1. Another World

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    Former Staff

    Jan 3, 2008
    <font color="red">GBAtemp.net "mini" review of the...</font>

    <font size="5"><font color="#000080"><b>GAME BOY micro</b></font></font> <img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/00_gbmicro_review_62710_header.png" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Also Known As: GBA Micro, GB Micro, Micro, Gameboy Advance 2, GBA2
    Manufactured by: <a href="http://micro.gameboy.com/" target="_blank">Nintendo</a>

    Review written by Another World 6/27/2010

    <b>Review Contents & Index:</b><ul><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a">Introduction</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a1">- Official Description</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a2">- GB micro Features</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a3">- GB micro Incompatibilities</a> </li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b">Contents and Packaging</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#c">Unit Design and Build</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d">Impressions & Final Thoughts</a></li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="a"></a>Introduction</div>
    Welcome to the GBATemp “mini” review of the Nintendo GAME BOY micro. This review will focus on the system itself and include hands-on impressions from a first time GB micro user. There will be no compatibility testing of any sort; this is simply a review of the system.

    The GB micro, released in 2005, was the last system to be produced in the Game Boy family. Nintendo introduced the GB micro as a “smaller” Game Boy Advance supporting a backwards compatibility with region-free GBA software titles. The system lacked Game Boy and Game Boy Color backwards compatibility as well as Nintendo e-Reader support. However, the system features a small form factor and portability not previously found in any Nintendo handheld. Nintendo further included, arguably, the best backlit LCD in the Game Boy Advance series complete with adjustable brightness levels. As the GB and GBA link cables were not compatible with the GB micro, Nintendo released a <a href="http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/retail/micro.jsp#wireless" target="_blank">GB micro specific wireless adapter</a>, <a href="http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/retail/micro.jsp" target="_blank">a GB micro-to-GB micro adapter</a>, a GB micro-to-GBA adapter, and redesigned the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Play-Yan" target="_blank">Play-Yan</a> multimedia expansion kit to fit the GB micro. Every GB micro, excluding the Special 20th Anniversary Edition, features removable face plates which allowed users to customize their Nintendo system like never before.

    <a name="a1"></a><b>Official Description:</b>
    Smaller, sleeker, and brighter – the Game Boy micro has all the power to play your favorite Game Boy Advance games, in an incredibly small size.

    Put it in your pocket, wear it on your wrist, hang it on your back pack, it can go with you anywhere. It’s great for those moments when you have a little extra time to spare – waiting for the bus, traveling, or just standing in line – the Game Boy micro is ready when you are.

    The brilliant, backlit screen is super-detailed making all your games – or Game Boy Advance Videos – look great, day or night, anytime and anywhere!

    <a name="a2"></a><b>GB micro Features:</b><ul><li>Dimensions: 50×101×17.2 millimeters (2×4×0.7 in) </li><li>Weight: 80 grams (2.8 ounces) </li><li>Processor: 32-bit 16.8 MHz ARM processor (ARM7TDMI) </li><li>Screen: 51 mm / 2 inches , backlight with adjustable brightness. </li><li>Resolution: 240×160 pixels </li><li>Battery: built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, up to 5 hrs of battery life with highest settings or 8 hrs with default settings. </li><li>Headphones: standard 3.5mm headphone jack</li></ul><a name="a2"></a><b>GB micro Incompatibilities:</b><ul><li>Original Game Boy game packs </li><li>Game Boy Color game packs </li><li>Game Boy or Game Boy Advance Game Link cables </li><li>Game Boy Advance Wireless Adapter </li><li>Game Boy Advance e-Reader </li><li>Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance cable </li><li>Game Boy Printer </li><li>Game Boy Camera</li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="b"></a>Contents and Packaging</div>
    <b>Contents:</b><ul><li>1x GAME BOY micro</li><li>1x AC Adapter</li><li>1x Carrying Pouch</li><li>1x Manual (Multi-lingual)</li><li>1x Health and Safety Precautions pamphlet (Multi-lingual)</li><li>1x Correction sheet</li><li>1x Nintendo Power advertisement</li><li>1x GBA "game" advertisement</li><li>1x Registration pamphlet</li></ul><b>Packaging:</b>
    This "mini" review is of the limited edition Special 20th Anniversary GAME BOY micro. The box features graphics and colors unique to this version. The unit will be discussed in generic terms and not as a limited edition.

    The contents ship in a low gloss, thin, cardboard box. The box is adorned with an image of the included unit and the term “GAME BOY micro” on the front. Each of the sides includes the name of the unit and the name of the system, except for the bottom side which has an official product serial number. The back of the box contains the official description, information about the unit, the official Nintendo seal, and a bar code.

    The box is sealed on both ends by approximately a 2 inch clear circular adhesive. The box contents are secured by a thin cardboard insert which separates the manuals from the AC adapter and the unit itself.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/01_gbmicro_review_62710_box_front.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/01_gbmicro_review_62710_box_front-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/02_gbmicro_review_62710_box_back.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/02_gbmicro_review_62710_box_back-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/03_gbmicro_review_62710_box_open.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/03_gbmicro_review_62710_box_open-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>
    The GB micro ships in a thin Styrofoam bag which adequately protects it from rubbing against the thin cardboard insert during shipping. The included documentation and advertisements ship in a clear plastic bag, the AC Adapter also ships in a clear plastic bag.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/04_gbmicro_review_62710_contents.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/04_gbmicro_review_62710_contents-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/05_gbmicro_review_62710_contents_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/05_gbmicro_review_62710_contents_2-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>
    The AC Adapter is specific to the GB micro with a wide unit-side male plug. The AC Adapter is built of the same high quality as other official Nintendo chargers, contains Japanese characters, and utilizes foldable metal prongs. The included manual contains information on usage, game pack insertion, LCD brightness adjustment, battery replacement, and more. The carrying pouch is larger than the GB micro and made of soft felt like material. The carrying pouch has two drawstrings at the top which adequately secure the GB micro while in a pocket or bag.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="c"></a>Unit Design and Build</div>
    <div align="center"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/06_gbmicro_review_62710_unit_front.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/07_gbmicro_review_62710_unit_back.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    The GB micro is encased with a shiny metallic shell, which is cold and smooth to the touch. The directional pad, A, and B buttons are plastic with ink screened markings and letters. The shoulder buttons are highly polished metallic chrome in a wedge shape, the L and R letters have been stamped into the metal. The volume and power buttons are flat black plastic. The Select and Start buttons are highly polished metallic chrome, the words “SELECT” and “START” are stamped into the metal. The earphone plug and AC Adapter slot are surrounded in flat black plastic, as are the very edges of the game pack insertion slot.

    The back of the unit contains information about the model, a serial number, and the Nintendo contact information. The left side displays characters which act as instructions for the volume/LCD brightness controls. Adjusting the LCD brightness simply requires the user to hold the L button while pressing the volume button UP or DOWN. The top left of the rear shell contains a hole surrounded by flat black plastic, this hole can be used for securing a wrist-strap or cell-phone style charms.

    The bottom right area of the front of the unit has 3 holes pressed through the metal for the internal speaker. The system outputs in Stereo via the headphone jack but in Mono when using the internal speaker.

    The LCD screen is centered in the unit and features a finer dot pitch than the original GBA-SP LCD screen. This superior LCD screen results in crisper visuals which are more evenly lit.

    <div align="center"><a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/08_gbmicro_review_62710_gba_gbmicro.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/08_gbmicro_review_62710_gba_gbmicro-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/09_gbmicro_review_62710_gbmicro_pouch.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/09_gbmicro_review_62710_gbmicro_pouch-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>
    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="d"></a>Impressions & Final Thoughts</div>
    The GB micro is a real treat to own, the small form factor makes it the most portable official GBA compatible unit to date. The LCD screen is incredibly bright and well lit, making it usable in outdoor situations. The reflective plastic cover of the front faceplate aids the unit outdoors but is not enough to reflect direct sunlight. The internal speaker is loud enough for most gaming environments and the bottom placement of the headphone jack keeps cords out of the way.

    The unit feels surprisingly heavy to the touch, more than expected based on its small form factor. The metal is top quality and carefully manufactured. The entire thing feels very solid and designed to last.

    The buttons are incredibly responsive and exceptionally well suited for the small shell. The directional pad and buttons are approximately the exact same size as those found on the DS Lite and DSi XL, making this unit comfortable to play.

    The instruction manual states that the internal battery should be recharged at least every 6 months. While charging, the unit should take up to 2 and ½ hours to fully charge. The unit will function while charging, although total charging time will be increased. The official life of the battery is 500 recharges after which the battery may only store 70% of its initial power. When the unit is powered-up the Select and Start buttons may flash “blue” in color, which indicates the unit has an adequate charge. If the buttons blink “red” the unit requires a recharge. While recharging the indicator lights will be “blue” in color and turn off when the unit is fully charged.

    The unit is small enough to fit in any pocket and not so small that it is difficult to hold. The traditional “pinky finger shelf” gaming position is best suited for this unit. However, it can still be comfortably gripped by the two middle fingers.

    The system is region free and can play official game packs from around the world. I have used an M3 Perfect Lite with the GBA sized shell since I acquired my GB micro, as well as a Flash2Advance GBA Flash Linker. Both kits perform as expected and I have yet to experience any problems. Official game packs and Flash Kits slide smoothly into the game slot with a bit of "grip," inserted games feel secure in their bottom loaded slot.

    The seating of the faceplate can allow small particles of dust to make their way onto the LCD screen. Removing the faceplate of the GB micro is relatively easy for most systems. However, the 20th anniversary edition does not include the required tools and is officially described in the included literature as having a non-removable faceplate. Owners of the limited GB micro can make use of a paperclip in-place of the official faceplate removal tool to aid “dusting.” Users who wish not to remove the faceplate will find that dusting under the faceplate becomes a balancing act of prying up the plastic faceplate just enough to allow airflow from a can of compressed air, while trying not to snap the faceplate without the aid of a 3rd hand.

    The carrying pouch is larger than the GB micro which means the unit will slide around in the pouch. The pouch is just thick enough to prevent light scratching from other items which make their way into your pocket (money clip, keys, cell-phone, etc). The pouch is large enough that it doubles as a carrying case for some of my other systems. I’ve used it for the Dingoo A320, Dingoo A330, MD MAX, and my Creative MP3 player. It has performed very well and at times I have wished for a second pouch.

    On occasion small fonts, found on various games and Homebrew menus, may be harder to read than on the larger LCD Nintendo handheld system. Some Role Playing Games, for example, may have the user holding the GB micro inches from their eyes. GBA fonts were traditionally well spaced and large to begin with, as a result I found that they transferred very well to the smaller LCD screen. For the most part I have experienced few issues and have enjoyed many games and Homebrew files on the GB micro.

    As the system is no longer produced, interested users will want to browse eBay or used video games stores. The most common issue with a used unit is a scratched faceplate. It is relatively easy to find a new or used replacement faceplate in 2010, and users should not allow a few scratches to deter them from owning this gaming system.

    I would recommend this system to any gamer that is on the go and wants something small with a high pick-up-and-play value. A used system can be purchased for as cheap as $25 if the user takes the time to shop around and bid on multiple auctions. New systems always pop-up around the winter holiday seasons, which is the best time to start shopping if you simply must have a new unit.

    This system was awarded GOLD based on what it does and not what it does not do in comparison to the GBA. The lack of GB/GBC backwards compatibility was a design decision and thus could not be considered towards final grading. This unit was designed as a very small, very portable, fully functional game system for Game Boy Advance software, and it performs exceptionally well in regards to this functionality.

    <b><font color="green">Pros:</font></b>
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Portable form factor
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Bright, high quality, LCD screen
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Metallic case
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Full sized directional pad and buttons
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Works great with GBA Flash Kits
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Feels solid and well constructed
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Includes a carrying pouch
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> GBA software backwards compatibility

    <b><font color="red">Cons:</font></b>
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Dust can get under the faceplate
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Internal speaker is Mono
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> No GB/GBC backwards compatibility
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Requires additional adapters for co-op GB micro-to-GB(A) micro game play

    <div class="reviewbreak"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/up/award_gold.png" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <a href="http://micro.gameboy.com/" target="_blank">GB micro Web site</a>
    <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_Boy_Micro" target="_blank">GB micro WIKI Article</a>

    <!--sizeo:1--><span style="font-size:8pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->This "mini" review was written for GBAtemp.net ONLY. The article and included photos are the property of Another World & GBAtemp.net

    Special thanks to Sax for letting me know about the Free "Prince Paul Presents Horror City 1995" LP, the theme music of this "mini" review!
    Special thanks to Rain for getting me excited about the GB micro!

    If you see this "mini" review on any other site please let <a href='http://gbatemp.net/member.php?name=Another World' target=_blank>Another World</a> know by <a href="http://gbatemp.net/index.php?act=Msg&CODE=4&MID=111084" target="_blank">PM</a>.<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
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