We’ve done all the research so that you don’t have to, and the verdict is in! The top choices of handheld computers to have in your chess arsenal is the
Top 1 Chess Electronic Chess Game, followed by the LIKE Portable Touch Control Chess Board and the Zunsun Electronic Handheld Chess Game

Thinking of buying yourself a handheld chess computer, or getting a child or friend into the beautiful game of chess? A handheld chess computer is the perfect place to start, with its different levels, put-it-in-your-pocket accessibility, and its guarantee to provide hours and hours of fun (without needing a second player!). 

In this article, I’ll be reviewing the 3 Best Handheld Chess Computers, so that you can make an informed decision before adding one to your cart.

Let’s. Get. Digital! *Insert drum roll music here*. 

My Introduction to the Marvel of Digital Chess 

Why oh why would anyone want a digital, handheld chess set? 

At least that’s what I thought until I was given this marvelous invention on my thirteenth birthday (granted, I’m sure I wasn’t as impressed with the gift as I should’ve been at the time, because who doesn’t want an action figure at that age instead?) 

That is, until I was stuck on a 5-hour road trip to the seaside with my family, and had nothing to do but turn to the little device. 

And I’ve never looked back! 

Owning a portable, digital chess set is a sure source of hours’ of fun that won’t leave you feeling guilty – as opposed to, for example, scrolling social media for hours on end. 

Whether you’re waiting at an airplane to catch a flight, in line at the bank, or just looking to kill some time while also relaxing, investing in a handheld chess computer is for sure worth your while.

What is a handheld chess computer? 

A handheld chess set is, in essence, a small handheld device that enables you to take the beautiful game with you wherever you go. 

Furthermore, the device enables you to play an electronic version of the game, with the help of a stylus. 

Related List: The Single Best Portable Chess Set

How does a handheld chess computer work?

The device generates a digital version of chess. While you play, you press gently on the screen with your stylus to make your next move. 

The device will process your move, take some time to “think” about their move, and then move on its turn. Thereafter, it’s your turn to move again. 

Most devices, much like with a computerized version of chess, allows you to choose a skill level before playing. This makes it ideally accessible for both beginners and masters of the game. 

What are the benefits of owning a handheld chess computer? 

Considering buying a handheld chess computer for yourself? Here are a few benefits of owning this device, just in case you needed a little more convincing. 

It’s portable

Now you can take the lovely game of chess with you wherever you go, and it doesn’t take up a ton of space. These devices are usually no bigger than your hand, and you can slip it into your pocket or handbag. 

En route somewhere where you just know boredom will hit (it’s OK if you immediately thought of your parents’-in-laws home)? Simply pack this nifty device in and escape to a world of chess. 

You can play by yourself

Fortunately and unfortunately, chess is a two-person game. This is a great way to socialize and spend time with a fellow chess lover, but it’s not so great for when you have no one around to play a game with. 

That’s where the handheld chess computer comes to the rescue. It enables a chess lover to play against a computer, at whichever level they prefer. No one around to play? No problem! 

Improve your chess skills 

As when playing a game of chess against a stronger player, a handheld chess computer is an easy and accessible way to improve your game. 

Plus, many of these devices also have a built-in coaching programme. The computer will coach you through the game, provide tips, and teach you skills you might never otherwise have learnt. 

No eye strain 

Much like a kindle, this device’s screen is designed with eye strain in mind. Unlike a device such as a computer or a cellphone, the screen of a handheld chess computer won’t cause eye strain. 

This allows you to play as many games as you wish, without having to worry about damage to your eyes. 

Related List: The Best Chess Sets Under $100

What are the cons of owning a handheld chess computer? 

In the name of fairness, I also feel it my duty to mention some cons of owning a handheld computer. These aren’t necessarily totally negative aspects, but rather factors to keep in mind when purchasing a handheld chess computer for yourself. 

The device needs to be charged 

Unless it works with batteries, you will need to charge your device ahead of traveling to ensure you can continue playing the game wherever you go. 

As most people don’t go anywhere without their cellphones. This won’t really be something to get used to. It is, however, something to keep in mind. If you forget to charge your device and have no access to do so later on, you won’t be able to play, which is not ideal. 

I suggest making a habit of charging your device while you charge your cellphone, or by plugging it in after the amount of recommended games (as according to your device supplier). 

Sometimes you’ll want to play against a person 

Owning a handheld chess computer is a great way to continue playing chess wherever you go, but sometimes you will miss playing against an actual chess player. 

You know, for a little bit of friendly banter, and someone who can tell you that you’ve made a bad move. 

My suggestion is to still make time for playing rounds of chess with friends and family, while practicing and improving your game on your own time with your handheld chess computer on your own time. 

Although nothing beats playing the game with fellow chess lovers, a handheld chess computer is a wonderful and accessible way to continue playing the game wherever you are. Especially in a day and age where chess players are becoming a rare species. 

Related List: The Best Weighted Chess Pieces and Where to Find Them

Have the best of both worlds 

My opinion? I like to keep things balanced by having a handheld chess computer and still scheduling regular chess games with my fellow chess lovers. 

The handheld device is much more convenient. I mean, who would ever have thought that you can play the good old game of chess while enjoying a cup of coffee at a café – by yourself? 

The long and the short of it is that no chess lover’s collection is complete without a handheld chess computer to call their own. 

The 3 Best Handheld Chess Computers 

Ready to commit and make a handheld chess computer part of your arsenal? Here are my top choices for the 3 best handheld chess computers. 

#1. Top 1 Chess Electronic Chess Game

This sleek and stylish device is a go-to for any chess lover who likes to play chess in style. 

Why I like it

  • It has a premium touch-screen with a large display, making it easy to use and accessible (and I don’t need to wear my glasses while playing!). 
  • This nifty device has 7 difficulty levels, which is ideal for someone hoping to improve their game.
  • It doesn’t just have chess. If I get bored of the game (which, let’s be honest, sometimes happens), I can choose from seven other strategy games. These include checkers/draughts, reversi, four-in–a-row, geese, grasshopper, halma, nim and Northcote’s game.
  • My favorite feature has to be the fact that it has over 200 master games built into its memory.
  • This investment won’t break the bank. Plus, in my books, anything that can allow me to play chess wherever I go is well worth the money and effort. 

#2. LIKE Portable Touch Control Chess Board

This device is less expensive than my number one choice, but still a great buy – especially for children just learning how to play the great game of chess. 

Why I like it

  • It has 20 different chess levels, making it the ideal starting point for young or new players still learning about the game.
  • This device shakes things up by also offering built-in chess puzzles, just in case you grow bored of the actual game of chess.
  • A downside for some might be that it includes no other games, but if you’re looking for a straight-forward device that lets you play chess anywhere, this one is a good fit! 

#3. Zunsun Electronic Handheld Chess Game

Last but certainly not least on my list is this handheld chess computer, which is also the most inexpensive of the lot. 

Why I like it 

  • This device also has 20 different levels, making it ideal for chess players of all different levels.
  • What I especially like about this device is that you can play either against a computer or a player. It is thus not just a great device for when you have no one to play chess with, but equally as great for when you actually do want to play a game of chess with someone while traveling or in a location without a chess set.
  • This device also offers checkers and four-in-a-row as games to play, and the computer can give you hints when you’re stuck on where to move to next. 
  • Finally, this device is an affordable mix of everything that you need to enjoy chess no matter where you are. 

Go on, treat yourself to a handheld chess computer 

I can say, without a doubt, that no chess lover will regret buying a handheld chess computer – especially not if it’s one on this list. 

Each device on this list is a great buy, and makes the beautiful game of chess more accessible to players of all levels, no matter where they are. 

Take it on your train ride or flight, while on a digital-free holiday, or simply while relaxing at home with no one else to play chess with. 

A handheld chess computer is the ideal addition to any chess player’s arsenal, and I trust that you will enjoy it as much as I have. Happy playing!


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