Before receiving this new SupBor / Subor Q400, we heard that it is very powerful. Please differentiate it from the one that came out in January, for what we’re about to bring you today is an upgraded version with a better screen and a more reliable system. Also, if you still recall its big brother Q900 that we introduced earlier, you will realize Q900 and Q400 share the same chip RK3128 that runs on Linux. That’s been said, SupBor is not some random manufacturer comes out from nowhere, it does make efforts developing devices.
I would say Q400 is a steady step forward. It runs PS1 perfectly and has a complete set of control config. Only that some might find the control layout annoying. In addition, it runs N64, supports HDMI output and multiplayer. So, is Q400 a worth-to-have? Let’s go over it.
|CPU||RK3128 1.3GHz quad-core Cortex A7 SoC|
|Size (mm)||170 x 70 x 13|
|Screen||4” IPS 800 x 480 5:3|
|Supporting games||NES, GBA, MD, SFC, MAME, PS1, N64|
|Expansion||64GB TF card supported|
|Speaker||Dual stereo speakers|
|Shoulder button||4 (L1, L2, R1, R2)|
|Unique Features||Mini HDMI;Supports up to 4 players with USB game controllers.|
How it looks
Personally, I care about color match a lot when choosing handhelds. Q400 offers fancy color choices. This lovely turquoise and yellow definitely attract my eyeballs. Again, does the turquoise remind you of the famous Switch Lite?
Build Quality and Controls
Q400 is not big in size, quite moderate in weight and relatively portable. The build quality is astonishing actually, but in my opinion, this plastic shell feels a bit cheap.
You might not like the control layout on it. Just unlike the layout on RG350m, the two sticks on Q400 go upwards. This might seems weird, but I find it quite ergonomic for my thumbs can get stretched out enough when controlling the joysticks. At the same time, my index fingers can reach the shoulder buttons not needing the slightest effort. The d-pad and action buttons are just in the right place where you only need to slide your thumbs from the joysticks.
Joysticks are sensible, the d-pad and ABXY buttons respond quickly. The only thing I find vexing is the touch of L2 and R2 buttons. They feel too tight to press on.
HDMI and Multi-players
The Q400 has a mini HDMI port and four USB ports for external controllers connection that supports up to four players. The HDMI port is not merely a decoration like the ones on other open-source handhelds. We try it out, the port actually works. As our screen is a 16:9, the stretch is inevitable. But I suppose we can set it up manually. These USB ports work too, but what kind of controller is supported remains unknown. I do hope when it officially launches, it will come with a controller.
We noticed that the Q400 has a different ratio aspect from the average 4:3 handheld. It’s a 4-inch screen with a 5:3 ratio aspect and 800 x 480 resolution. This ratio is kind of weird, for no games are of this ratio. But my bold guess would be that it wants to adapt to both 16:9 and 4:3 ratio. Most widescreen display some n64 titles are 16:9 and arcade games are 4:3. 5:3 is somewhere between these two and it would be easier to switch from one to another without outrageous stretch.
Updated with an IPS screen compared to its January version, the display is very crispy. It uses a completely different system as well.
The system user interface is very succinct. We can preview the game screen, and the simulator classification is clear at a glance. There’s also a search bar, so we don’t have to look for a game among thousands of them. We can add our favorite games to our starred collection, often-plays can be ranked on top. The system is more humanized.
I think how PS1 is emulated on handhelds is of the top concerns by most. I test Tekken 3, Mega Man 8, Gun Survivor and Contra: Evolution, they all run fluently without stutters. It has both RG350m’s control and GKD350H’s running speed. It’s pure joy to play PS1 on it.
It’s worth mentioning that the OS comes with an N64 emulator. Not for long until I hear the choppy sound when I open the Super Mario 64. Though heartbreaking, I carry on playing on it, turn off the sound and Mario Kart 64 seems to run well. But who am I kidding? Huge screen tearing still exists. Then I try Ocarina of Time and Star Fox, the former is bearable, but the latter one is quite a dazzle. I guess we have to face it: N64 on Q400, it barely scrapes a pass.
Should I purchase it?
Simply put, I quite enjoy Q400. At least it does what most retro handhelds can’t do by supporting N64. Not that it can compete with Odroid-Go Advance, because it’s still too choppy in N64. But with such a powerful CPU, it’s a pity that its shell makes it feel low-end. Its functionality of HDMI output and external handles connection sets it apart from other devices. It is said that the manufacturer wants to produce a home console, but considering the handhelds remain mainstream, Q400 becomes what it is now.
Should you buy it? RG350, GKD350H and Odroid-Go Advance, if you own none of the above, my suggestion would be “yes”. Being early-bird priced $79.99, it’s definitely a worth-buying for it only cost you $3 or $4 more than an RG350 while it runs PS1 better than RG350. GKD350H supposedly has the power to run N64, but it doesn’t come with the N64 emulator in the OS and it doesn’t have a second pair of shoulder buttons, let alone a second joystick. As for OGA, it needs to be assembled on your own which appears to be quite hardcore for starters. If you have owned at least one of the above, my suggestion would still be a “yes”. It’s a device that not only combines their strength, but also a first that supports HDMI output and multiplayer. However, whether buying it or not still depends on how eager you are to drain your pocket.
Where to Buy?
Buy it here: https://supbor.com/?aff=4
This device is available for preorder now. They will ship it at the end of May, 2020.
Pros and Cons
|Pros||Crispy displayReliable game performance in PS1Supports N64Dual Switch analog sticks and 4 shoulder buttonsHDMI outputUp to 4 players supported via USB controllers|
|Cons||Choppy in N64Strange 5:3 screen ratio aspectWeird control layout for someTight shoulder buttons|
|Final word||A powerful portable handheld that updates your experience in gaming with HDMI and multiplayer supported.|