Design very similar to the original
3 usb ports
Joypad and USB mouse supplied
The long awaited TO500 she has arrived!
After the other mini and maxi, now it's the turn of the A500 mini, what do I think? Is it worth it?
As with all minis and these re-editions it must be said that they are not real computers, they are software emulators.
What does a software emulator mean? well, to start with, the board inside is very similar to a Raspberry with its own operating system in which an emulator is installed. In this case we are talking about Amiberry, an emulator able to run Amiga 500 software and not only since it can also emulate other types of processor and therefore other versions of Amiga.
The difference between a hardware emulator lies in the fact that the latter physically recreates a processor and more hardware components with all its strengths and weaknesses of the original machine, in addition to the differences in the management of signals / processes that are managed simultaneously while in an emulator follow the logic of a program and start from the beginning of the code to the end and so on.
Why not all FPGAs then? The cost would be very high and often the end user does not look for a machine faithful to the 99%, also because at this point it would be easier and cheaper to find a real Amiga (if we are talking about a low-end). The purpose of these minis is to be able to review those games and maybe relive those emotions or show our children or friends how we grew up, what we played with etc.
Nostalgia! this is the key word that drives these productions.
But now let's talk a little about this car and leave aside our emotions.
All in all I don't really like minis because not having a working keyboard they reduce them to a console, it is true that you can put a USB keyboard, but at this point I lose a little the magic of having a real computer at hand and it looks more like an emulator with a nice case. I remind you that we can very well do these things with a PC or even with a Raspberry, so where is the difference?
The main ones are really a well-made case and similar to the original as to be so cute that only he is a beautiful object to exhibit, "yes, but the cost for this ornament is not cheap ..", you say.
Its other characteristics are to have a beautiful (well, it depends on taste) and above all simple front-end.
Let us always remember the purpose of these reproductions, are to be able to load the games in a simple way, save them and continue without complicating your life. To be able to pull out this A500, connect the video, the joypad and play immediately, but of course also to unplug 2 cables and put everything away! without wasting time and in very little space, do you know how big an Amiga500 is?
What do we find in the box?
The package is well done, inside we find this beautiful miniature 500 with under 2 boxes containing the mouse and the joypad plus an HDMI cable and the microUSB cable for powering the console. There is no USB 5V power supply and you will have to use the USB cable with a power supply that you will have at home or connected to a PC or other USB socket (including the TV) that can power this hardware.
List of preloaded games (25)
- Alien Breed 3D
- Alien Breed: Special Edition '92
- Another World
- Arcade Pool
- ATR: All Terrain Racing
- Battle Chess
- California Games
- The Chaos Engine
- Dragons Breath
- F-16 Combat Pilot
- Kick Off 2
- The Lost Patrol
- Paradroid 90
- Pinball Dreams
- Project-X: Special Edition '93
- The Sentinel
- Simon the Sorcerer
- Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe
- Stunt Car Racer
- Super Cars II
- Titus the Fox
- Worms: The Director's Cut
Immediately ready, with only 8 seconds we have the user interface and the games are loaded in a few seconds.
Possibility to save 4 snapshots for each game / program.
Upload external files in whdload format via USB
Good equipment and quality of the mouse and Joypad that can also be used in a PC.
Emulates different Amiga versions, even AGA games.
The audio output only goes through HDMI, if you connect it to a monitor you need a splitter or you won't hear anything.
The hardware is not very performing for future upgrades / mods but for the functionality of the machine they are fine.
Only 3 USB ports. Connecting the mouse, the Joypad and a pendrive does not remain any port for the keyboard.
No native support for the Workbench, it can be loaded with other geek systems.
The answer you've all been waiting for, is this A500 mini worth buying?
Watch also the video of the review where you will see with your eyes how simple and fast it is to load a game.
To my personal taste I would have preferred the version with a working keyboard, the minis don't drive me crazy.
They recently updated the Whdload package and now there is no longer that problem I encountered in loading the games, they all start (or at least all the ones I tested).
The price just released in my opinion was too high for what we can do with this mini. If you are not in a hurry I would wait for it to go down a bit, already in the first 2 weeks it has dropped by 10 €.
Unlike The C64 maxi, I can't tell you that at the current price (129 €) it's a good buy, but if you want to play Amiga games without fiddling too much on the PC or pulling out an RB and connecting power, joystick, etc. Or if you want a nice little object, simple and quick to connect with a mouse and joypad then YES, this the A500 mini is for you.