The Revo K101 Plus is a Nintendo GameBoy Advance clone that takes the stance of playing a single platform on cloned hardware, rather than emulation on much newer hardware, something adopted by many of the Android based devices flooding the marketplace.
So with the current climates GameBoy Advance prices floating between £25 to £40 in the UK, what can the Revo K101 bring to the party to convince consumers into paying the devices higher price of $79.99? Well hopefully we can online the pros and cons over the original device (excluding the Nintendo GameBoy Advance revisions such as the GameBoy Advance SP and Micro).
Revo K101 Plus Specification
Firstly let's look at the Revo’s hardware specification and features to see how they compare to the original GameBoy Advances.
- CPU: 16.67 MHz
- DRAM: 50 MHz
- Graphics: Dedicated GPU (60 fps)
- Sound: Dedicated SPU
- LCD: TFT 3” screen (960x480 max resolution)
- Battery: 3.7v 890mAh Li-Ion (rechargeable)
- Flash Cart: K-Card (Micro SD card supported)
In comparison to the original GameBoy Advances hardware we can see that the biggest overall improvement is the Revo’s screen: GameBoy Advance Hardware Specification. The other improvement is the internal, rechargeable battery, a clone of an old Nokia phone battery that allows charging via USB.
Without a doubt the biggest benefit of the Revo K101 is the supplied K-Card, a flash cart that supports a Micro SD card, allowing the ability to play homebrew and game rom dumps.
Additional benefits of the Revo K101 are in the form of features that the hardware and OS has to offer, outlined below.
- Official Nintendo GameBoy Advance game cartridges supported
- Support for replica GameBoy Advance game cartridges
- Official and Unofficial GameBoy Advance link cable support (K101-K101, K101-K1 GBA SP, K101-GBA)
- Charging via mini-USB cable
- 3.5 mm headphone jack for audio output
- 2.5 mm AV cable TV video / audio output
- In-game menu
- Real Time Clock (RTC) functionality
- MP3 playback functionality
- Text reading functionality
- JPG viewer
- In-game guide support (ANSI/UTF-8 .TXT)
- GameBoy Advance cheat support
- LCD backlight level control (5 dimmer levels)
- LCD scaling and image format modes
- Front facing speaker
- Micro SD / SDHC support (up to 32 GB)
- Function shortcut keys (*+L for in-game menu, etc)
- Built in interrupt controller for cartridge hot swapping
- Game preview picture support (based on internal GameID)
- Ability to change the power-on and background images
- Multiple language support
- Zipped ROM file decompression
The list of functions both software and hardware based are much broader on the Revo in comparison to the original GameBoy Advance.
Some of the features that stand out over the original Nintendo hardware, mainly the multiple image modes that scale, unscale the picture and the various backlight modes.
The standard items supplied with the Revo K101 in the box will equip you with all items required to start playing your favourite GameBoy Advance titles, with the exception of a Micro SD card which you will need to source.
- Revo K101 Plus Handheld Console
- Revo K101 K-Card (Flashcart)
- USB Cable
- Wrist Strap
- USB UK Power Adapter
- Micro SD Card Reader
The Revo K101 is supplied with a bespoke flashcart named the K-Card. The K-Card was developed specifically for the use with the Revo K101 and will not function with any original Nintendo hardware. The K-Card is shaped from an original GameBoy Advance cartridge mold and sits flush in the device. The card itself essentially functions as an expanded SD Card reader for the Revo K101 to access rom files stored on your Micro SD card, so essentially is not flashcart.
A variety of roms have been tested using the K-Card and on the whole the support and playback has been fantastic, many games save state functionality works and games play with slowdown. However there have been other reviews of the device which have outlined a handful of roms that have minor issues playing and 2 to 3 games that would not function at all.
Besides playback of games via the K-Card, original GameBoy Advance games, along with a handful of replica carts seem to play well, but a downside over original hardware is that GameBoy cartridges are not supported.
Overall the Revo K101 is a relatively sturdy device and has a pretty high level of support with some great advantages over the original Nintendo GameBoy Advance range of devices such as AV output, screen modes, backlight and additional software modes and features.
So the ultimate question is do you buy a Revo K101 or an original GameBoy Advance device… Well if price is the ultimate factor and you already have games in your collection, the original hardware might be the way to go. That being said, if you're looking to explore the range of titles available on the platform and would benefit from the hardware and software advancements then the Revo K101 is a fantastic choice over other similar priced devices on the market.
To get your hands on a Revo K101 in the UK, head over to the K1 store here: http://www.k1gbasp.com/.