This past weekend was exciting indeed! The Shadow Ghost was delivered to me, and I got to unbox it, set it up, and take it for a spin! So, here I am with a review of what I think about the Ghost and is it worth it.
First things first, the Shadow Ghost box was a lot smaller then I thought it would be. Do you know the size of the average video card box? That is about the size I thought it would be, instead, it was nice and compact.
The box had a nice design and was shrinkwrapped closed. A fancy image of the Shadow Ghost located on the front of the box, and descriptions, details, etc, on the back of the box.
I hastily ripped off the shrinkwrap and cut the tab sealing the box together and opened up the Shadow Ghost.
Inside the box
Once the lid of the box slid off (it was a satisfying slide as well), I was greeted with the top of the Shadow Ghost sitting on top of its plastic molding.
Removing the Shadow ghost from the box, and lifting the plastic molding revealed a Quick Start guide, an HDMI 2.0 cable, and the power supply.
Shadow kept the box, and its internals simple and straight to the point. Rather minimalistic, but you had everything you need right away, without any confusing packaging holding it back.
The quality of the Shadow Ghost is a little confusing. It is mainly made of plastic, but it has a nice feeling to it. I would not advise drop testing this little thing, as it may not be that durable. But for looks, it surely has it. Although, I do wish the LED light underneath it was multi-color. Red can get a little... old!
The Shadow Ghost has 2x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0 ports. It also includes a 1gb Ethernet port and a single HDMI 2.0 port to connect it to your TV/Monitor.
Personally, I wish it had a few more ports, as I have 5 USB devices in total, so I may invest in a USB hub at some point. Otherwise, the Ghost has all the necessary I/O ports to connect the necessities to start gaming!
The First Boot
After getting the Shadow Ghost set up on my desk, which I still have to organize, as it looks a little messy... I went ahead and booted it.
Upon loading, I noticed a vertical blue line that went directly through the middle of my screen. It was extremely noticeable, but I gave the Ghost the benefit of the doubt and waited.
The Ghost had me select my language and keyboard layout, and then it switched to an "Update in Progress" screen, where it sat for about 30 minutes to upgrade.
For me, the progress bar got stuck at around 25%, and I restarted it a few times. I do not suggest doing this, as I was just a little impatient. Instead, just wait it out. It should not take too long.
Finally, the Shadow Ghost upgraded and booted to yet another screen that asked me to select my keyboard layout. After selecting, I was greeted with a "Shadow Ghost" logo, and then the familiar launcher screen that I know from the Windows Client.
Logging in and starting up
I logged into my account, adjusted my settings in the Shadow Ghost, and booted it. After about 2 minutes, the "Start Now" button was orange, and I proceeded to "update" my shadow to using the production version of Shadow.
My Shadow booted, and I was greeted by my familiar desktop screen. I launched Final Fantasy XIV and proceeded to play it for a little bit.
The first thing I noticed with my Shadow Ghost, was the choppy movement of my mouse cursor. This was later fixed by changing the setting from "Prefer Speed" to "Prefer Reliability".
Another thing I noticed, ever so slightly, was sporadic screen tearing while running around in-game. I have not noticed this issue as of late, but it was noticeable when I first started playing a game on my Shadow Ghost.
Overall, it played great and had little to no quality issues compared to using the Windows client on my Laptop.
An Issue Arose
After playing around with the Shadow Ghost for a little bit, I had to shut it off and do some errands for a bit. When I got back home later in the day, I proceeded to boot up my Shadow Ghost, only to be greeted by a "Please Stand By" screen with a frozen screen capture of my Shadow booting.
I was saddened by this, and I went ahead and did the usual troubleshooting steps, and then I finally decided to reach out to Shadow's Support.
After talking to support, and them completely shutting down my Shadow Instance, I was able to boot it up successfully and get back in. I have not had a problem since!
Final Thoughts on the Shadow Ghost
So, ever since I started using Shadow earlier this year, I wanted to get my hands on a Shadow Ghost. Yes, I have the devices capable of streaming Shadow, however, I wanted something small and easy to move around my apartment if I decided to play a game on my TV vs at my computer desk.
It also looks a little snazzy on my computer desk next to my RGB Keyboard/Mouse.
Overall, I think it was a great purchase for me, especially since I got it on the flash sale totaling $106 including shipping and taxes.
Will I recommend it to others?
Of course! But, only if you are going to dedicate yourself to Shadow in the long run. This device will technically become useless if you drop your Shadow subscription. You could probably crack open the case, and install your own Operating System on the Ghost, but that should only be attempted if you know what you are doing, and do not ever plan on getting Shadow again, as you can not restore the current Shadow Ghost Operating System.
If you are looking for a device that you can easily move between rooms, or just set it and forget it, then the Ghost will work wonders for you.
However, do note that the Shadow Ghost only has a single HDMI 2.0 output. This will be perfectly fine if you are a TV gamer, however, make sure your monitor will support an HDMI 2.0 input, otherwise, you will be severely limited at the resolution/refresh rate you can use your Shadow Ghost at.
Have any questions, feedback, or want to share your Shadow Ghost experiences? Feel free to comment below! I look forward to them :).