Video Gamer Play // Hands-on with the Subor Z-Plus: AMD tech tested in new ...
Hands-on with the Subor Z-Plus: AMD tech tested in new Chinese console
AMD processors combining x86 CPUs and Radeon GPU technology have defined the current era of console gaming, but what if these small form factor boxes were wide-open devices, capable of running Windows 10 and PC games? And what if the under-powered Jaguar CPU cores were replaced with Ryzen instead for improved processing power? Last month, Chinese manufacturer Zhongshan Subor unveiled its Z Plus machine, which ticks all of those boxes – and I’ve spent the last week experimenting with an early production unit.
To date, all we’ve seen of the Z Plus is a render of the casing, some opportunistic motherboard shots and some ‘guerrilla’ photos of the machine on display at last month’s ChinaJoy gaming event in China. First impressions of the actual unit in hand are very pleasant indeed – the packaging is slightly larger than a PS4 Slim retail box, and much smaller than the Pro. Breaking the three seals and opening up the package reveals hardware that is very console-like in nature: stacked vertically, the Z Plus is taller than the PlayStation 4 Pro but a good chunk thinner.
It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into its cooling too – vents are liberally deployed across the sides, rear and bottom of the unit while peering inside seems to reveal a very large heat sink. The design is somewhat more futuristic and industrial than the Sony and Microsoft consoles, with more than a nod given to its intended roles both as a PC and as a console. A brace of USB 2.0 ports are on the front, but on the back we get dual HDMI 2.0s, four USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, Toslink, analogue audio and the power input. The Z Plus uses the same ‘kettle’ cable used by PS4 Pro and has a similar integrated 100-240v multi-voltage PSU.
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