Emulators are one of the taboo pleasures in the PC world, being able to enjoy platform games that are no longer on the market is one of the biggest advantages of an open platform like the PC. Obviously with the arrival of PostPC devices such as smartphones and tablets, a new type of hardware was born which allowed the game emulators of yesteryear to be brought to this type of hardware.
This is where the Chinese portable consoles were born, which use the form factor of a classic console with integrated controls and come with an operating system designed to be used directly as a portable console.
The first of the Chinese portable consoles in our comparison is the Retro GP430, which stands out for being a console based on the Raspberry Pi CM-3 motherboard. It has the highest resolution screen of all thanks to its 4.3 inches with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels,
The size of its screen and the fact that it is based on a Raspberry Pi 3 may seem like two good business cards, but things start to deteriorate when you see the quality of its finishes, especially the quality of its analog sticks. is its biggest part. negative, in combination with the situation in which the traverse finds itself.
On the other hand, don’t be fooled by using a Raspberry Pi 3, at this point one wonders why they haven’t used the Pi 4, which has a greater processing capacity for emulation and c is that the console can run some Nintendo64 games, but like most laptops in the comparison it fails to emulate the classic Nintendo console well and if we are talking about more powerful systems like PSP and Dreamcast, we find that the console is completely drowning.
The second of the Chinese portable consoles in our comparison is the most powerful of the Ambernic consoles on the market, which is equipped with a Rockchip RK3326 SoC, which it shares with the RK2020, all also featuring a screen with a resolution of 480 × 320 pixels, a specification which is also shared by the RK2020.
Compared to the RK2020, the advantage that it has is that its controls are of better quality than those of the RK2020 and that is that if there is something that the Ambernic consoles have above the competition, it is is more care when implementing the orders.
Unlike the RG280M, the device case is plastic, so despite the higher CPU power, we have a slightly worse finish than the RG280M which has the mental case. Its weak point? It is the most expensive of the models that we presented in this comparison.
The third of the Chinese portable consoles in our comparison is the small one of the Ambenic, the RG280M with its mental box and which brings with it the Ingenic JZ4770 as SoC. It doesn’t have the processing capability of its older sister or the RK2020, based on the RK3326, but for us it’s the best laptop in this comparison.
Its display screen is 2.8 inches with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels in 4: 3 aspect ratio, which may seem like a very low resolution to us these days, but that’s the resolution at which the Most of the games are running. of yesteryear therefore the resolution is not an obstacle and is much more portable than the others. It can also play consoles the power of the first SONY PlayStation without a hitch, and doesn’t think the rest of the consoles in the comparison can go any further.
The RG280M has two USB-C ports, one of them is used to charge the battery and the other gives the OTG functionality of the notebook. It also has two microSD slots, the first one stores the operating system and emulators, while the second SD is used to store ROMS, which means that if we update the operating system or add more emulators, we won’t. lose ROMs.
As for the layout, unlike the RG351P, it lacks the second analog stick, but that doesn’t pose a problem since most of the platforms it can emulate are those that don’t require an analog stick on the right to be able to play. with them.
The fourth of the Chinese portable consoles in the comparison is the RK2020, which shares the interior with the RG351P but with a design in the controls like the RG280M, without the correct analog stick.
It has a 3.5-inch screen with a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels, and is equipped with a Rockchip RK3326 SoC, which is the same as that of the RG351P, compared to which it loses because the consoles of Ambernic has a much better thought-out button layout and is much more comfortable.
By the way, although the console is being promoted that its processor can run games from much more advanced consoles than the first PlayStation such as Nintendo64, Dreamcast and even PSP. It only achieves this with certain games and doesn’t expect to be able to run the more complex games from those consoles without a hitch on the console.
Retroid Pocket 2
The Retroid Pocket 2 is the most powerful of the consoles in this comparison, the reason is that it can emulate the entire Nintendo64 without a hitch, which the rest of the consoles in the comparison cannot do perfectly.
It is equipped with a MediaTek MT6580 SoC and a 640 × 480 pixel screen with a size of 3.5 inches, so it is the laptop with the best specs in the comparison. The other point of view? The feel of its controls when using the console is far from perfect and unless you want a Chinese laptop to play N64 games, it is not comfortable with continuous use, especially the terrible right analog stick.
As for the operating system, it comes standard with Android and a series of emulators under this operating system and it is possible to configure the console to load Retroarch directly, but this complication takes away points from the Retroid Pocket 2, since the rest of Comparison consoles already ship with the operating system designed to be used as a portable retro console from scratch.