Hot on the heels of the other two recent vertical devices, here comes the GKD mini handheld from LaoZhang. The GKD mini is another portrait mode handheld that promises a boost in performance over the RG350 series from Anbernic.
The GKD mini is a follow up to the GKD 350h which came out last year. Housing an Ingenic X1830 processor, this CPU outperforms the JZ4770 despite its lack of GPU and IPU. The X1830 runs at 1.5Ghz and gives a reasonable boost to some harder to emulate SNES, PS1 and Arcade games.
Its older brother ran on OpenDingux and I would expect that this vertical version will run the same. Hopefully we will see a kernel source release this time around so that performance improvements can be made by community developers.
Details are thin, but we do know that it has 4 shoulder buttons. Looking at the top and bottom of the handheld it seems they must be housed on the back.
The LCD is 3.5″ and has a 320×240 resolution, and the 4 LEDs to the top right of the screen indicate current battery level. The handheld has stereo sound with an independent volume control, and two of the front buttons are dedicated to Menu and Exit. There looks to be dual microSD slots next to the power button on top. Size wise, it’s a little bigger than the LDK, but still a very pocketable device.
In the latest images to surface we can see they’ve swapped the standard D-pad present on the 3D print for a Sega style D-pad. An unusual decision, but I really like the Mega Drive D-pad so we’ll have to wait and see.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The GKD mini is due to retail in China for the equivalent of about $45. I would guess we’ll be able to pick this up for a very reasonable $55-$65 when it’s released. Its older brother, the GKD 350h, is around the same price.
Current images of the unit are limited to 3D prints in plain white and renders. Production has apparently started, so we can expect to see better photos before too long.
I will update this post as more info and images become available. You’ll be able to find it in the “Forthcoming Handhelds” menu.