Nintendo Entertainment System(NES) was the first family computer released in the 1980s. For many people like me, it was the first game device that came into our lives, which means so much to us. It brought an unprecedented and great wave of gaming in that period. When I was eight, the device was what every child in my age dream about. As a big fan of Famicom, thankfully, I got a substitute- Revo K101 plus, it came back recently with a disparate shell.
What’s Revo K101 plus? How about describing it in this way? K101 plus is a portable gaming console that supports GBA games but features a Famicom controller look. Isn’t it interesting? It once appeared in the market in a very short time because it wasn’t mass-produced. K101 is well-known as a GBA hardware clone, which comes from Max Zhou, famous as the Anbernic team leader. For now, this handheld is available in different indigo color, shows its respect to GBA, which looks more like a mini RG351P.
What’s in box?
The device stock comes with a charging cable, AV-Out cable, a screwdriver for battery back shell removal, and a standard K- card. One thing you need to notice is no external cable included in the package list, so it has a necessity to prepare one by yourself if you intend to connect an original GBA or another K101 device for multiplayer.
The build quality of K101plus is fairly good, it’s not the best that I’ve ever felt but for such a GBA retro handheld, I don’t think I can expect much more. The handheld is exactly the same as the FC controller, an anodized brushed golden panel, and a vintage red main body. Roman numerals on the upper side and two sidelines crossed the panel, even the shadow around the face buttons are well placed. All of those upgrades add up to an FC controller characteristic.
Input and output
On the top, we get the DC/5V charging port and backlit button, it has 8 brightness setting modes. AV out and the external port there, allowing another device connection for multi-playing. The right side of the machine is the volume wheel and the power button is on the left side. A 3.5 mm headphone jack and the Reset hole on the bottom, you need to use a sharp object to prick the Reset hole if there’s a crash. It comes with a standard K-card, all you need to do is to insert a micro SD card and enjoy your gameplay.
Moving over the front of the device, we have the retro button layout. It does include the L and R, ABXY buttons, a directional pad, SELECT and START. When it comes to the shoulder buttons, it has changed much from the conductive adhesive on the old K101 to short-stroke with soft and plastic micro-movement L and R button. On the bottom of the panel, indigo one has a brand logo but the FC edition doesn’t have.
There’s one thing really to complain about is the gaps between the frame of case and screen, that’s not helpful for dust prevention. I admit it’s a bit rough, the screen and shell frame are even not parallel. With a 3 inch 320×240 resolution AUO display, Revo K101 plus has three resolution and scaling settings from 4:3, 3:2, and original GBA display 240:160. The aspect ratio can be set by the global hotkey Brightness+ Down direction of the directional pad in-game menu.
Most operations can use global hotkey Brightness to archive.
- +A= autofire on
- +B= cheats on/off
- +X= autofire off
- +Y= Exit game
- +START= Save to SD card
- +Up= RTC on/off
- +Down= Screen aspect-ratio
- +L= In-game menu
- +R=Sleep mode
We also get a replaceable battery on the back. There is a difference between the new and old versions of K101. The screw used to be pinned on the case, which means it’s convenient for you to take the case off without worrying about screw loss. Unfortunately, K101 plus canceled the design. That’s not a big problem, just my preference.
Cheats code and multiplayer
For the user who gets a K101, it’s necessary to download official cheat files which have already included cheat codes of most GBA games. Once the cheat files copied on the device, the user can turn the cheats on or off by Brightness+ B. K101 has two methods for accessing the multiplayer, single and multiplayer PAK link. It’s necessary to make 2 micro SD cards are the same, otherwise, the guest device cannot be connected successfully.
Performance and support
On the help page, it says the system is based on ARM7 and ARM9 CPU. CPU ARM7 controls the sound and two-dimensional graphic hardware. The ARM9 helps the other function works well.
It goes well on the GBA library. K101 plus supports almost official GBA cartridges inserted. Besides, emulators like PC Engine, NES, and Game Gear are supportive, but the running performance is disparate on each emulator. For instance, in the PC Engine titles, there is an issue with stuttering and low speed. Performance on Game Gear is going to be almost the same. This is because, according to reports, the incomplete compatibility of the GBA hardware clone.
You may find what you want on the website link, kteam.ys168.com, founded by the K101 official. Things like cheat code files, game pictures, firmware updates can be found there.
On the market right now there are great value affordable game consoles from China, ranging from running on RockChip’s RG351P to the emerging Android system, Retroid Pocket 2. Whilst, Revo K101or Revo K101 plus aren’t the powerful handheld device can support that. It’s said that K101 will stop the production, according to the community. Things are moving fast nowadays, what else can I keep in my mind? keep a gadget like this in my collection is not bad.