As a gamer, sometimes you’ll get dragged away from your TV and home consoles. Dreading the thought of life away from whatever game you’re currently invested in, GAEMS decided to cover your ass with the Vanguard; a portable gaming centre. With its smart, protective design and decent tech under the hood, this station is everything a gamer on the go could ask for if you’re willing to pay the price.
The first thing you’ll notice is its massive size. It’s designed like a briefcase and weighs 7.7 kilograms, but it’s relatively light considering its size. Not a single part of its design goes to waste, either. Inside, it sports a 19-inch 60HZ LED display with a 720p resolution. In layman’s terms, this thing looks great and there is almost no lag. While it would be nice for the screen to be 1080p to make it feel like a true upgrade over the M-155, it’s not something you’ll really notice if you’re gaming on the road. There’s a remote control packed in as well as internal speakers, but you’re better off using headphones, as the sound causes a bit of a rattle effect. You won’t notice that issue if you’re on the go, or like to go to LAN parties, though, and that’s the demographic they’re targeting here. The whole bundle costs $349.99 USD, and the price makes sense, but if you’re not traveling much, a handheld device like a 3DS or a Vita will entertain you as much as your home console and will only cost a fraction of this device.
If you’re taking a $500 console on the road with you, it’s got to be protected, and you won’t get much safer than the Vanguard. The entire exterior of the unit is a hard plastic shell. Inside, you can place your console on a soft mat and strap it in for the ride, but the process of buckling in your PS4 is pretty cumbersome. The straps are really difficult to work with, but they are also integral to the unit’s design. I had a lot of issues getting everything to place properly; quite annoying, as I wouldn’t recommend keeping your console inside the case while playing. Since there’s a limited amount of space, it could easily overheat. I played for about half an hour to test out how much strain it will put on the console, and I can say my PS4 started heaving like it was running a marathon. But the screen is large enough to set up a little mini living room wherever you are, so the only issue you’ll have is putting everything back when you’re done.
This really is top-of-the-line, and the best in class for what it does. The price tag is a little steep, but it’s not a waste of money with the added protection for your console, mixed with its pretty high-performance rate. I also have a hard time recommending it for everyone for that same reason. But for events or long stays away from your home TV, this is the very best option.