The RG280M Is a Slimmed Down RG350M

If you’re after the capability of the RG350M but in a smaller form factor, you’re in luck. The RG280M is a slimmed down RG350M, sacrificing one analog stick, the HDMI port and larger screen in favour of a smaller more pocketable machine.

The RG280M is powered by the same JZ4770 as found in the PocketGo v2 and RG350/M, but contains a smaller screen at 2.8 inches. There is some confusion over the resolution of the display. Initially it was said to be 320×480 (or 480×320 in landscape), but the AliExpress listing describes a screen similar to that of the RS-97 with non-standard pixel alignment. And to add to the confusion, there is also a rumour that it’s actually 320×240 and the developer was drunk when he stated the specs to retailers!

FEATURES

Similar to the RG350M, this device comes with an OCA laminated screen. This removes any air gap between the LCD and the screen lens by filling it with a clear adhesive. This has two benefits, the main one being far superior clarity compared to a non-OCA’d screen. It also means that you won’t ever be getting any dust under the screen, as there’s no space for dust to get trapped.

rg280m size comparison to rg350m

The RG280M comes with 2 USB-C ports, one for charging and one for OTG functionality. It also has two microSD card slots, one for the OS and one for your ROMs. This means you needn’t transfer your ROMs back over each time you decide to upgrade the OS. Inside is a 2500mAh battery which the manufacturer states will give you 8 hours of play time. Probably a little less, however these chips are very efficient and it won’t be far off that.

The RG280M has an aluminium alloy shell, just like it’s big brother the RG350M. It comes in the usual array of colours, as well as an amazing looking neon pink and blue fade. I’m sure this colour scheme is not to everyone’s taste but personally I think it looks excellent. I really don’t need another Ingenic handheld, but I am very tempted by this one for the colour alone.

EMULATORS

Ingenic JZ4770 machines are successful largely due to the amazing community development around OpenDingux. If you want an easy to use and hugely customisable OS with more emulators than you can shake a stick at, one of these is a great choice. Just be aware that PS1 is the extent of this chip’s capabilities. Out of the box supported systems include the below.

  • PS1
  • CPS1
  • CPS2
  • CPS3 (partial support)
  • FBA
  • MSX
  • Atari Lynx
  • Wonderswan Color
  • NEOGEO
  • NEOGEO Pocket
  • GB / GBC
  • GBA
  • SNES
  • NES
  • Mega Drive
  • Sega Master System
  • Game Gear
  • PC Engine

There are plenty of other emulators and ported software available for this platform, take a look through the github repository for some idea of the possibilities.

rg280m handheld

SUMMARY

Whilst handhelds such as the RK2020 offer more CPU power than this, we’re far from having an OS as good as OpenDingux on those machines. The age of the Ingenic JZ4770 is almost over, so if you’re still agonising over which device to get, here’s another to add to your list.

rg280m in black aluminium alloy

Personally the RG* series machines are the best, which narrows it down to either the RG350, RG350M or this RG280M. The RG280M is the only machine to come in this pink/blue color scheme, which is almost reason enough alone to get this one I reckon. It might be worth waiting to see if the price comes down a bit, although there are no guarantees. If you already have a JZ4770 device that you’re happy with, the RG280M doesn’t offer anything new. After all, the RG280M is just a slimmed down version of the RG350M with some features removed.

Be sure to check out the comparison page if you want to see the differences between these three versions.

17 thoughts on “The RG280M Is a Slimmed Down RG350M”

  1. Just received my RG280M in the mail today. I can confirm the screen is 320×240. As such Genesis/MD + SNES look great (near full screen with native resolution). However, GBA does fare less well. Having said that the OCA screen is absolutely stunning!

    Reply
  2. Some how it still retains that huge screen border and ugly as hell logo. As for the resolution, can we settle on 720*480 is the perfect resolution for retro emulation? 240*160(GBA) *3 = 720*480, 320*240(basically everything else) *2 = 640*480, if you like CPS1 like me, expand that to 800*480(384*224 *2). Too bad Q400 is shit.

    Reply
    • The screen border is nice :O Handhelds without it look kinda naked somehow. And the logo is cool looking too. What kind of logo would you prefer?

      As for 720×480, oh I wish……….

      Reply
      • no logo at all, ideally. the bright orange “ANBERNIC” branding is especially annoying, it just looks super cheap and thanks to the OCA the only real solution is slapping a sticker on top of the lens, unfortunately.

        Reply
  3. A portable console for me is an interactive console.

    If there’s no netplay it’s not a buy for me not matter how well it emulates consoles.

    Reply
  4. They are so close to convincing me to finally buy one of these. I like the size and layout. But I’m still hoping for a plastic version of this or the RG350m layout. I don’t see the value in paying more for the aluminum.

    Reply
  5. What the heck, this needs to be 320×240.
    If they ruin that, then I will never again look at emulation handhelds ever again.
    I can’t take more of this “Its perfect minus this or that” issue.

    Reply
      • Oh, about GBA scaling, why would it be needed?
        I want pixels to be the same size 😛
        I dont want Super Mario Wold’s pixels on SNES looking smaller than the GBA ones.
        480×320 cant scale NES / SNES / Genesis games properly and would have to look tiny. Those being the most important consoles, it’s a pain.

        Reply
        • GBA looks terrible at 320×240, but at 480×320 it looks sooooo good. For me GBA is the most important console (from the older generations anyway).

          Reply
          • I wouldnt stretch GBA to 320×240 either xD
            I mean, if I could just have anything I want, I’d just do what Analogue did with their Pocket, and “kill a fly with a shotgun” (one of my favorite quotes from this very site!!!!!)
            That way anything will look good. (But of course could require a higher GPU and Battery and that’s gonna drive the price up significantly)

            I accept GBA as an SNES with “black borders” when emulated. They arent that bad 😛 it’s not any harder to see than the SNES games. At least that’s the scope of these cheaper devices.

          • Haha, I love that expression 😀

            I can’t play in a tiny window, it drives me mad. I’d rather terrible scaling (correct AR though) at full screen. But yeah, a super high-res screen would solve the problem… now where’s that Analogue Pocket???

    • That being said, everything about this, including price seems just about to finally be what I wanted!
      Once we get confirmed 320×240, this will be my first emulation handheld I’ll buy.
      Up until now I’ve relied on android phones / tablets, and those come with some advantages:
      – RetroArch (high quality emulation, lots of options, shaders, customizable menu, box arts, bezels)
      – High resolution for every game to look great at whatever size you want
      – Awesome Super AMOLED screens with perfect contrast and colors

      The problems:
      – Android is a giant mess
      – Each device may come with its own weird problems (I had a tablet that would bizarrely dim the screen depending on how many dark pixels were on-screen, it could dim just for MegaMan shooting!!)
      – Other smartphone activity distractions
      – Things can crash/restart when minimized
      – RetroArch is a challenge and can be broken too easily
      – Phone controllers aren’t exactly comfortable or pocketable or headphone jack-friendly, only good enough to work.

      I’ve been hoping that these devices are more gift-friendly than that. Plus they’re pocketable. All I want is to just give one of these devices to a friend as a gift and that nothing else has to be done once I put roms in it, other than them turning it on, enjoying, and not suffering any of the Android problems.

      Reply
    • That’s why we have the rg350m. I’d love to have this to compliment my rg350m, since it give perfect pixel scaling for the gba as it’s 3:2 aspect ratio. Stretching gba games to 320×240 not only looks awful due to wrong aspect ratio, but it also requires horizontal interpolation since it’s impossible to get proper 1 to 1 scaling from gba’s 240 pixel width to 320. Also, playing at 1x on 320×240 for gba games is way too small on the screen.

      Reply

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