The new video game handheld Raspberry Pi GP430- it’s called that the Retropie supports online TV, external gamepad or keyboard, and HDMI video output. It seems like the video game console meets all requirements that retro gamers are longing for, is it really good?
First, I must give a high compliment to the comfortable shell, the touch feels like rubber or something soft, another highlight point is the ergonomic handle design, but the size of 185*80*20mm is somewhat big for my hands.
Unless you are so favorable to white color, I don’t recommend it, because I have gotten some dirty marks on the back. Also, the machine is not flawless, there is a gap between two lines of the roof so that the back shell is a bit bulging, but there’s nothing really to complain about.
Button and output
Let’s go-ahead to check the buttons and outputs. It has Select and Start, and dual 360-degree joysticks are on a diagonal layout. I have no interest in the analog stick location, but I like the direction pad, it is superior to the one of ZPG Pro, it’s neat, it’s huge, friendly to people with a big thumb, the surface is polished nicely. ABXY face buttons are a bit of concave, it has a great touch, but the gap between the button and where the button sits in still exists.
On the top, there are two pairs of shoulder buttons, an HDMI output, and dual Type-C ports, it should be noted that the C1 is for charging and C2 as the OTG port, used for connecting the gamepad or keyboard. Two stereo speakers sit on the left and right side on the bottom, an audio jack, a TF card slot comes with a 64GB micro sd card. Besides, there is a volume wheel, it’s definitely old school.
It will take some time, about one minute and a half, to turn on the device. I have to say that the 4.3-inch screen with 800×480 resolution looks really comfortable, the user interface is neat and the characters on the display are legible. There’s a radiator on the back out of the shell, that’s necessary because the screen is getting hot soon, even though I’m not playing any games yet.
There are some key specs of Retropie.
- CPU: Quad-core CPU, 1.2GHz
- ARM: ARM Cortex-A53, 1GM RAM
- Memory: Built-in 64G Micro SD Card
- TF Card: Support TF Card expansion to 256GB
- Motherboard: Powered by Raspberry Pi CM-3
- Screen: 4.3 Inch IPS screen(800×480), full-viewing 170°-170°, game speed 1:1, 60Hz;
- Weight: 250G
- Battery: 5000MAh high-performance lithium battery
- Charging Input:5V 2A
- Feature1: PCM5100/02 high-quality Hi-Fi sound card chip and support automatic switching between speakers and headphones
- Feature2: Support for KODI, you can watch TV and videos online
- Feature3: Support for Steam streaming box projection
- Feature4: Support Mini HDMI video output, max to 1080*720P
- Feature5: Support Type-C fast charge
- Feature6: Support OTG external function, you can connect gamepad, USB keyboard, wireless mouse, etc.
From the specifications, we get to know it supports online TV, that’s awesome, I can browse news or TV series when the network is connected. Besides, it is available for HDMI video output and external gamepad.
You can enable network directly in the WiFi option but I didn’t find any keyboard that can let me type the password. If you have the same problem, you can try the second method, the process seems complicated but it’s pretty simple. First, entering the RetroPie and find the Toggle WiFi option to make sure the WiFi switch is on. Turn off the device and take out the TF card, you will get a disk named ‘boot’ on PC, set up a file in it with the name ‘wifikeyfile.txt’, copy the codes in the following which include network name and password to the file: ssid=”NETWORK_NAME” psk=” NETWORK_PASSWORD”. Choose import wifi in the WiFi option. Now we can watch TV online.
The Retropie supports video output max to 1080*720P. If you wanna transmit the image to TV, just enter the Retropie and choose the Switch Screen option, select HDMI, and waiting for the device reboot, then you get the real-time image on TV.
It’s awesome to connect an external gamepad, but you need an OTG adapter mounted on the Type-C2 port and connect a gamepad, press Start to enter configure input setting, and then map the buttons on the gamepad one by one.
The Raspberry Pi GP430 comes with 42 or more emulators and tons of games, you can play games right away. The preview images are on the side for most games. As usual, I emulated some PSP or DC games. It really frustrates me, because it gives a poor performance on Dreamcast and PSP with harsh delaying sounds, that is totally a disaster to my ears.
If a 3.5-inch screen tortures you, you can get a High Definition and functional retro video game console at a $170. It allows you to browse Youtube, watch TV, play with your friends…but I will give a low grade to its running speed. Of course, if you don’t care much about the DC or PSP titles, that’s a really good game console in 2020.