Is KinHank’s Handheld The Best CM3 Machine Yet?

The Compute Module 3 (or CM3) is a shrunk down version of the Raspberry Pi3 designed for use in industrial and commercial appliances. Its small form factor is the perfect candidate for a handheld. Although there are many homemade and commercial handhelds available that contain the full size RPi3 board, they tend to be very chunky and can have a somewhat “made in the garage” feel to them. We’re definitely not spoiled for choice when it comes to Compute Module handhelds, although I have covered two on this blog previously in the form of the FreePlay CM3 and Creoqode’s Lyra.

KinHank’s RetroGamePi is the latest offering in this category, and is now available at the eye watering price of $199.99 with free shipping. This is around $15 cheaper than the pre-built Creoqode Lyra (before shipping) and roughly the same price as the kit version of the FreePlay CM3 (The FreePlay doesn’t have a pre-built option).

So how does it compare? Let’s have a look at some stats.

 Kinhank RetroGamePiCreoqode LyraFreePlay CM3
Cell3700mAh3000mAh2000mAh
LCD Size3.2 inch5 inch3.2 inch
LCD TypeIPSTFTTFT
LCD Resolution480x320800x480320x240
Analog StickYesNoNo
Pre-Built?Yes (Only)YesNo
Shipped price*$199.99$229$217.99
Built in WifiYes - RTL8188NoNo
HDMI OutputNoYesYes - Mini

*Shipped to the UK. Prices for the Lyra and FreePlay kits may differ to other countries. The KinHank RetroGamePi is free shipping worldwide.

So whilst there’s no far and away winner here, Kinhank’s machine has the cheapest pre-built price, the largest cell, built in WiFi, the best screen technology (IPS) and an analog stick. Despite the lack of a HDMI outout, in my opinion this makes it easily the best choice of these 3 handhelds.

The analog stick is the same as found on the PS Vita, and when I asked KinHank to confirm they did say it was genuine analog. The KinHank RetroGamePi runs on Lakka which is the official Linux distribution of RetroArch and the libretro ecosystem. Whilst in heavy development it is currently very functional, and will only get better as development continues.

If you’re after a CM3 based handheld, currently the cheapest place to get KinHank’s system is on their website. It’s $199.99 and ships worldwide for free in a choice of 3 colours.

KinHank RetroGamePi at retrogamepi.com

9 thoughts on “Is KinHank’s Handheld The Best CM3 Machine Yet?”

  1. Looks like they took the shell and the screen from Digi Retroboy. The screen is decent and scales GBA perfectly, but the viewing angles are terrible.

    The D-Pad is horrendous.

    • It doesn’t look much like the digi retroboy shell to me. I agree though the d-pad on the digi retroboy is very bad.

      • Yeah I’m not really seeing the retroboy shell here either. I’ll hold off on conclusions until I have one in hand, but I’ll let you know my ergonomic impressions of it when it comes in if you’re interested.

        Compared to the Lyra I much prefer the aesthetic of this device and it beats the price/hassle of building a FreePlay imo.

        Did the Digi Retroboy have an IPS screen?

  2. This is massively disappointing. I’d rather have the Lyra any day, as it looks a lot more beautiful and professional, like a real device made by Nintendo or something. This one just looks like it could be a $30 device. Not to mention the specs, I’d rather have either 480p or 240p… not a weird in between or 320, games wont scale properly.

    • Lyra definitely looks better and also has the bigger screen.

      If Lyra just had an analog stick it would be way better.

  3. Decided to pick one up due to the layout of the RG350 being disappointing and also looking to have most PS1 titles running at good framerates on a nice IPS screen. Got a gray model on ebay… couple weeks till delivery but really looking forward to it. Personally I like analog for fighters and while I really like the RG300 for pick up and play I have my doubts about the RG350. This is twice the price of course, but I digress.

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