With the rising costs of reproduction AGS-101 LCD panels it was high time that a better solution was made available to modders, and it looks as though BennVenn is coming to the rescue.
Over the past couple of years, the price of a third party AGS-101 panel has risen from around $20 to $52 or more in some cases. These panels replace the non-backlit TFT panel in the original GBA, providing a beautiful vivid backlit image at the same original size and resolution. It’s the same panel that was used in the hard to find AGS-101 model GBA SP and is a huge improvement over the original screen.
Rumour has it that China are not manufacturing any more of these repro screens, and due to that fact the price has more than doubled in the past year or two.
BennVenn’s solution takes a custom circuit board and couples it with either the top or bottom LCD from the NDS Lite. Reproductions of this screen are available for around £3.50 shipped from China, and BennVenn is hoping to sell his custom board for between $20 and $30.
The main drawback of this mod is that the NDSL LCD has a slightly higher resolution of 256×192, compared to the 240×160 resolution of the original GBA panel. This probably means that the image will be smaller than that of the original GBA whilst maintaining the resolution.
Pre-orders aren’t open yet, but the new board has a placeholder on BennVenn’s site and is due to go on sale once the prototypes have had the once over. Check it out here.
It also looks as though he’s working on a backlit solution for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. This will use a custom LCD but there’s nothing on his site about it just yet.