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"Smach Z is Back!" ...?

Discussion in 'Everything else' started by kev_os, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. Exophase

    Exophase Nothing good will ever come of Exophase.

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    For those of you who remember the original Lynx model...

    http://cdn01.nzgamer.com/features/1063-image4.jpg

    About 27.3x10.8x3.8mm for the Lynx. Smach Z is pretty close at 25.5x9.8x~4?mm (actual height, not thinnest part)

    Lynx was also a real power guzzler for its time, but in the neighborhood of 3W it looks quite conservative next to Smach Z.
     
  2. MJPIA

    MJPIA Still Fresh

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    Debated that and it kinda seems like it'd be interesting but thermoelectric generators are too inefficient to generate much power from a (relatively) small heat source like this and quite costly.

    Finally got images of the prototype's internals in various shades of assembly.
    Don't recognize the pcb itself as anything ImasD has shown off before so I can't tell if they are reusing a pcb they already had or if they made it just for the prototype but they have shown off clickARM modules with the Bay Trail chip before so that was probably already lying around hence why they used it.

    Man they got a nice 3d printer.
     
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  3. comradekingu

    comradekingu Glowing ember

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    First impression, they haven't all been studying English while they were gone:

    d019cfdad24f732f9b3fbbe3924d1ff7_original.png Questions?
    This should be "arises".

    4e9053739181e68dcfb04e882a4e8264_original.png

    And this should be "amaze".

    OK, so they are back, and the reason they went away the first time, has to do with how they are back in two ways, and a reality that lies amidst the two:
    • They learnt their lesson
    • They didn't learn enough
    It is a flatheld, so that means less engineering, no hinges, less boards. Even still, there is a moduleboard, and it is standardized. Great.

    So this means it is on the smach-z people to produce a mainboard, and a case. And they can do so knowing the moduleboard is supposed to work.

    Right now they have met their "goal", which is to say they have the go-ahead from kickstarter to receive funds, should the clock run out without backers pulling out.

    And this is how that scales, good that you have that to sell, but once you get into the promises, it is selling the most lucrative pieces first, to have others come in later to see belief.

    Where that scales really well, is if it happens, if not, then the math of doing it, doesnt pan out. And where it scales really badly, is if you start making costly inroads into budget with added complexity.

    You can wait it out, as prices of promised hardware go down over time, but there is a deadline on this, and it is estimated to be april -17.

    What you want is to make it more lucrative, not less. At best that is more money left over for the maker, at worst it is the likelihood of the project succeeding.
    And it is both, making that cut when its available, is really when you can start being generous.

    ae7071dfb8ca1abc612e4cd3212ac3aa_original.png

    1080p screen at 300K is where it gets expensive right away. So much so in-fact, that it doesn't make sense to do anything below 300, if you are going to offer it at 300. So it was always in the plan, we assume. Which makes it strange for not offering it right away to drive sales. Could be that they were smart and knew sales would be driven anyway from early-birding, and that announcing things is going to be the kicker. Early backers will have thought the same, seeing it on the horizon so soon.

    Then at 350k you have Windows support, ugh. Need the world be reminded that zero, 0, no devices coming to market with windows 10 have been successful. If your business isnt the sinking ship legacy, you burden yourself with this. Especially considering Linux|Gnu is already planned, and supported.
    Make the commitment, you can't afford to be in supporting both, it is not that type of premise.

    Also MS has changed their requirements for the "free" as in gratis to spy terms before, and probably will again. Still they look to sell around 1k devices at that point, so for the time being it pans out.
    We know MS doesn't give for the sake of giving, and it doesn't stop taking whatever leisures it can find at the expense of others. Right now it is the users, but if it should ever be the manufacturers again, they got you by the balls.

    Then it gets progressively less costly, making sense for scale, till we get to 2 million, free shipping. That is very costly outside of Europa, what it will do is favour Europeans till it comes within sight though.
    3 years warranty is only 1 more than required EU-wide, so that isn't huge. What type of warranty is yet to be disclosed.
    Android support is where it gets ugly again, also considering future boards are then hampered by having to do 3 operating systems for each.
    Phone functionality off the bat is very expensive, and makes the whole unit into a luxury product, for which it makes sense to upgrade everything, as it can not be added on the cheap.

    So yes, backers can be hyped to know "i can't believe that we are also getting *" but they are already in, and they arent in for more as more come in.
    This is where everyone needs to look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves if the money they put in will even make anything happen, or just cause grief to both parties at best.

    Cut the right corners.
    0bbdf60080c620f1a9330b501f250b7e_original.png
    This is not one of them. That is just as bulky, for every interesting purpose and intention, but a huuuuge deal more expensive to make.
    It would make sense if you could remove those flippers, similar to NX from Nintendo, but then you are looking at hassle, and it doesnt start to make sense before its all wireless to, so don't do that.
    The sweet-spot is the prototype. Promising a final form-factor before the engineering is done, is silly. Make it within reason and consider the prototype to be the spacial budget to play with.

    A lot of it has to do with cooling, and as of now, their solution is unproven by them, and not available in any other commercial product as far as i can tell.

    "Undisclosed private investors" makes it impossible to get into economy on their up-front promises alone.

    Their engineering department is what gives this whole thing credibility, by that i mean "Imasd" and "mola". Haven't looked into it, but a word from them would certainly be welcomed.

    What they could do is show their contract without the name of the investor, to prove the authenticity of this claim.

    So what are some better stretch-goals to make:

    Conflict-free - Tin/cobolt/else. Not that expensive, in the order of hundreds of euros, and will actually bring more back than it costs.
    Sustainable - packaging. Win-win, spend less on packaging, get more in return. Awareness at the price of profit, brilliant.
    Environmental - case. If a material to replace polycarbonate or other, could be found, in pebble form, it is a replace equal for equal and paying a bit more, and then getting a lot more publicity in return.
    Controllers - for other consoles, quite expensive, but that is really the ground-work, if that is in, at high intervals, it makes sense to offer more form-factors.
    More software - forming software relationships, like KODI getting to shine on an official platform, or similar, is at best win-win-win.
    No camera/mic - for the privacy-concerned, having none of this garbage is better. Saves the project money, will never be good anyway. Some cost, some reward.

    A lot of these are done/for the taking for the Pyra too.

    As a kickstarter campaign right now, Smach Z's biggest mistake is not putting searchable words in the ingress or headline. That is how KS works, try it.
    Nobody searches for "10k"

    SMACH Z - The Handheld Gaming PC

    SMACH Z is a handheld PC with haptic touchpad controls that's powerful enough to play any AAA game natively (10K games out of the box!)

    Lets break it down:

    Gaming Good call, that is your focus, that is your market.
    PC A lot of people search for this, and a lot of people have it, so good, but needs more coverage.
    Handheld Good, handhelds are in demand, some might find it this way.
    Box Unintentional discovery, not bad, not great.
    AAA Ok, maybe.
    Touchpad Well, no, or, somewhat
    haptic Couple of takers there, but could be replaced by a useful word
    Powerful Maybe someone crams this down, is bored, has money to spend
    Smach Z Got this anyway, and works for people who already know.

    How about.

    Smach Z - Open Platform Gaming Handheld. Designed and manufactured in Europa!

    Play AAA and retro games on a Linux | GNU everyday carry (edc) PC with modular controls and upgradable hardware. Haptic touchpad controls and touchscreen and power too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  4. Klumpen

    Klumpen Run away! Run away!

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    ^ I'm totally awesomed. ;D (not)
     
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  5. vcoleiro1

    vcoleiro1 Hardcore Member

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    Here's their latest update with staff and investor etc info


    300,000 goal reached! And key team members
    Posted by DBesalduch

    8 Comments

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    "" style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">
    16 likes


    Whaoooo! THANK YOU!

    What an amazing response in just ONE WEEK!!!

    We just reach 300.000! So… SMACH Z will have a Full HD screen!!
    [​IMG]

    We want to say ... THANK YOU. This project would be impossible without the support of each of YOU. In fact, for the next stretch goals, we're considering to improve them by your feedback. We'll let you know soon.

    Many people are working on this project, and this would not be possible without them all. This are the key members of the SMACH TEAM that want so say THANKS to YOU.

    BIOS SMACH Z Team
    Founders

    [​IMG]

    Daniel Fernandez:
    Computer engineer from UIB (Spain) and the UNISA (Italy). He is co-founder of SMACH Z, CEO of the project and product design manager. He has over ten years of experience in the video game industry, where he has held several positions as Game Designer and Producer, with more than 20 games developed.

    [​IMG]

    Ignacio Armenteros:
    Senior engineer from the Polytechnic of Zaragoza (Spain). SMACH technical director. He has over ten years of experience in the gaming world, from gaming platforms to consoles and mobiles.

    [​IMG]

    Antonio de la Torre:
    Co-founder of SMACH Z, programmer and hardware supervisor. He has more than five years of experience in programming applications, plus four years developing video games and multiplatform servers. Creator of one of the first hundred 3D printers in Spain.

    [​IMG]

    Miquel Gelabert Reus:
    VFX artist and 3D animator from UIB and EDIB (Spain). Co-founder of SMACH Z. He carries over 10 years of experience in the video game industry as VFX-3D artist and animator, plus project director. Also, he has experience in the cinema industry with several short film productions.

    Hardware Director
    [​IMG]

    Pedro David Pelaez:
    SMACH Z hardware production director in IMASD. ImasD and CPU Clickarm Tech CEO. He has more than 10 years of experience as engineer director and chief manager. Also, he has created several patents, from mobile security to control systems for tablets.

    IMASD

    We have a lot experience developing and building mobile products (more than 100k of devices in the last 5 years). Since 2010, we fought against big companies and we are still here. We only give our support to feasible projects.

    This is a small list of links of devices developed by us. You can learn more about our products in the following links:

    All our devices are MADE IN SPAIN.

    Financial Investors
    [​IMG]


    Mola
    is an investment fund specializing in seeding technology startup companies, to support them with funding and know-how knowledge, turning them into viable business ventures:

    • Venture Builder: Create business projects based on innovative ideas with a defined business model.
    • Venture Helper: Reverses financial funds (cash) in emerging projects in very embryonic stages, where they need more support to minimize the common risks in emerging start ups.
    • Venture Capital: Invests in consolidated startups, in exchange of minority stakes (support in strategic direction).
    Thanks to Mola, SMACH Z received the necessary capital to finance the first prototype of the console.

    [​IMG]

    Paco Gimena:
    Medical Doctor (Phisician) and Business administration from University of Navarra (Spain). Active investor in Internet based companies (more than 25). He is co-founder of Mola, and he has over 20 years of experience as managing director in the tourism sector.

    [​IMG]

    Angel Serrano:
    Business administration from UAM and IEDE (Spain). Group CFO in Mola. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business sector, as vice-president of Lazard and M&A director in Alten.

    ---

    Also, we want to share with you that WE ARE ON THE SPANISH NEWS!

    And one last piece of information!!!

    We are glad to announce that we have a new collaborator! He will work to solve your doubts and inform you about all. Thanks for your patience and THANK YOU again!
     
  6. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, that's a more useful team than PGS ever had. :)
     
  7. vcoleiro1

    vcoleiro1 Hardcore Member

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    @ED

    Yes, Solely for the reason that the staff members actually look to be part of the team and not actors.
     
  8. Klumpen

    Klumpen Run away! Run away!

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    I guess they took a close look at the PGS disaster and wanted to look more trustworthy with a proper portfolio. Well done.
    Still not interested in the brick or anything Steam related though.

    Give it 6-10h of battery life, don't ship it with Steam (pun not intended) and I'd probably be interested just for games like Dust, Rochard, Octodad, Limbo, The Bridge, A Boy and His Blob, Ittle Dew, Hammerwatch, Steamworld Dig, Steel Storm, Unepic, Escape Goat 1+2, Hotline Miami 1+2, Vertiginous Golf, Apotheon, Trine1-3, Unmechanical and all the other nice Steamfree Linux ports.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
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  9. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    I find it really strange that they put a 1080p screen in this device. It looks massive (bigger than a WiiU gamepad) and really centered primarily on gaming. The CPU+GPU will eat a lot of power and from their benchmarks you can't expect it to deliver more than 720p30fps. What's the point of going 1080p ?
     
  10. Klumpen

    Klumpen Run away! Run away!

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    1. up the specs, make the hype
    2. sell a lot on release
    3. forget about it and move on

    It's just a theory but seeing how that is the standard in most places, it's not a very wild one.
     
  11. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    But THAT'S the big problem... I cannot see how they could achieve such battery life.
     
  12. AVahne

    AVahne Handheld-obsessed

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    Well I guess they at least have a real team instead of Russian robots. Still going to prefer the Win. Let me know if they ever make a version with a keyboard and have actually REALISTIC expectations of how their device will perform.
     
  13. Yoyobuae

    Yoyobuae Very Active Member

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    Would be nice if they offered a less power hungry alternative SoC at some point. Like the Atom GPD Win has (although that's somewhat power hungry itself).

    I personally don't care for the max performance approach they are taking. It's a handheld, not a desktop PC. A SoC which runs at cool temps would be much nicer than a monster which will just fry your device and murder your battery unless properly restrained.

    I only need enough to play the nice indie x86 games which I'm interested in (at least the ones which would be hard to get running on Pyra).

    But yeah, their currently intended device need to become real, which will likely take a rather long time.
     
  14. leafar

    leafar Still Fresh

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    is like peoples all concerns in this my possible true,this team is like is no the first time,second round more experience.all mobil device we all know about the problems, battery life,active or passive system cooling,hd display,SOC,etc. but they do have some kind of support behind of the ClicARM technology from IMASD, i hope they get in touch with AMD support,the device look itself like its going to be nice build, so i already backed ,lets see if they listene peoples from kickstarter and other communities and i hope those peoples pulling this uppppp.
     
  15. ekianjo

    ekianjo Hardcore Member

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    Battery life is pure fantasy on this device, and all their benchmarks are on 720p (only a few on 1080p) yet they chose to go with 1080p nevertheless which is way overkill for such a device. And for that screen size too. It means 720 p games will enjoy the dirtiest upscaling ever.

    Not impressed by their choices, and the guys behind that team have failed to deliver on numerous projects in the past.
     
  16. leafar

    leafar Still Fresh

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    $350.000 Windows 10 reach goal
     
  17. Klumpen

    Klumpen Run away! Run away!

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    I thought Win10 is free on small devices anyway. oO
     
  18. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    As Kodi and most emulators are.
     
  19. SNESFAN

    SNESFAN Retro game fanatic

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    What exactly do they plan to do for Kodi other than just bundling the software with the device? Maybe I'm missing something, but I have a portable version on a thumb drive that doesn't even need installed to the host OS. I'm sure you could even build a live Linux that boots directly into kodi with about 20 min of work. As some have said, how hard is it to just install it? How is that even a goal reward?

    Windows 10 is quite a bit of development though, driver certification (expensive) and validation of functionality and official support. Windows 10, whether you want it or not is a legit project goal. Hats off to them for that.

    Emulators... yea that's never turned bad for anyone who's tried that in the past... retron
     
  20. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I expect your live kodi usb stick actually is actually booting linux before running kodi as is. As such nasty media files might be able to get a shell outside of the playback, and then dirtyCOW might let them upgrade that access to root access, so I'd be careful what you play on it, unless you have some way of upgrading it. Perhaps kodi self updates to limit the holes in codecs that might give access in the first place, but I'd be surprised if they update the OS components that they bootstrapped kodi in with.
     

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