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Game Boy Advance SP
  GBAHardwareNA  
  opened by paleface at 19:23:20 09/16/05  
  last modified by paleface at 03:50:10 09/24/05  
  paleface [sys=GBA; cat=Hardware; loc=NA]
           
The first version of the GBA had problems: it felt like a big bar of soap, and you could only see the screen well when holding it under very strong, direct light. Nintendo kicked these problems out the door with this redesign of the system; the SP, as far as I'm concerned, is one of the most brilliantly designed systems in all of gaming. The snappy, compact shape fits easily in the pocket; the folding design protects the screen when the system is closed; it can play all GB, GBC, and GBA games; it has a rechargeable battery with decent (~10 hour) charge life; it has an illuminated screen for easy viewing in dark conditions; the d-pad and buttons are very sharp and clicky.
 
What can I possibly find to complain about? I suppose if I had my druthers it wouldn't have shoulder buttons, but we're kind of stuck with those from the initial GBA design, so. Hmm... Oh, well okay, one thing is that it can be hard to see the screen at certain angles in strong sunlight, which seems odd to me, since for instance the GBC was at its best in bright sunlight. Apples and oranges, I suppose. People say that the screen is dim compared with the screen on the DS (see entry 776), but it's never seemed dim to me--except under direct sunlight, as I said.
 
Initially, I was concerned that the narrow, vertical design would induce hand cramping, as opposed to the nice wide horizontal design of many handhelds, but it hasn't turned out to be a problem for my little hands at all. Thank you for not crippling me, GBA:SP! I love you!
 
  paleface 19:26:45 09/16/05
           
Download added: gba_side.jpg (73216 bytes)
  "Closed side/bottom view, with the power switch pointing upward, and a shoulder button visible."
 
Oh! I forgot one thing that sucks: it doesn't have a regular headphone jack. You have to plug in a little adaptoid from Nintendo, and connect your headphones to that. That's lame, and shouldn't have been done; Nintendo seems to have recognized that, as their upcoming Game Boy micro will have a regular headphone jack.
    
downloads:
· gba_closed.jpg
· gba_face.jpg
· gba_gbab_screens.jpg
· gba_side.jpg
· handheld_faces.jpg
· handheld_profiles.jpg
 
references:
· Game Boy Advance SP (backlit) (GBA)

 
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