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The RetroKAI Magic Screen for Sega Game Gear

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Magic Screen from RetroKai

Retrokai Magic Screen for Sega Game Gear

The Magic Screen for the Sega Game Gear is an all in one solution for upgrading your console. 

Developed after the McWill screen and using a very different install method, this screen is easy to install and comes with everything you would need to get started.

What makes the RetroKai Magic Screen different

Like other screens on the market this uses TFT LCD’s.  

What makes this screen stand out?  The minimal removal of parts and the ease of install.  RetroKai uses an easy install PCB to make installing easier for most. There are test points on the PCB to ensure you have made connections. 

This kit is the only kit that works with an easy install out of the box for both VA0 and VA1 revisions.

A nice addition not seen before are the instructions written on to the PCBs.

Asy install
Magic Screen Instructions
Sega Game Gear screen comparison
This is to compare what you get when compared to other manufacturers. *Parts Removed Include the Screen and Light Tube

Installing the new Magic Screen Display

Installing the screen couldn’t be easier. You simply remove 3 components, install the small PCB solder 2 wires to the brightness weel, one wire from T10 to T11 and all that’s left is to connect it all up, easy.  The only caveat to this is simply that you need some soldering experience and a good iron with a thin tip to unsure you get a good connection.  Working on the front screen pins can be tricky, but this easy install at least makes a good job of finding the right ones.  All other screens make you count the number of pins along from the first “active” pin. (the first 3 or 4 don’t actually do anything)  

One thing the easy install does well is have tester pads to ensure you have a good connection to the pins. These tester pads are also on the main PCB.  This makes for a really easy install and an easy way to troubleshoot if you are not getting the required results.  

The board requires you to install with guides. It means you don’t need to know the names of the connections (DO, D1, D2, etc), for me this is a very nice touch and great for a beginner.

One thing that shows off just how easy the install is, is how the instructions are printed on the PCBS, I think this really shows the thought that went in to the R&D of the product.  

Equipment needed to install the screen:

  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Flux
  • Nippers for cutting 
Removing components from Sega Game Gear
Removing unneeded components helps with overall weight of the console as well as giving more room for wires
RetroKai Magic Screen Install

Magic Screen compatability

Currently the screen is compatible with 2 versions of the Sega Game Gear, the VA0 and the VA1, also known as the 2 ASIC and the 1 ASIC boards.  You can find the model by looking at the board. The board in this post is a two ASIC. You can tell by the 2 chips on the right side of the board.

Again: this board is compatible with both board types out of the box.

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Instructions and guides for installing Magic Screen Kit

Link to the official install instructions

VAO Instructions

VA1 Instructions

This, a video from Retro Dodo of YouTube, shows the screen off well.  The shell was a custom design for him as well.

How do I use the Screen?

Magic Screen Features

Where can I Buy a RetroKai Magic Screen?

Currently only available on the RetroKai Online Store from what I can find:

https://retrokai.store/en/accueil/35-magic-screen-lcd-replacement-for-game-gear.html

What else does RetroKai Have for the Sega Game Gear?

RetroKai have a good range of replacement items for the Game Gear.  2 versions of a sound bord along with an intresting LED backlight to replace the Flourescent tube

My Thoughts

The RetroKAI Magic Screen
Overall
3.8
  • Features
  • Ease of install
  • Build Quality
  • Availability

Summary

The RetroKai Magic Screen is a great screen and the best all in one solution for beginners/intermediates. An all-in-one package comprising of the Magic Screen  PCB, easy install board, TFT screen, screen brackets, flex cable and even some wire to boot.  This takes the worry out of “what else do I need”, the only extra parts needed will be an iron, flux, solder and some wire cutters.

The screen is a TFT screen and the colours look as good as those of the competition using the same technology. The easy install works across both revisions of the common VA0 and VA1 boards.

In terms of features this board has all the same features you would expect when compared to other screen upgrades

Pros

  • Works on both VA0 and VA1 Models
  • Vibrant colours
  • Product support through Discord channel
  • Easy install board included in the package
  • Few components to remove
  • 7 display modes

Cons

  • No IPS support
  • No VGA out compatibility
  • The easy install board can be tricky to use for beginners

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