ESPboy2 (short) review

I am one of the very few people who own an ESPboy2 and would love to share my experience here.
(it is not reviewed or moderated by anyone before posting here)


The dimensions:

The biggest difference here is that the ESPboy2 comes in an acrylic case compared to the open PCB circuit case of the original. IMHO, this gives it a more polished look.

ESPboy2 is quite thinner compared to the original ESPboy. It is almost half the width of the original and also a bit shorter.

The new dimensions of the ESPboy2 make it more comfortable for longer gaming sessions.


The buttons:

The buttons have changed from the earlier spring loaded brass screws on top of soft squishy buttons to more traditional clicky buttons.
Hear the difference in the video below-

The buttons on the original ESPboy sometimes made it hard to click down if you didn’t keep the spring at a proper height. I personally had to adjust and re-adjust this several times with the help of the developer to get the proper contact when pressing down the buttons.

There are no such problems in the ESPboy2 due to the professional case and buttons.


The hardware:

The biggest, and the best change here is that the programming port is exposed on the outside of the body making it very easy to connect a microUSB cable to program it. The ESPboy2 also charges from this port.
For the original ESPboy, you needed to unscrew the case and shove a very thin microUSB to the port just below the screen. This was difficult since the dpad buttons would get in the way, and many others like myself, had to modify the cable to get this to work.

Another welcome change is that pin headers are now clearly marked at the top of the console making it very easy for budding makers to start hacking the console.

The sound comes out from the right of the console through a specially designed cavity and IMHO sounds louder & better that the original ESPboy.

Due to the open case nature of the original ESPboy, it is easy to apply torque to them in a incorrect way. I accidentally broke the power slider switch on the original ESPboy due to this.

In the ESPboy2, the buttons are recessed in the case making it harder to damage/break the buttons as above.


The software:

All software designed for the original ESPboy is 100% compatible with the ESPboy2 and vice-versa.
With the introduction of ESPboy AppStore 2, navigating, downloading new apps/games to your ESPboy becomes a breeze.
The catalog is ever increasing and the developer is always hard at work to bring even more features to the new AppStore.


Conclusion:

Pros-

  • Slimmer, tidier, more professional look
  • Clicky face buttons
  • Easy access to the programming port

Cons-

  • The clicky buttons may some times get a bit hard to press down on

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Your ESPboy2 has the same problem mine (an earlier revision) does; the battery is slightly thicker than the case section that goes around it, so the back of the case bulges out in the middle.

When I get a chance, I’m going to cut a thin sheet of plastic to the same shape as the battery case section, to add in to fix this.


I don’t like that you can’t adjust the speaker volume with the unit assembled. With the original ESPboy, I was able give access to the volume control by drilling a hole in the back panel. I don’t think this is possible with the ESPboy2.

1 Like

Thanks for the review. Let’s remember that this is just engineering samples to understand usability and all the concept. On the other hand, 100% ideal is not reachable but i believe all together we could find an optimal compromise. )

yes, a fine thing could be to find good buttons. Not too clicky / hard but not too much soft too… It was a suject about that on Arduboy forum if i remember well as it’s not an easy thing to find the good ref…

it’s really not easy to find right buttons)
i tested about 50 of different and now there are two versions:

with soft feeling buttons, the overall thickness of the ESPboy2 is about 4mm less and i think i’ll order 100 preliminary ESPboy samples with this kind of buttons


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