After hearing rumors about a possible upcoming “lite” iteration of the Pimax Portal, I reached out to Pimax for confirmation.
And just a few hours later, their website had an official listing for the upcoming product model. I guess that answers my question!
As one of my favorite handhelds of 2023, I’m excited to see a more budget friendly model added to the Portal family.
So let’s all take a look at what will be different about this new iteration.
Table of Contents
The new lite edition of the Pimax Portal will feature the same Snapdragon XR2 chipset. Which, from our own testing before the public release, is incredibly powerful for emulation.
This is enough to comfortably run Android games, as well as handling game consoles up to Game Cube, Wii, Playstation 2, and Switch.
It will also feature the same 5.46 inch LCD as the base model of the original Portal.
What is different here is that they only make mention of up to 2k resolution, where the original Portal was a 4k device.
That 4k only really made sense for VR use, when you had the screen a couple inches away from your eyes.
So to see them drop that in this emulation focused model makes a lot of sense.
The Biggest Changes
The disappointing detail in the Portal-Retro is in what has changed and not changed in the controllers.
We still have the exact same controller configuration, which means no full dpad. Most people do not like that.
But Pimax has also opted to do away with the detachable controller concept, something that made the Portal quite unique and special.
As we can see in the new images, they have not created a new shell for the Portal-Retro that would make it all one solid piece.
They simply secured the controllers in place, which means we probably could have just had the detachable controllers on this model with little difference for production.
The lack of a new shell design is equally disappointing when you see that they just plugged up all of the camera locations.
Pimax really skimped on the Portal-Retro in this lack of redesign.
But hey, we are still getting a budget version without the VR functionality that many would never use.
So overall, we are still happy to see a new lite edition released, even if it could have used a little more work.
Pimax Portal-Retro Specifications
- 5.46 inch LCD, 2K output (2560 x 1440)
- Snapdragon XR2 CPU
- Non-removable Controllers
- Active cooling
- No cameras, Not-compatible with Portal View VR headsets
The Portal-Retro is now available to order on the Pimax website for only $299usd.
Compare that to the introductory model of the original Portal coming in at $368usd. So you can save $70 if you have no need for the VR functionality.
And the new Portal-Retro is not a pre-order, they are ready to go right now! The website says that Pimax estimates a one week order fulfillment window.
Seeing how little they actually did in terms of a redesign, it makes sense that they could have these ready quick. And they obviously got everything ready to go before announcing it.
The Pimax Portal is really a pretty incredible piece of tech, and a really fun device to play with.
If the VR functionality or the pricetag were reason to skip on this one before, now’s the best time to finally get your hands on a Portal and see what the hype is all about.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.