Smach Z handheld gaming PC likely to be delayed (again)
The Smach Z has had a troubled development. After heading to Kickstarter in 2015 for initial funding, the project was put on hold until relaunching on Kickstarter late last year. Even though the project exceeded its €250,000 goal, the development team has been fairly quiet about the status of the handheld. However, it now looks like the project is facing another major hurdle that will likely result in delays: a key hardware partner has severed ties with Smach.
Rhomb.io, the company that was working with Smach to manufacture the Core AMD RX421 board housing the AMD APU that would be used by the Smach Z, stated in a blog post last week that they would no longer be working with Smach. The breakup is “due to differences between both companies.” This is a devastating blow for Smach, which has already missed the April 2017 shipment date advertised in its 2016 Kickstarter campaign. In an update to that blog post posted today, Rhomb.io gave a bit of insight into why Smach missed its April target.
Rhomb.io, which is owned by a Tecnofingers, was on board to make the embedded AMD CPU and GPU for the Smach but stated that the project is likely to be finished by the end of 2017. Furthermore, the company stated that they never agreed to the timeline posted by Smach. The Rhomb.io team also said that, based on their dealings with Smach, they don’t feel that their former partners “understand or value the complexity of development and fabrication that this kind of product implies.” There seems to be some truth to that - this marks the third major hiccup in the development of the Smach Z.
Rhomb.io did say that the AMD CPU would still be available to anyone, including the Smach Z team. However, the end of this relationship could be the final death knell for Smach. In the meantime, PC gamers looking for a portable gaming machine might want to look at the GPD Win, which is currently available from Gearbest.