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Game

Razer and Verizon tease a 5G gaming handheld that can play games locally

Razer, Qualcomm and Verizon are working together on a 5G gaming handheld. The carrier teased the Razer Edge 5G at Mobile World Congress Las Vegas. Details on the device are sparse, but what we do know is that it will feature Qualcomm’s . Announced in December, the chipset features an Adreno GPU capable of running Android games at 144 frames per second, with support for 10-bit HDR built-in. Additionally, it offers both 5G and WiFi 6E connectivity courtesy of the company’s FastConnect 6900 system.

At the end of last year, Qualcomm and Razer released a Developer Kit that was designed as a showcase of the G3x’s capabilities. The device featured a 120Hz, 6.65-inch OLED display, four-way speakers and built-in controls. If we had to take a guess, the Razer Edge 5G will hew closely to that prototype. In the teaser it shared today, Razer showed off enough of the Edge 5G to reveal it will feature a design that’s a tad more refined than the last Razer device to bear Edge branding.

According to Verizon, the Android handheld can play games locally, in addition to streaming them from the cloud and consoles. That puts the Razer Edge 5G in an interesting spot between and . The former is a dedicated cloud gaming device and costs $350, a hefty price for its limited capabilities. The Steam Deck is more expensive but can run games like Elden Ring, Stray and Hades natively. And if you already own those titles on Steam, you don’t have to pay for them again. What the Steam Deck doesn’t have is 5G connectivity, and that’s something that could make the Razer Edge 5G an interesting option when it’s released. Razer, Qualcomm and Verizon promised to share more information about their collaboration on October 15th at .

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Game

The $350 Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld will arrive in October

Logitech is hosting an event today, during which it’s revealing some new products for gamers and streamers. Details on one of those leaked in advance as a preorder page for the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld went live on Amazon Canada a bit early. The company has now officially unveiled the device.

According to the listing, which was spotted by Lbabinz on Twitter, the Cloud Gaming Handheld will arrive on October 18th and cost $400 CAD. Logitech’s press materials, on the other hand, say the product will ship next month. The system will also be available from Amazon in the US, where it costs $350 USD, or $300 if you preorder. That’s fairly pricey for a dedicated cloud gaming handheld, especially considering that a Nintendo Switch OLED is the same price (and can be jailbroken to run cloud gaming services).

Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld

Logitech

The specs and design align with leaked details from late August. You’ll be able to stream games in 1080p at up to 60 frames per second on the seven-inch, 450-nit touchscreen. The handheld, which is a customized Android tablet housed inside a controller unit, offers haptic feedback, gyroscope controls and remappable buttons. It has the inputs you’d expect, including a D-pad, face buttons, dual thumbsticks, bumpers and triggers, along with option buttons on both sides, a G button and a Home button.

Because you’ll be streaming games for the most part, the Cloud Gaming Handheld doesn’t require a ton of processing power. That’s one likely reason why Logitech has been able to limit the weight to 463g, or just over a pound. For comparison, the Nintendo Switch weighs 0.88 pounds (398g) when the Joy-Cons are attached and the Steam Deck weighs around 1.5 pounds (669g).

The device runs on an octo-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G. It has 4GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 64GB of storage, which is expandable through a microSD slot. Logitech claims the battery will run for up to 12 hours on a single charge. If the power’s off, it should fully recharge in around 2.5 hours through a USB-C cable.

There are stereo speakers and a stereo microphone, which offers echo canceling and noise suppression. In addition, the device has Bluetooth 5.1 and USB-C headphone support, as well as, thankfully, a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld

Logitech

Logitech and Tencent (who built the device together) collaborated with Microsoft and NVIDIA to ensure there’s native support for Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce Now. You’ll be able to use the Steam Link app to play games from your PC remotely, while the Xbox app supports remote play from consoles. Logitech notes that users will be able to download apps from the Google Play Store. So, you should be able to access the likes of Google Stadia and Amazon Luna, as well as social media apps, Android games and streaming video services such as YouTube and Netflix (you can use the device in tablet mode).

“What we wanted to do was challenge ourselves to build a device that was perfectly optimized for cloud gaming,” Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of Logitech Gaming, said in a statement. “This meant precision controls – similar to a high-end Xbox controller – a large HD screen, amazing battery life and lightweight design so players can enjoy long gaming sessions, without any compromises.”

Update 12:12 PM ET: Added more details from Logitech.

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Game

Logitech’s upcoming gaming handheld may have been revealed in a leak

Earlier this month, Logitech announced that it was working on a handheld gaming device with Tencent that would “support multiple cloud gaming services” including NVIDIA’s GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Now, it looks like we’re getting our first look at the device thanks to prolific leaker Evan Blass. We also know that it should be called the G Gaming Handheld as Logitech has listed that name on a recently published landing page

It looks just like many other gaming handhelds, with left and right joysticks, a direction pad, ABXY buttons, a home button and shoulder pads, along with a custom “G” button. Another image also shows what looks like the home screen, with icons for Google’s Play Store, Xbox, GeForce Now, Steam, Chrome and YouTube. We also see icons for user profile, messages, settings and power.  

You could compare the G Gaming Handheld to a Steam Deck or even Nintendo’s Switch Lite in terms of the basic design. The cloud gaming aspect means it’s likely to have similar capabilities to a smartphone, albeit with a more convenient form factor and gaming-centric UI. As such, it’ll compete not just with other handhelds but numerous controllers designed for smartphones like Razer’s Kishi V2, the 8bitDo Pro 2 and SteelSeries Stratus+ — so it’s level of success will depend strongly on the price. 

There’s no word yet on when it’ll arrive, but as mentioned, Logitech now has a landing page in place, so you can submit your email address to get more details. 

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Logitech and Tencent are making a cloud gaming handheld

Logitech and Tencent have announced that they’re working on a handheld cloud gaming device. They’re blending the Logitech G brand’s hardware knowhow with Tencent’s software prowess. According to a landing page (where you can plug in your email address to receive updates), the device is tentatively called the Logitech G Gaming Handheld.

The system should come to market later this year and it will “support multiple cloud gaming services,” Logitech said. Tencent and Logitech are working with the Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce Now teams at Microsoft and NVIDIA, respectively, so expect the handheld to support both of those platforms at the very least.

Whether the device actually goes on sale as scheduled remains to be seen, given the ongoing supply chain crisis that’s making production difficult for just about every electronics company. However, many cloud gaming services are accessible through web apps on phones, so the device likely wouldn’t need a ton of processing might. It probably won’t need to be as powerful as, say, the Steam Deck. Using lower-power components that aren’t super difficult to come by could make it easier for Logitech and Tencent to actually build the handheld. In any case, we should find out more about the device in the coming months. 

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Computing

The GPD Win Max 2 gets handheld gaming right

If Valve and Nintendo thought they were the only kids on the handheld gaming block, they’re in for a surprise. Shenzhen GPD just revealed the Win Max 2, a handheld gaming laptop packed with power.

The keyword here is “laptop.” The GPD Win Max 2 is different from all other handheld gaming devices thanks to its classic clamshell laptop design. Only this laptop fits easily in two hands for gaming.

image from Shenzhen GPD

The mini laptop features a full QWERTY keyboard, as well as two thumb sticks, a direction pad, and four command keys, much like an Xbox or PlayStation controller. The mouse pad sits above the keyboard, between the thumb sticks. While this approach is unconventional, it actually works. The Win 2 Max is small enough and, let’s be honest, the mouse pad won’t get much use on this machine.

In any case, there’s enough functionality packed into this tiny design to set it above your standard Steam Deck or Onexplayer device. You could even take a break from gaming to punch out a quick email or post to Twitter on the GPD Win Max 2.

The 10.1-inch screen seems to pop out of the device thanks to its ultra-narrow bezels, giving it over 90% screen real estate. It can reach resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 at 299 ppi. Corning Gorilla Glass protects it against cracks and drops. Best of all, it’s a touchscreen display and you can use most styluses with it.

But a gaming machine is nothing without power, and the GPD Win Max 2 comes packed with AMD’s latest eight-core Ryzen 7 6800U processor and Radeon 680M graphics. That will get you 60 frames per second on most games. You can choose between 16 GB and 32 GB of RAM, and from 1 TB to 2 TB of SSD storage.

There’s also an Intel version of the Win Max 2, packing a 12th gen 12-core i7 processor and Intel Iris XE graphics. Although the Iris XE isn’t as power-efficient as the Radeon 680M, it performs well and handles 4K games somewhat better. The choice comes down to which chipmaker you prefer.

The GPD Win Max 2 uses a large PC-grade turbo fan for cooling and draws heat away from the processors with a dual=pipe system. GPD claims it has an intelligent heat monitoring system on board to control fan noise, but that is yet to be seen under real-world loads.

Add on Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, four super-linear surround-sound speakers, dual vibration motor, a backlit keyboard, and a 2-million-pixel ultrawide web cam, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a powerful little machine. A 67 watt-hour battery powers the entire thing for up to five hours.

All of this comes packed inside an all-metal body, which GPD calls “Apple-style.” It is made with aluminum-magnesium alloys and the bottom half has comfortable resin grips for your hands. There are also plenty of ports, including SD and micro-SD slots for photographers, and USB-C slots.

The GPD Win Max 2 isn’t on sale everywhere yet. GPD is currently crowdfunding the production of the Win Max 2 on Indiegogo. It’s hoping to reach $20,000.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for handheld gaming power now, check out our review of the Valve Steam Deck or the mini Playdate.

Editors’ Choice




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Game

Ayn Odin review: The most comprehensive retro handheld yet

There are many, many ways to play retro games today. Plenty of those options are handhelds. But you might be surprised at how many of these devices feel jury rigged, cheap or often both. Worse, there’s a mishmash of open-source emulators running on a variety of operating systems to deal with, and all of the hardware is different — in short, emulation is a bit of a wild west sometimes.

What’s more, even the better handhelds usually only emulate up to around the PS1/N64 era. If you’re a fan of the GameCube or PS2 libraries, for example, the venn diagram of handhelds powerful enough that are well made and reasonably priced is effectively three separate circles. Maybe not for much longer thanks to the Odin by Ayn.

Yep, I hadn’t heard of ‘em either, but in the retro gaming scene that’s not uncommon. The Odin was launched on Indiegogo and instantly drew a lot of attention. The premise is simple, to bring the aforementioned venn diagram together and make a more cohesive retro (and even modern game) handheld.

The Odin gets off to a good start by effectively mimicking the Switch Lite form factor. Though the Odin’s screen is a shade larger (5.9 inches compared to Nintendo’s 5.5) and, at FHD, higher resolution. Anecdotally, most people who’ve held both find the Odin more comfortable and even prefer the latter’s analog sticks and D-pad which is not bad for a company new to the space.

Close up of the left-hand side of the Odin retro gaming handheld.

James Trew / Engadget

I’m personally a fan of how all the controls are laid out. The analogue sticks are far enough away to not interfere with the buttons/D-pad but close enough to allow for quick, comfortable switching between them. I also like that the sticks are a little shallower than on other controllers which means you don’t need to push as far to get the movement you need.

There are three different models of Odin available: Pro, Base and Lite. The Pro is the one we have been using and is, as the name suggests, the higher specification version. We’re not talking bleeding edge internals here, but with a Snapdragon 845 and an Adreno 635 doing the processing and graphics we’re looking at something similar to a high-end smartphone from a couple of years ago. Bear in mind that the Switch using an older chipset: It’s, as the saying goes, what you do with it that counts, right?

The differences between each model include battery size, SoC, storage, RAM and, of course, price. Here’s a cheat sheet for those interested:

It’s worth noting that if you’re only worried about the storage, all Odin’s come with a microSD card slot so you can expand the available memory that way if you prefer. As for battery capacity, the 6,000 mAh model I tested was good for around six hours of play on systems like the PS2/GameCube and, given everyone seems to test this game, about half that time with something like Genshin Impact.

This puts the Odin in an interesting spot. You can certainly pick up a very good retro handheld/emulator for around $100, but likely it won’t be able to play nearly as many games from as many platforms. Alternatively, you could spend over $1,000 on something like the Aya Neo which likely trounces the Odin but then is also four times the cost. Then there’s the Steam Deck which is a whole other beast, but a viable alternative if you want to play non-retro games also. It’s also a shade pricier than the Odin, starting at $400, but obviously not a direct competitor. All to say, the handheld market is kind of all over the place.

The Odin runs on Android. If that induces an internal groan, we get it. Android and gaming have a complicated history. But arguably Android makes the most sense for a device like the Odin. Not least because the hardware is comparable to that in a high end phone, but Android is also well catered for in the retro world, with most of the emulators having mature ports. Oh, and Android does have good games of its own, so you can play those natively too.

As much as the Odin is aiming to feel like a complete console rather than a single-board PC in a box running apps, there’s a bit of a problem. It’s almost impossible to do it any other way without going full remake a-la Analogue. That said, setting up the Odin was about as painless as this process gets. Pick the emulators you want, install them, load up on games and you’re more or less good to go. Often the physical controls are either already mapped or just take a minute to do so.

The new retro handheld from Ayn, called the Odin, is pictured with a close up of the main buttons and analog stick.

James Trew / Engadget

Ayn did give the Odin its own launcher which sorta-kinda makes it feel more “consoley” and less like an Android tablet, but honestly the version it ships with is clean enough that you can just stick with that or use one of the popular frontend apps like Launchbox (pictured in this article) or Dig. Thankfully there’s almost no extra app cruft on the Odin out of the box and, despite being Android 10, there’s support for Project Treble which should help keep it feeling current for longer.

If your interest is mostly around the NES/SNES or Sega equivalents, you can simply install RetroArch and kick back. There’s nothing unusual here for those most favored or classical consoles so I’ll focus on the more advanced systems.

For many it’s the promise of portable PlayStation 2 and GameCube emulation that will be a lure here. The PS2 is notoriously tricky thanks to the console’s custom processor. But the emulation community is industrious if nothing else and there are some pretty good options now. I tested out some of my favorites from my physical collection, but obviously had to start with Rez, just to see how it looked on that display.

Sure enough, it looked pretty fab. My left thumb is way less nimble than it was 20 years ago but the Odin barely flinched at serving up the game. I may have heard a few minor, almost imperceptible glitches in the audio, but they were infrequent and possibly something that could be remedied in the emulator settings rather than the hardware.

This experience was pretty much the same with any other title I tried. I spent time taking Raiden out for a crawl in the rain in Metal Gear Solid 2. While over in GTA: San Andreas, CJ’s hopes of going straight were just as futile (complete with slightly wonky physics) as I remembered. Final Fantasy XII’s dramatic opening sequence ran as smooth as it ever did and Reks’ brave naivety was almost glitchless bar some light cracking on audio here and there.

A close up of the shoulder buttons on the Odin retro gaming handheld.

James Trew / Engadget

With the GameCube you might reasonably expect a little more success given that historically it’s been easier to emulate. That does broadly seem to pan out. It might take a little fiddling around to get things optimized, but F-Zero GX can run at full speed and there are only a few games that are more performance hungry than that. You can also get some good results for Wii emulation here too but that will depend on a title’s use of Wiimotes among other things.

Of course, everything at this level is still some sort of crapshoot. Who knows how the game was programmed or how it used the hardware it was built for. There are already several videos on YouTube that dutifully go through a bunch of titles for all the systems to show how they run. There’s also a thriving subreddit that has spreadsheets dedicated to listing which games are (or aren’t) compatible and how well they perform on the Odin.

There are two areas where you don’t need to worry about compatibility: Android gaming and streaming services like Stadia and Game Pass. There’s not a lot to say here really other than the Odin was born to do it, so long as your internet can keep up. (WiFi performance is comparable to my phone, for what it’s worth.)

Some brave folks out there have even tried running 3DS and even Switch games all with varying degrees of success. Ultimately what you’re buying with the Odin is a bespoke gaming handheld that merely has the capability to run these apps, there’s no real promise of performance (or really control thereof). 

The new Odin retro gaming handheld is shown running Launchbox software.

James Trew / Engadget

But it does seem to have been particularly well designed. The active cooling seems to be a bit of a secret sauce, making sure you not only get the most out of the processor but for extended periods without any fear of damage. Some might wonder, why not simply get an old handset with similar specification and slap it in something like Razer’s Kishi. You definitely could do that, but the Odin’s cooling isn’t the only perk, its screen is bigger and 16:9 rather than superwide like a phone. Plus… it’s about not feeling like you have a phone in a clamp, that’s kinda the point.

It’s not a headline feature, but Ayn did see fit to offer two ways of playing the Odin on a TV/display. There’s a micro HDMI port on the top which is probably the simplest way to get your game on a bigger screen. I will say though that I didn’t have a great time with it as neither of my TVs have a great gaming mode, so latency was an issue. There is also DisplayPort connectivity via the USB-C connection.

If you really want to consolize the Odin, you can do so via a $50 “Super Dock” accessory. With this, you can slide the Odin into the mount much like a Switch and pick up where you left off on the bigger screen. Along with USB, there are also dedicated ports for both GameCube and N64 controllers should you have any of those lying around. It also adds in the option for ethernet and USB-C/SATA for things like SSDs (more modern games take up a lot more space after all).

Of course, given it’s running Android, you can do anything with the Odin that you can do with a phone or tablet. That means video streaming or music listening and even productivity. Though, logic might suggest that running things in the background or, heaven forbid, allowing notifications is only going to do bad things to your gaming experience. But you could.

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Game

Qualcomm Made a Video Game Handheld That You Can’t Buy

Qualcomm has created a new video game console called the Snapdragon G3x. The dedicated gaming device is custom-built for cloud gaming and lets players stream games from their consoles or PC. There’s only one catch: You won’t be able to buy one.

The Snapdragon G3x is a developer-only concept. Qualcomm and Razer teamed up to make a dev kit available to any developer who’s interested in playing with it. According to Qualcomm, the device is not currently planned for a market run. The company has created similar products in the past with mobile hardware dev kits.

It’s a shame that users won’t be able to get their hands on one (for now), because the Snapdragon G3x sports some impressive specs. Off the bat, it features a standard ABXY controller layout with a screen in the middle. The screen itself is a 6.65-inch OLED display that can operate at up to 120 Hz. Like the Nintendo Switch, the device can be plugged into a TV. Though unlike the Switch, plugging it in will allow users to play games in 4K HDR.

Other design features include a vent on the back of the controller, “advanced haptics,” and a four-way speaker. The device also maps touchscreen commands to buttons, allowing users to play mobile games without a touchscreen.

Most notable is that the game is built with streaming in mind. It features a front-facing 1080p60 camera, which players could theoretically use to stream a game and their camera from the same portable device.

As a proof of concept, the Snapdragon G3x certainly shows off some creative ideas. It’s just yet to be seen if those ideas will make it to market eventually. With the Steam Deck coming, we’re seeing an increased interest from users who want portable consoles that can play games too powerful for Switch. Qualcomm’s idea of a cloud gaming-centric handheld certainly solves that problem, though it wouldn’t necessarily let players take any game on the go easily. Perhaps that would change if the device ever does make it to the public.

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Game

Razer made a Snapdragon G3x handheld to show us Qualcomm’s gaming vision

Since Nintendo put games in consumers pockets with the Game & Watch, gamers have been seeking the ideal mobile gaming machine. From the Nintendo Game Boy to the Sega Game Gear on forward to the NVIDIA SHIELD and the Nintendo Switch, we’ve been seeing the same basic idea played over and over again. The next entry in this device category comes from both Qualcomm and Razer. On one hand we have the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform, a “new category of gaming devices” – on the other, we have a device built with all the best bits of that platform in mind, made by Razer.

Qualcomm wants to show off the powers of their latest generation of processors and tech, so they’ve created a “platform” that manufacturers can use to jump off into a futuristic gaming device with minimal effort. Razer is the first to step up to the plate with efforts that’ve resulted in the Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit.

The “developer kit” in this case is a piece of hardware – made only for developers. It looks like a handheld gaming device, running Android, but it’s not made for the average consumer. This isn’t like that time NVIDIA made the first SHIELD. It’s more like every other time Qualcomm has made a “developer kit” device so that developers can get their hands on the technology that Qualcomm hopes they’ll demand from manufacturers in the near future.

The dev kit

The Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit is a handheld gaming device with a 6.65-inch Full HD+ OLED display with up to 120hz refresh rate and 10-bit HDR. This device is powered by the Snapdragon G3x chipset and represents all the key features and capabilities of the Snapdragon G3x gaming platform.

This device has 5G mmWave connectivity (with the right SIM card, of course), USB-C for accessories, USB-C compatibility with DisplayPort (to HDMI) with support for 4K HDR output (on a larger display).

There’s a front-facing FHD 1080p webcam (5MP), and a set of hardware and touchscreen controls. You’ll find the XYAB control buttons on the right, along with a hardware start button, and both Select and Menu on the left with a cross directional pad. There are two joysticks, and two front-facing speakers supported by Snapdragon Sound Technology.

Inside are “advanced haptics” from Lofelt – with a dedicated Haptics Engine so you’ll feel all the rumbles. This device has support for all the most updated Qualcomm-developed gaming features like Qualcomm Game Quick Touch (touch refresh), Qualcomm Game Color Plus, Qualcomm Game Smoother, and Qualcomm FastConnect Subsystem with WiFi 6E.

How can I get one?

If you’re not a game developer, you might want to be asking: Why should I care about this device and this gaming platform? Qualcomm wont be releasing the Developer Kit to the general public. Instead, developers will get the device so that next-generation high-powered mobile games can be developed, and next-generation game streaming experiences can be envisioned.

Qualcomm’s plan here is to get the developer kit into developer hands, to get developers to create awesome games that work best on this platform, and then, the most important step: manufacturing. Manufacturers – gaming brands, smartphone makers, and others, can create final consumer hardware.

So one day we might have a proper gaming device that uses all the best parts of the Snapdragon G3x Gaming Platform so the everyday consumer can play at home and on-the-go. Until then, there’ll be Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 devices in early 2022 for your not-just-gaming-focused smartphone pleasure!

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Game

Analogue’s Pocket handheld starts shipping on December 13th

After , the Analogue Pocket finally has an exact release date. In an the company sent to those who pre-ordered the handheld console, Analogue said it would start shipping the device on December 13th. It expects to deliver most pre-orders by the end of the year.

If you expect you won’t be at home to receive your shipment during that time, Analogue recommends you email it about holding your order. In that case, your Pocket will ship sometime around January 3rd. Lastly, if you want to make any last-minute tweaks to your order, the final day to do so is November 28th.

Getting the Pocket to market has been something of a journey for Analogue. When the company first announced the , with its ability to play Game Boy, Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Color and Atari Lynx games, it promised to deliver it sometime in 2020. But that was before the pandemic, and like with many other electronics, supply chain issues forced Analogue to adapt.

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Panic’s Playdate handheld is delayed until 2022

Valve’s isn’t the only handheld that won’t ship in 2021. Panic has the launch of its to 2022. The company announced the delay Thursday, attributing it to a “critical” battery issue it discovered late in the process of manufacturing the first 20,000 production units of the console. “We made the difficult, expensive call to replace all of our existing batteries with new ones from a totally different battery supplier,” said Panic’s Cabel Sasser.

Panic estimates those units will now begin making their way to customers sometime in early 2022. If you reserved a Playdate prior to today’s announcement, your spot in the pre-order line won’t change as long as your order remains active.

If there’s a silver lining to the news, it’s that Panic claims the new power cell features “much better” battery life from what the previous one offered. Moving forward, future units will ship with a new . That won’t change how the final product performs, but it’s something Panic says it was forced to do due to the ongoing chip shortages that are affecting everything from GPU prices to .

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