Video Games

The Smach Z portable gaming PC is the chosen one

The dream of any hardcore game: A handheld gaming PC powerful enough to play AAA titles. With the Smach Z, that elusive dream has finally come true.

The lightweight portable device looks like a cross between a laptop and an old-school Sega Game Gear, but with all the functionality and power of a gaming PC. The Smach Z comes in two versions: A regular version and a Pro version. Both share an AMD Merlin Falcon CPU clocked at 2.1GHz, a Radeon R7 GOU clocked at 800MHz, a 6″ 1080p touch screen, an accelerometer, gyroscope, a Wi-Fi module and five hour battery life, but differ on RAM, internal memory, and the presence of a front-facing camera for Twitch streaming and a 4G LTE connection. (The regular version sports 4GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, while the PRO ups its to 8GB and 128GB.) All together, this unassuming device can play almost any game on Steam at high to medium settings, including the latest AAA titles.


SunFocus catches rays to cook good eats

Solar energy is slowly becoming more and more commonplace, and for good reason: the benefits are innumerable to list. Despite solar’s potential, its one sore spot has to do with the generally inefficient methods of harnessing it. Fortunately, plenty of crowdfunding campaigns have sought to fill this void with new attempts at doing so.

The SunFocus is a three-in-one solar electric oven able to switch seamlessly from solar to electric energy and back automatically, with a plug-in option just in case. The portable oven roasts, steams, bakes, and boils up to 12 lbs. of food, using up to three curved focusing lids to reach temperatures as high as 350°F efficiently.

Television Video Games

G-Pack packs a gaming PC into a TV

As SteamOS makes the move for PC gaming into the living room possible, it also allows manufacturers the freedom to do unheard of things with gaming PCs. The living room follows more aesthetic guidelines than the boxy, gaudy features that many computers tend to obey, so those interested in making Steam Machines have an extra challenge to meet.

The G-Pack is an incredibly well-designed gaming PC designed to offer access to Steam and all the latest PC games without cluttering the living room. The thin box comes with a universal mount and is meant to be affixed to the back of flat screen displays no matter their size or how they’ve been mounted. In order to keep wires and cables easy to access, the G-Pack can even be stretched out to more comfortably hug wider displays.

More than just a pretty face, the standard G-Pack is as easy to upgrade as any PC and comes with some powerful hardware. With the latest Nvidia GeForce video cards, a minimum of 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and a mixture of 1TB or larger hard drives and solid state drives, these machines are built to handle hardcore, graphically intense gaming. G-Pack creator PiixL is asking for $150,000 to bring G-Pack to production. Backers can get their game on for $1,645 for the base system.

The Steam Machines platform is already facing an identity crisis, trying to figure out what sets them apart from any decent gaming PC. A hardware design like G-Pack is a great response that keeps living rooms clean and sharp while opening the door to a whole platform of popular and fun games. Its smart aesthetic design will bring fun to the room without cluttering the walls and floors with cables.


Tango is a complete desktop PC that fits in your pocket

editors-choiceThe Premise. Computers are getting smaller and more powerful, and some believe this spells doom for the desktop model as we know it. As smartphones and tablets continue to dominate the personal tech market, a fully functional computer would have to adapt to the pressure to keep up.

The Product. The Tango Super PC is a complete, fully functional PC that fits in a pocket. With an adapter to HDMI video out and USB ports for any input devices, the Tango Super PC can be docked and used at any workstation or home entertainment center, then disconnected and easily carried to its next destination. The Tango can run any PC-compatible operating system including Windows 8, Linux, Chromium, and even Steam OS. It has a 2GHz AMD Quad Core processor, up to 8 GB of RAM, Wifi, audio ports, and only weighs 200 grams.

The Pitch. For a product like Tango, customers only need to see two things – what can it do, and where can it fit. The Tango Super PC is the size of the average smartphone, and in the campaign video we see it running office programs, creative arts programs, and even modern, graphics-intensive games. With interest from major retailers and AMD, Tango wants to raise $250,000 to meet inventory demands, improve the product further, and tap into new markets.

The Perks. The Tango PC is available in four configurations of RAM and hard drive space, ranging from the basic 4GB RAM, 32GB SSD model at $349 to the 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD model at $473. Any backer who pledges enough to receive one of these systems however is eligible to receive an additional free system once Tango sells 100,000 units, either through the Kickstarter campaign or afterwards.

The Potential. The potential for a fully functional, pocket-sized PC is massive, allowing employees to not just access files remotely but take all of their work with them and access it using the same system no matter where they are. It would be enough if this PC were mostly just for running office suites but add in that it has the graphics capabilities of playing modern games or rendering creative pieces, Of course, the laptop has become the master of portability and computing power on the go, but the ability to have something small and dockable would certainly meet the needs of a broad range of users.