Rhomb.io Terminates Partnership With Smach Z Team (Update: Smach Team Responds)

In a blog post on the their website today, Rhomb.io, the developers of the hardware due to power the Smach Z have said they are pulling out of the project. Citing communication failures and a lack of understanding of the project timeline by Smach Z – they will no longer be co-operating with the team to bring the Smach Z to life. This project began on shaky ground after their first crowd funding attempt was cancelled, but they successfully funded the project second time around at the end of last year. Unfortunately early bird units were supposed to ship in April, and according to Rhomb this could never have happened since they always said that their board would be available towards the end of this year.

So it looks like another one bites the dust, or at the very least the Smach Z will not be available for many months to come. I only hope that everyone attempting to jump ship on Kickstarter manages to get their refunds. This is the reason I would never back a project like this, being an early adopter is risky enough without the prospect of never even receiving the thing you paid for.

Now, where are those Pyras? 😛

Update 3rd July:

The Smach team have responded to say that the project will continue, albeit with a different chip manufacturer. The board will still be modular, allowing SoC and RAM upgrades down the line. Unfortunately more delays are inevitable, and they have stated that refunds are not possible at this point. So it looks as though those who have been waiting since April for their units have no choice but to wait a little lot longer. The below is the response from the Smach Z team, posted over on the Pandora forums.

Hi Smachers,

We still can’t give more details about the ImasD breakup, but we’d like to give another update to answer some of your most common questions.

New Partners:

After the ImasD failure, we don’t want the success of the project to rely on another third party. That’s why the new hardware development team will work with our team as a part of SMACH Z, even if they are an independent hardware company (On Testing S.L). We will be in full control of the project so we will be able to communicate more freely with you. The lack of communication with backers was due to the scarcity of progress updates from ImasD.

The new team is very experienced, and we’re confident that they will do great work, but we don’t want to rely only on one team. We’re looking forward to adding more partners to the project. We’re in negotiations with Bleujour for the AMD integration and BQ and TicNova for the production (though the deal is not closed yet).

New Schedule:

It’s early to have a new schedule because the new team has just started. Also, we’re still dealing with ImasD to get the materials in order to continue the work.

Because of the change from Rhomb technology we will need to redo all the work related to Rhomb, including the AMD SoC integration. As an preliminary date we’re estimating having the final version developed in December 2017 and start shipping to backers on Q1 2018. We’ll give more details as soon as we establish the new schedule.

Modularity:

SMACH Z won’t use Rhomb technology anymore. However, SMACH Z will still be modular, and it’ll be possible to upgrade the SoC, RAM and storage as promised. We’re working on our own modular solution, following standards of M.2 for the SSD and laptop DDR4 RAM.

Refunds:

We understand your concerns and people asking for refunds, however that is not feasible at this point as those funds are invested in completing the project.

As you may know, it’s quite usual for new projects to be delayed. More than 80% of Kickstarter’s top projects shipped late, and especially hardware projects. Some examples of renown projects that have been delayed and were finally successful are Pebble, Oculus Rift and TouchTime.

Like those projects, we are dedicated to overcome the inherit difficulties in producing new hardware and appreciate the your support and patience.

Compensation:

We’re working on introducing improvements to the console’s hardware in order to address your concerns about the delay. We will disclose more details as soon as we can.

Thanks for your support.

 

11 Replies to “Rhomb.io Terminates Partnership With Smach Z Team (Update: Smach Team Responds)”

  1. This reminds me of the Pandora days. I managed to get a refund and learnt to always wait for a device to be actually made before I buy it. I’m happier now (and bought a GPD WIN)

  2. I really think the Pyras are going to arrive, eventually. Reading EvilDragon’s posts, I think that he’s on the right track. It’s an expensive machine, though. If he doesn’t start shipping this year or early 2018, it’s going to arrive as an outdated machine.

    1. EmulationBro says: Reply

      ” Reading EvilDragon’s posts, I think that he’s on the right track. It’s an expensive machine, though. If he doesn’t start shipping this year or early 2018, it’s going to arrive as an outdated machine.”

      It’s already outdated. There are single-board computers that are more powerful:
      https://liliputing.com/2017/06/libre-computer-crowdfunding-4k-ready-quad-core-mini-pc-25.html

      And there are Windows laptops that both more powerful and far cheaper.

      1. Ancient tyrael says: Reply

        My pine64 had more features than this board and the pyras run with A15 cores which still outpaces A53.

        1. JackFrost71 says: Reply

          The Omap 5 used in the Pyra, would be somewhere between the Tegra 3 and Tegra 4 in terms of performance

  3. I backed this project. I’m disappointed that the creators weren’t up front about this kind of information.
    I’ll be trying to get a refund.

  4. I took a leap of faith and backed the GCW Zero several years back. It worked out for me. I wasn’t too interested in the Smach Z so I didn’t pay it much attention. Here’s hoping that the backers don’t get the shift.

    1. obscurehandhelds says: Reply

      yeah, i forgot about that thing. i backed that too, and to be fair it did arrive. down on the dpad only worked half the time and it stuck in 2 of 4 diagonal directions. also the screen developed light streaks down the left hand side after a few months. justin kept promising to send me replacement dpad that worked properly, but never did. i ended up selling it on ebay (with full disclosure on its problems).

      1. After getting my GCW I made a decided never to back a project again. I ended up using the T-shirt as a shop rag. I still have mine though. Same poor sound that the Dingoo has.

        1. I’ve backed both the GPD Win and the GPD Pocket projects… never regretted it.

      2. That’s a shame. While I did have trouble early on, having to send it back in for repair which admittedly, took _forever_ to get back, since then, it’s been a champ. Still going strong to this day.

        My 10 year old son has become quite the retro-gamer due to the Zero going through several of the classics that I played during my childhood. Electronics are always a gamble and Kickstarter ones especially so as they’re made by relatively normal people, not large or even small companies.

        But I’m happy to report that I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of my GCW Zero and then some. Turned out to be a great purchase for me. Sorry to hear that you guys didn’t have the same luck. When it functions properly, the Zero is one of the best units out there. My only slight criticism is that the ABXY buttons are a bit mushy and the A sticks just a little bit, but not enough to really effect game play. My d-pad has been super accurate and has allowed me to play games that other portables, especially the GP2X that I had prior couldn’t even come close to.

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