I love the idea of a mini console, as long as it is cheap, easily hackable and gotten into.
That being said... Here goes:
The 'ZX Spectrum Next' people ( https://www.specnext.com/) have it right. They have an FPGA that can mimic almost every ZX machine ever produced and have gone further. It seems to be 100% backward compatible with everything in software most would want. All of the old hardware can be used and hooked up to it including cassette. With a simple reboot and flash using the SD card as the drive, there is a first menu that can be accessed if wanted (Like a low end BIOS routine). You can choose to make the Next machine into a hardware (ZiLog Z80 CPU) ZX80, ZX81, ZX Spectrum and many other hardware choices available on a simple menu (system flash images can be made of almost any chip or combination of chips. Size is the limiting factor. They are running out of room with all of their enhancements). Which ever you choose, you select it, flash it and from that point forward the machine is THAT flavor of device. If you let that menu fly by, a second menu shows where you can choose from several OS's. One of them will be CP/M! If you chose the 'ZX Spectrum Next' option from the earlier BIOS like menu and then the TBBlue OS, you have a very advanced, clock speed select-able (normal and turbo modes), 512 Kb up to 1MB Ram, 'ZX Spectrum Next' computer with original fleshy keyboard (Or PS/2 keyboard and mouse), multiple SD card access, HDMI video out, VGA out, Layer 2 scrolling graphics, many new colors, many sprites that will not blank each other out if on the same line, Real Time Clock with backup battery, Raspberry Pi co-processor with a second HDMI out, WiFi card, and lot's more stuff. The 'Speccy' has over 2,000 programs written for it, mostly games, that all used to run on cassette, now off SD card. The Speccy keyboard is horrible but I just plug in a PS/2 keyboard and learn the new map.
This machine IS the one they want over there. I have been fortunate enough to have gotten one here in the US and it is everything above and more.
We could do something like it as well. The FPGA is not an emulator. It is software programmed hardware. Once flashed, it stays the machine you choose (unless you choose to flash it again into something else).
Imagine an FPGA machine that you have a choice of hardware for, (IBM PC Intel 8080, 8086, 80286, Apple IIe, Commodore 64... etc.) TI 99/4, TI 99/4A, all of the variants that TI wanted to produce (because they exist, they can be copied), any VDP chip choice TMS9918A to whatever, then your hardware choice is made. You are booted into your TI 99/4A (or whatever) with fathoms of RAM never before achieved, you plug in a game cartridge and hook up any joystick you have available or drool over. The game and data is on cartridge, FinalGROM99, SD card, or SSD, or whatever (Cassette, any kind of floppy, memory stick, SSD, HDD), with true enhanced color choices, separate color for each screen pixel, multi-color multi-size sprites, HDMI out, 40 column, 80 column or better to run Editor/Assembler, Mini-Memory, TI Word, WordStar or 'MS Word' word processor, Lotus 123 or TI Multiplan spreadsheet, a database, Parsec, Donkey Kong, Miner 2049er, printer hookup choices galore from Epson MX80 dot matrix to HP LaserJet.
Take a close look at the 'Next'. THAT could be us. We could do it better. We can see what and how they did it. Our hardware could be refurbished to 'NEW' with untold enhancements! The case design could be an original TI 99/4A case, a reproduction or even something new and fresh.
The images below are of my machine. The Next Mobo is a duplicate in size to the original Speccy. It fits in an old case, but the old case needs to be carved up a bit in strategic spots for the new connectors to plug into it.
We have talent on this board that can make it happen. It is not a dream. It is being done.
Have a great day!
Fully enhanced and operating ZX Spectrum Next board with external keyboard, mouse and ZX ProPad
Standard aftermarket Speccy case about to be carved up to fit the ZX Spectrum Next board.