Atari Lynx II

This is Atari’s second version of their Lynx handheld, which I purchased new in around 1999 or 2000. I don’t actually know what the deal is with this Lynx – I’ve seen some with black boxes, some with white boxes (like mine), and I think the white box models were probably either the last ones produced, or they’re European models. Feel free to comment with the correct info – I’m kinda curious myself.

Anyway, my Lynx has barely ever been played and so is in as perfect condition as a “used” system can get. I just don’t have very many games for it, and the ones I do have aren’t very good.

The Lynx is a huge system for a handheld and it’s easy to see why it failed in the marketplace (the Lynx I was even bigger). It also required six AA batteries. Still, despite its size and heft it is surprisingly comfortable (if not very portable), especially for someone with big hands like myself:

One of the annoying things about the Lynx, which you can tell a bit from this picture, is that the screen scratches ridiculously easily. I have done little more than take my system out of the box and insert/remove it from its carrying case a few times and still my screen is almost entirely covered with micro-scratches. Not very noticeable when playing but ugly with the system turned off.

Here’s the carrying case, btw – it’s huge!

Probably the best and worst thing about the system is the LCD screen itself. Now, bearing in mind the Lynx was released at the same time we were all dealing with the non-backlit, pea-green screen of the original Game Boy, this is still just plain nasty:

No, nothing is wrong with my Lynx. In its defense, I will say that those vertical lines are probably due to the screen refresh being picked up by my camera because of a long exposure time (you don’t see them during actual play), but in terms of the brightness, contrast and color, that’s about right. Unlike the Sega Game Gear, there is no brightness or contrast control (not that it helps much on the Game Gear).

I will say that Lynx carts are pretty darn cool. They’re like the Turbo Grafx HuCards – they’re not like carts, more like a chip. Very thin and sleek:

btw, Hard Drivin’ is unplayable on the Lynx. Don’t even bother.

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