Portable Gamecube Screen Comparison Review

by the NWR Staff - March 21, 2002, 6:44 am PST

Interact and Intec both have put out portable monitors for Gamecube. How do they stack up?

With two portable screens out for the Gamecube, how is a person to decide which one is the best one? In most instances, you would have to buy both screens, test them out and then return one to the disgruntled Toys R' Us employee you bought it from. Fortunately, I have tried out and tested both, so that you only have to go through the process of buying one such screen and go home a happy portable Gamecube player.

The two screens available right now are the Interact 5.4" mobile monitor and the Intec 5" Monitor. What's the difference between the two, besides the .4" less screen space on the Intec model? Read on to find out.

First up is the Interact Mobile Monitor. It comes in two colors, Indigo and Black, to match your particular color Gamecube. Its 5.4" screen is adequate for most games, such as Super Monkey Ball and even Pikmin, with its small characters. Darker games suffer a bit from the screen, however. Games like Star Wars: Rogue Leader or Batman Vengeance are almost too dark to even give a chance to play. Other then the darkness factor, I did have some issues as well with color bleeding and washed out colors, which also detracted from play.

The construction of the monitor is pretty sturdy. The monitor itself is nice & thick and hinges to a plastic bracket that you slide on the top of the Gamecube unit, which locks into place on the sides of the cube. Then all you do is flip up the monitor, turn on the power switch on the side of the monitor and you're set. There were two things that bothered me a little bit about the construction of the Interact model, however. First off, I've heard of a few broken hinges and other defects with the Interact model. My monitor was no exception. Straight out of the box, the left hinge was busted. It still operated fine, but did need holding in place to open and close it. My second gripe was the power switch. If you are planning on taking the Interact monitor on a car trip, make sure that you turn off the monitor after you close it, or even better, unplug it from the cigarette adapter. When you turn off the cube, the monitor keeps on running until you turn it off, so it could potentially drain your car batteries.

The attached speakers on the unit work nicely, though at the louder volumes the sound does get a tad garbled at times. It’s not too much of a big deal but it is noticeable. Games definitely sound a bit better through the headphone jack. If you're playing with another person, there is an included jack splitter that allows two people to use the same headphone port.

Other minor features on the monitor include AC and Car adapters, A/V input for connecting another device such as a DVD player or another game system and brightness and volume controls. Each feature serves its own purpose well and doesn't really have that many other shortcomings. The only other gripe I had with the unit was its needing two separate plugins for wall connections. If you're going to be near a wall outlet, chances are there's two open outlets there, so it's not too much of an issue.

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