Supaboy Revisited

GohanX

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We've had a few threads on the Supaboy in the past, and they've had various issues that have prevented me from buying one before. Well, lolifoxgirl picked up one a few weeks ago, and liked it well enough, which prompted me to give it a shot. $67 with free shipping on Monoprice, which is a place that takes returns no questions asked if I didn't like it.

Well, I got the thing today. The box had a copyright date of 2015 on it, I don't now if Hyperkin has done multiple revisions of this or just two, but this should be whatever the latest is.

I have to say, I quite like the thing! It's not perfect, but I'm having a lot of fun. It's worked with everything I've thrown at it, including regular games, my Super Everdrive, Starfox, I even plugged in a Super Gameboy 2 just to see if it would work (it did.) Here are my quick impressions, positive and negative:

+The thing is big, but it's actually quite comfortable. My old man hands are getting picky, and something not comfortable will hurt after a while. The buttons also feel nice.

-The dpad is really stiff. Not terrible, and certainly nicer than some of the generic SNES pads I've used, but not the same as the original. After a couple hours of play it feels like it's loosening up though. Lolifox said his had the same issue, but loosed up after a few days of play.

-The screen on this isn't great. It's certainly better than a Nomad or any other system you could have bought back in the day, and everything is easily visible, including small text. I can tell that it uses composite internally, as I see rainbow artifacts here and there. This is nitpicking though, it's not bad at all, and is a 240p screen at least. I wish I could turn the brightness up a tad.

+The sound is fantastic. The speakers themselves are meh (hey, it's a portable) but the actual playback is spot on. I was worried about this since some clones and emulators have issues with this. I haven't tried headphones yet.

+SNES carts are held very securely in the slot. SFC games are a little loose but the cart lock mechanism (which isn't really necessary on SNES carts) will hold them in place. Very nice for them to think of it, without that switch japanese carts would be floppy and unreliable in the portable. I actually thought my Everdrive didn't work at first before I thought about the switch.

+The Super Gameboy actually works pretty well on this. It's nice to be able to play the few SGB enhanced games on an actual portable like Donkey Kong. There's no point if you have an actual Gameboy nearby for non-SGB stuff, but if you don't have one around and get the itch for some Mario Land it's an option. The size on the screen is a little smaller than a Gameboy color.

So in conclusion, I love this little thing. It's not a perfect device, but it's the best way to play handheld SNES, I've never been happy with any SNES emulator I've played on a handheld, but this thing works nicely.
 

HMG

H = Heinously, M = Massive, G = Gonad,
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I prefer the Retro Duo Portable V2 because it's physically smaller, somewhat more portable. It has nearly the same positives and negatives as the Supaboy described above though.
 

lions3

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Glad you like it man. Yeah, I'm curious what revisions they made. I got one for my brother as a present when it first game out and I just remember that I wasn't thrilled with the build quality. Sounds like things have improved.
 

Electric Grave

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I have both the Retro Duo and Supaboy...all things considered, I think they are both OK, it's nice to leave them by the SNES carts, people look and go all damn I can try this shit now! The D-Pad on the Supaboy is better, the screen on the RetroDuov2 is a little bit better the V1 is worse. The Retro Duo looks cooler but it's not smaller by much, just a bit.

The fact that they use carts makes them awesome, using them as a console is a waste of time, shitty signal from both.

I still prefer my JXD for handheld console games and emulation in general, I know it's emulation and whatever but I get it running just right and it looks so awesome, no worries about shaking shit and, I can save state.
 

GohanX

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I prefer the Retro Duo Portable V2 because it's physically smaller, somewhat more portable. It has nearly the same positives and negatives as the Supaboy described above though.
I looked only that, but I read that the Everdrive didn't work with it, which is a deal breaker.
 

Electric Grave

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I prefer the Supaboy, I bought mine after I already and the Retron so if the Retron was that great to begin with I wouldn't have gone with the Supaboy...until another comes along. If only they could get the screen right, sorta like a Gameboy Advance SP, maybe a bit bigger rez so everything fits perfect. PSOne screen is 240p native...I think? Something like that would be ace, I hang unto some in case I ever start my plans on paper...lol
 

GohanX

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On mine the only games that aren't full screen are the games that don't have full resolution anyway, like Starfox and pretty much every Capcom game.
 

Electric Grave

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yeah but even then you can tell the screen and signal aren't really ligned up you know what I mean? It's not like a NOmad screen or a Game gear screen, although all TFT, those screens are relative to the pixel count, these units aren't, and of course it's understandable, it's a clone product, it does well enough for the price...

...I have this GPWiz that looks insane, the screen is 320x240, the D-pad and buttons suck however, a real shame 'cause it looks so amazing. I tried fucking around with the controls to no avail, it's the size of a micro, a bit bigger, really cool for NES and PCEngine or some MAME as is though, not for fighting games at all.
 
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GohanX

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Yeah, it's the fact that it uses a really shitty composite signal with a bad comb filter that is also prone to interference when the battery gets low. The screen is the weak point of this thing.
 

lolifoxgirl

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Just weighing in here, the supaboy seems to be a solid piece of kit. I am sure the retroduos got worked out the same way from early revision shit quality. The supaboy is big, and that doesnt bother me. Its a nice around the house machine, I use mine while I watch basketball. If you were looking for something to use with your home carts, its worth considering.
 

sparksterz

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There are at least 2 revisions of the SupaBoy. I specifically sought out a second version when I purchased mine. My biggest complaint was that the buttons were very stiff to actuate. Otherwise, not too bad for the price, and much better than any other clone system I've used. That being said, I've not used the RetroDuo Portable.
 

NeoSneth

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-Did they fix the sound issue? I had one of the early units, and it had a high pitch buzz when you turned up the volume. Caused by poor shielding. headset did not help.

-It could not register more than two buttons at a time. diagonal and a button press didn't work.


Lotta people bought these with lofty expectations and trashed it. I still think it's a great unit, but i couldn't do much with it because of the issues stated. Great color scheme and form factor.
 

lolifoxgirl

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had my first bit of weirdness tonight: was playing a game, and when i yanked the power cord out it died. The system was real hot too, when i turned it back on with no power it gave a smell and sound. Uh oh.
 

lolifoxgirl

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I wasnt that drunk, had a great time last night. Something is up with this supaboy though.
 

GohanX

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-Did they fix the sound issue? I had one of the early units, and it had a high pitch buzz when you turned up the volume. Caused by poor shielding. headset did not help.

Mine doesn't have a high pitch buzz, but it does have a little bit of humming. You can't really hear it unless there is no sounds being played, but it is there both on the headphone and RCA outputs.
 

fenikso

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Rise from your grave!

Just got one of these for free from work (copyright 2016) and I have to say I'm very impressed so far. I don't know why it amuses me so much to play Super Game Boy on this, but it does, and it's kinda awesome.

The composite only screen and the super stiff D-pad, which you guys are saying will get better with play, are the only downsides so far.
 

Thierry Henry

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At one stage I had both the Supaboy and Retro Duo Portable. Still own the latter.

I prefer the RDP given the versatility (with the necessary converters) in the number of different carts that are compatible with it, including NES, Master System card and carts, Mark III, Genesis/Mega Drive, GB, GBA.
It serves no practical purpose, but even the 32X functions as a pass thru device on the RDP.
 
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Just bought mine yesterday and it plays and sounds very good, only the stiff Dpad is something that bothers me a bit for now, especially the down direction... enjoying it so far.
 
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