Thursday, May 27, 2010

flatmush reviews the A330

Thanks flatmush and Dingoonity!

My Dingoo Technology A330 Review

OK, lets start my review on this beast now it has arrived (massive thanks to Dingoo Digital USA).
I'm going to take an advantages/disadvantages approach.
Looks a bit better, though some of that could be firmware modification. On my A330 the screen is squashed against the case in such a way that when buttons are pressed it distorts the LCD and makes it look awful.
The DPAD is easier to get diagonals on, but overall feels worse to use than the spongy a320 DPAD. The buttons are too sticky and bad to play any serious game with and even make it hard to operate the menus.
You can really only use this device with the optional controller (which I'll come to later).
The triggers are better than on the a320 no doubt about it, but they're not really a big selling point and they are still clicky micro-switches.
The shape of the device does make it nicer to hold than the a320, the PSP style is actually an improvement hard as that may be to believe.
Chipset Upgrades
This is where the unit actually shows some promise, the jz4740 seems to reliably clock higher than in the original a320 which seems to indicate that it's fabricated at 160nm rather than 180nm, the RAM is of the faster type similar to most a320 machines and obviously there is double the amount of it which is good.
The problem is that the unit still functions like an old a320 since the native OS doesn't really take advantage of the new features, though Dingux does now support the added ram.
The added wireless chip doesn't look too promising but we'll see.
The speakers seem to be higher quality to the ones in the A320 and don't sound as tinny, however they're pointed away from the user so in order to hear anything you have to blast very loud sounds at anybody around you while playing the game which means they're not useable in the presence of others which makes them pretty bad.
Not really tested this feature extensively but the 42" LCD in my house can't read the composite signals correctly (it uses composite for the Wii) so I'd say there are potentially some issues. I have heard reports that the TV-Out does work though.
Wireless Controller
The wireless controller is an advantage to this device, it makes up for the shoddy controls when you can use the console as a small portable games console, however the controller DPAD is over sensitive which makes it hard to navigate the menus.
Build Quality
The build quality of the machine is quite low, some of the buttons on my device are put on diagonally and looks terrible and pressing the button puts strain on the screen causing pressure points on the screen and changing the colors, which is terrible and makes the machine pretty useless.
The packaging seems much nicer and more robust, though they don't seem to understand what static bags are for since all the cables were shipped in them.
My Opinion
The machine is nicer to hold and has some good features, but the new problems introduced make it unusable. Unless a higher quality version is released then this machine can't be used for what it's sold for and you'd be better saving $30 and getting the original a320.
Things that need to be fixed
Pressure on the screen, due to shoddy build quality.
Speakers pointed away from the user.
Awful buttons need to be fixed.
The DPAD needs to have a central pivot.
The firmware needs to be updated to take advantage of the new hardware.


  1. So I take it the A330 is a fail.

  2. Dingoo Tech A330 with Controller Foreign or Over Seas Orders = $130

    Dingoo Digital A320 = $78

    The A330 represents a 66% increase in price for a product that is arguably worse?


  3. I'm still confused about the relation between Dingoo Digital and Dingoo Technology. Even the paw logo is gone...