The GPD WIN Max handheld gaming laptop is now live on Indiegogo. Starting out at $779, this PC is equipped with an eight-inch screen and a built-in gamepad for portable PC gaming, and is powered by an Intel Core i5 chip with Iris Plus Graphics.
The GPD WIN Max is available in just one configuration, which GPD believe is capable of running AAA games at 60Hz with medium settings:
- CPU: Intel Core i5 1035G7 (Ice Lake)
- GPU: Iris Plus 940
- Memory: 16GB LPDDR4 @ 3,733MHz
- Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD (dual socket for expansion)
- Display: 8-inch IPS
- Ports: 2x USB Type-A, 1x USB Type-C, 1x Thunderbolt 3, 1x HDMI, headset/mic 3.5mm, microphone 3.5mm
- Connectivity: WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
- Battery: 57Wh (3 hours heavy use)
The Core i5 1035G7 isn't the top Ice Lake chip when it comes to raw processing power, but it is equipped with the maximum number of Execution Units possible: 64. In our experience with similar chips, such as those found within the Dell XPS 13 and Razer Blade Stealth, that should make for half-decent gaming performance in games with relatively low system demands. You can find gaming benchmarks from the company on the WIN Max's Indiegogo page, however.
The WIN Max also offers three configurable TDP stages (15W, 20W, 25W), which should help deliver more performance when required at the expense of system battery.
What makes this particular Ice Lake laptop a more portable gaming machine than most is the inclusion of an integrated gamepad above the keyboard. It features twin analogue sticks, ABXY keys, a D-pad, and L2/R2 shoulder buttons. Sure, it's not the most ergonomic looking controller going, but it will get the job done on the move better than an integrated trackpad.
Speaking of trackpads, the WIN Max's is located right in the centre of the laptop, just below the screen hinge. That might prove tricky if you want to use this laptop for anything other than gaming, but it's understandable why GPD has put the trackpad where it has: it won't fit elsewhere. I can't help but think a TrackPoint-like stick would have sufficed in lieu of the little trackpad, but I'm sure that comes with its own set of design challenges.
GPD compares the WIN Max to Alienware's Project UFO and the Smach Z—two handheld PC gaming devices that fill a similar niche. It's perhaps an unfair comparison, however, as GPD has suggested a retail price of $1,400 for Project UFO despite Alienware never announcing one, or really anything to do with the system's specs.
Interest in portable PC gaming is unquestionably high, however, and the GPD WIN Max Indiegogo campaign hit its funding goal only hours after kick-off with over one thousand handheld PCs already sold. It's currently sitting at a total of $884,912 raised, and a few options remain open for purchase.
GPD expects to fulfil orders this July, which is a rather swift turnaround for any Indiegogo campaign. Let's hope it can stick to the schedule—I'm always a little wary of aspirational time to market goals.