some small games.
Why the final SoC it's not already integrated?

Integrating a new SoC type into the clickARM technology is a costly process in time and resources and it is one of the main use of the funds raised in the campaign. We cannot start this process before because we were waiting to the last moment to decide which SoC should be our target and don't get obsolete before release. But this process has already started, our partner ImasD is already working with AMD to achieve this milestone for our product.

The kickstarter heavily implied the prototype was made with modular parts from previous devices imasD had made which is not true in the slightest.
Despite a great many doubts I still don't think this device is a scam but nonetheless I don't trust them.
 

NoFaceNico

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Sep 8, 2014
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That is one tiny ass battery. That whole fucking thing looks like a mess. How can they claim this is a prototype? A prototype is supposed to be refined into a finished product. Does anyone want to argue this isn't an engineering dead end?
 

CazTGG

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Jan 24, 2015
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That is one tiny ass battery. That whole fucking thing looks like a mess. How can they claim this is a prototype? A prototype is supposed to be refined into a finished product. Does anyone want to argue this isn't an engineering dead end?
To be clear, the Smach Team call it a "proof of concept" (the two batteries are supposed to go in the left & right grip) and made changes to the final design like adding in a fan. Whether or they'll deliver on it given the change in the type of modularity they're employing is another matter entirely.
 

NoFaceNico

Member
Sep 8, 2014
3,135
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^ just stop. This is getting old.

Go to their campaign page. Hit Ctrl+F, type "prototype" in the search bar then tell me how many times they used the term prototype.
 

Lonely1

Unconfirmed Member
Jul 20, 2009
16,360
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Well, looks like its exactly the Linx 10 tablet + Steam controller hack that the youtube video said it was, with a glued heatsink.

^ just stop. This is getting old.

Go to their campaign page. Hit Ctrl+F, type "prototype" in the search bar then tell me how many times they used the term prototype.
And didn't they defended that thing as costing thousands of dollars and being a significant engineering effort instead of being something that a motivated junior high electronics student can slap together for a couple hundred at most?
 

GhostTrick

Banned
Jan 11, 2012
16,580
11
0
That is one tiny ass battery. That whole fucking thing looks like a mess. How can they claim this is a prototype? A prototype is supposed to be refined into a finished product. Does anyone want to argue this isn't an engineering dead end?


They're just cornering themselves into this because they cant just admit they overpromised.

They dont look like scammers. Just amateurs.
They should just forget the clickarm/amd 35W chip and go for a low power Ryzen APU or Intel Core M3. But here a decent cooling solution and call it a day.
 

Lonely1

Unconfirmed Member
Jul 20, 2009
16,360
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They're just cornering themselves into this because they cant just admit they overpromised.

They dont look like scammers. Just amateurs.
They should just forget the clickarm/amd 35W chip and go for a low power Ryzen APU or Intel Core M3. But here a decent cooling solution and call it a day.
Given the prototype, I now have doubts of them having the skill to do that. Maybe they can buy Steam controllers, cheap Chinese tablets and LCD screens and slap them together to deliver for their backers, but I seriously doubt on them building an original motherboard, for example.
 

Luigiv

Member
Jun 8, 2009
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Yep, this device is a total shitshow. I have no problems with hacked together proof of concept prototypes (it's not an unheard of concept) but the fact it took so much time and money to get to this point is not a vote of confidence.

I'm also weary about the fact they keep insisting that the final product will use an SoC that, for all intents and purposes, doesn't really exist yet, outside of AMD. How much relevant engineering can they even do at this point? How much is AMD even sharing with external developers at this point in time?

I wager it'll be years before this device is ready for market, assuming Smach Team doesn't fold first.
 

NoFaceNico

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Sep 8, 2014
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Can anyone confirm if these model numbers in the last response are legit? This is from the guy who says he built those prototypes.

 

Social

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I still think that youtube video was spot on and the whole thing is a big scam that will never see the light of day.