Handling gaming PC SMACH Z is back, and they’re gearing up for an actual launch later this year. The SMACH Team showed off an E3 2018 trailer for the SMACH Z today, showcasing the potential capabilities of its handheld system that used to be known as Steamboy.

“We are really excited to showcase the first hands-on demo of the SMACH Z prototype build to media at E3 2018 and look forward to getting initial feedback, which will be crucial to bring the fully functional Beta version to Gamescom 2018,” said Daniel Fernandez, CEO at SMACH Team. “It’s an ambitious project but each step takes us closer to the ultimate gaming console that PC games enthusiasts have been waiting for.”

The SMACH-Z features a 6” 1080p touchscreen, an SD card slot for upgradable storage, USB-C charging, and a similar control interface to the Steam Controller. The screen is flanked by a pair of haptic touchpads, along with a single analogue stick, four face buttons and the usual back and forward buttons (Options and Share for PlayStation fans).

In terms of the internal gubbins, the SMACH Z uses an AMD Ryzen Embedded V1605B SoC with AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics. The SMACH Zhas 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, the SMACH Z Pro has 8GB RAM, 128GB storage and a 5MP camera, while the SMACH Z Ultra has 16GB RAM, 256GB storage and a 5MP camera. It’s low-end as far as desktop gaming games, but it should provide decent performance for a mobile device.

- The Witcher 3 (720p Medium settings) ~ 40 FPS

- Alien: Isolation (1080p Low settings) ~ 50 FPS

- GTA 5 (720p Normal settings) ~ 60 FPS

- League of Legends (1080p High settings) ~ 60 FPS

- Rocket League (1080p Normal settings) ~ 60 FPS

- Dark Souls 3 (720p Low settings) ~ 40 FPS

The SMACH Z Team touts it as a AAA PC gaming device, although in reality, it’s going to struggle a little too much with the latest and greatest games to make it worthwhile. That 1080p screen will usually be going to waste on 720p gaming, and you’d best get used to Low or Medium settings.

While their focus is on selling it as a AAA device though, I think the SMACH Z’s greatest strength is in its potential to play the massive back catalogue of older PC games. There are thousands and thousands of games out there from 2013 and earlier that will run great on this thing, while ergonomically it looks leaps ahead of the clunky GPD Win 2.

They're actually taking pre-orders for the SMACH Z now, with a view to releasing the first devices in Q4 2018. It’s not cheap either, with the standard costing €629, the Pro €809 and the Ultra €989. I can’t emphasise enough how much a wait and see approach could pay off here. That’s a heck of a lot of money to pre-order a device from a company that nobody really knows, and who haven’t even finalised the design yet.

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