While Panic is small Playdate handheld won’t make its way to early adopters until the end of this year, iFixit got the chance to look inside the device early. “Unfortunately, no games came with it, so a teardown was about all it was good for,” iFixit said, for those who might be jealous, the company got a unit before they did.
By taking the handheld apart, iFixit found a console with mostly modest internal components. The Playdate has a 180 MHz CPU supported by 16 MB of memory and 4 GB of flash storage. Everything is powered by a 2.74 Wh battery with about 25 percent of the power cell capacity found in the iPhone 12.
But what you’ll want to know more about is Playdate’s signature folding crank. According to iFixit, Panic and Teenage Engineering have embedded a cylindrical magnet in the shaft of the part. That magnet works in combination with a Hull effect sensor to activate a crank input. It is a simple yet effective design that should last a long time. “One thing this pendulum won’t do? Drift. There’s no wiper, spring, or sensor surface to wear out,” the company says, referring to the Nintendo Switch’s signature controller. problem.
While it’s no Framework laptopIt’s clear that Panic and Teenage Engineering designed the Playdate with at least one eye for repairability. A charming iFixit sticker found upon opening the device said “breaking”, not removing the components would void the warranty. Many of the internals that would fail first, including the battery and headphone jack, were either modular or easily accessible. Components like the display and USB-C port will be more of a challenge to replace, but the Playdate looks DIY-friendly enough for you to enjoy a modding scene like the Game Boy Advance.
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