Playdate features an entirely unique design with a black and white display, d-pad, A+B buttons, and a crank on the side that’s designed to be similar to an analog stick.
Oh yeah, the crank! No, it doesn’t power the device. It’s a flip-out rotational controller that puts a fresh spin on fun. Some games use it exclusively, some use it with the d-pad, and some not at all. pic.twitter.com/XYW97nLZKK
— Playdate (@playdate) May 22, 2019
The black and white 400 x 200 screen is not backlit, but it features a “crystal-clear image” and high reflectivity, which Panic says is “an aesthetic like no other.”
On the surface, it might be tempting to compare the screen to, say, the Game Boy. But Playdate’s display is quite different: it has no grid lines, no blurring, is extremely sharp and clear, and has much higher resolution. It sounds odd to say, but: it’s truly a “premium” black-and-white screen.
The pocketable gaming system, which is going to come in a bright and inviting yellow color, will feature pre-installed games from developers like Zach Gage, Shaun Inman, Bennett Foddy, and Keita Takahashi.
Here’s a peek at one: Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, from Keita. It’s fun and funny. pic.twitter.com/0Ibwqr5k3I
— Playdate (@playdate) May 22, 2019
At launch, there will be 12 games included with the system, delivered one per week for a few months. Panic says the idea is to give gamers something to look forward to. Most of the games are going to be kept secret until launch, and additional games will be added in the future.
The Playdate comes equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a USB-C port for charging, and a headphone jack.
Playdate is going to cost $149 when it becomes available for purchase in early 2020. Those interested in purchasing can sign up on the website to get notified when it’s ready for purchase. Stock will be limited at launch, so Panic recommends signing up.
We picked up one of the new 23.7-inch UltraFine Displays and thought we’d check it out to see if it’s worth the $700 price point.
The new 4K display looks quite similar to the prior-generation 4K and 5K UltraFine displays with a black plastic body with relatively thick bezels and a black aluminum stand. Like prior models, it can be VESA mounted if you prefer.
It’s larger than the original 4K UltraFine display as it measures in at 23.7 inches instead of 21.5 inches, but it features a 3840 x 2160 resolution rather than a 4096 x 2304 resolution like the first model. That’s still considered Ultra HD, though, and qualifies as 4K.
Though this display has a 4K resolution, it’s not meant to be used at the full 3840 x 1260 resolution given its 23.7-inch display size because everything on the display would be super small. Instead, it’s meant to provide retina clarity when downscaled to a more reasonable resolution like 1920 x 1080 or 2560 x 1440, which is what we have it set to.
Along with the larger display size, the new UltraFine Display features two Thunderbolt 3 ports instead of a single Thunderbolt 3 port, which means you can daisy chain two of these monitors together. We didn’t have a second on hand, but used daisy chaining with a different 4K LG display, which worked well.
You can also connect other Thunderbolt 3-enabled accessories directly to the display if preferred, and there are also three additional USB-C ports. Both a Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C cable are included. There’s no webcam, but there are built-in stereo speakers available, much like the prior version of the LG UltraFine displays available from Apple.
The display is crisp and vivid, rivaling the Retina display on Apple’s Macs, and we liked the high gloss finish despite the fact that it tends to add more glare. With 500 nits brightness, it’s fairly bright, and because it has P3 wide color support, all the colors are rich and true to life.
All in all, we came away with a positive impression of this display. Since you can daisy chain two of them together, it might be nice to have two of them if you can given the smaller size and the $700 price point, which is half of the price of the 5K UltraFine display.
With the 4K LG UltraFine Display having been replaced, Apple may also have a replacement for the 5K UltraFine monitor on the horizon. The 5K monitor is sold out on Apple’s site right now, though the listing for it hasn’t been removed entirely.
Apple is also planning to get back into displays with rumors suggesting a 31.6-inch 6K display is in the works and set to be released alongside a new Mac Pro that’s coming this year. Unfortunately, Apple’s 6K display is rumored to be super pricey, so it may be out of range for a lot of Mac users who will instead need to rely on other options like the UltraFine displays from LG.