E3 2018 - SMACH Z Makes High End PC Gaming Portable

SMACH Z is the handheld console for people who hate consoles and the ultimate mobile game system for people who hate mobile gaming.

When you’re at E3, it’s easy to think it’s just about the games or just the 3 big console makers that play those games. The PC market pretty much lurks in the shadows most of the time, except when you’re talking about more of the same high end hardware from the same old desktop and laptop manufacturers. There’s nothing wrong with them (they’re often quite sexy), because most of my gaming is done on my PC versus any consoles. When it comes to PC gaming, what attracts me the most is that I can build and configure the machine I want, rather than waiting every 5 years or so for Microsoft or Sony or Nintendo to release the next hot new machine to replace the previous hot old machine that almost instantly becomes limited by a quickly evolving gaming environment. For PC gaming, you can build, replace, enhance, and modify to your specific needs, whether its for business or all about gaming. And the results are often dramatically better than any high end experience you’d get from the Next Gen Machine that everyone is killing each other over every year on Black Friday.

SMACH Z enters the fray with a mobile gaming console for the PC loving crowd. It comes powerfully equipped with everything you need to play popular graphics engine power hungry games like Grand Theft Auto V and League of Legends, but it’s customizable too. Beef up the RAM, swap out the SSD, make it your own machine. But even if you don’t want to, you’re set with a system that can do some high end gaming on an impressive 6″ touchscreen at 1920x1080px. Obviously, when you’re dealing with a smaller screen than your TV or standard flatscreen monitor, the need for 4K HDR level visuals isn’t of paramount importance. But with SMACH Z, you still get quality HD gaming with smooth visuals at solid resolutions and frame rates.

In the exclusive demo I was given, tucked away at the newly refurbished Figueroa Hotel in downtown LA, the physical handheld device was impressive to hold even if the final version is still a work in progress. The device was bigger than your standard portable console system, but not too hefty. Of course, it packs a lot more punch than anything you’ve gotten from any of the Big 3 console makers or high end Apple or Android mobile device systems. No, you won’t mistake it for a Nintendo DS or an iPhone. It’s not a machine that will slip into your pocket, but it feels good in your hands with the customizable haptic controller areas and button game pads all within reach for the user who already lives with a console controller in their hands on a daily basis.

The one model I held was about the size of the shoe phone Don Adams would use on the classic “Get Smart” TV series (I’m showing my age), except it doesn’t make calls. But it’s much more stylish. And it plays the hottest games anywhere you want to take it. Just install a game via Steam or another gaming service to the full version Windows 10 or Linux OSes and you’re good to go. Obviously, compact PCs are nothing new, but they tend to be on the not-so-portable, boxy side and don’t come with a video touchscreen attached. This is something you can slip into your backpack that will let you knock out a few hours of Rocket League or Witcher 3 between classes without ever having to go home and boot up your likely much slower PC or console. Although, if you do get the urge to play on a bigger screen, you can output the video to a compatible television through the display port, showing off the true power of the AMD Ryzen V1605B processor and AMC Radeon Vega 8 Graphics card.

The stat sheet above gives gamers two tempting choices for a handheld machine that will play the graphically intensive games you love, the SMACH Z and the SMACH Z PRO. Some may balk at the prices quoted, but what you’re paying for is a highly portable machine that can grow with the ever-evolving PC gaming market where the console makers are quickly abandoning anything close to what this can do. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are putting their focus on the living rooms where most gamers are ensconsed for the rest of their gaming lives. SMACH Z gives gamers the opportunity to step out from behind their computer desks and take the true PC gaming experience on the road for the first time, not with standard casual mobile phone fare, but with the challenging in-demand games they love.

Developed by some lovely people in Spain and introduced to the public through wildly successful Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, pre-orders are now available in Europe with US options available soon at, with a Q4 2018 expected shipping date.

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