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This Intel Xe-powered PC handheld might be the Switch alternative we've been waiting for

GPD Win 3 handheld gaming console in use
(Image credit: GPD)

Call it a Nintendo Switch-a-like, or someone finally making good on Alienware's Project UFO, but mini PC manufacturer GPD is back with another portable PC device, the GPD Win 3. It will be available soon on Indiegogo, and starting from $799.

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(Image credit: Future)

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That $799 will get you a Win 3 with Intel's Core i5 1135G7, a four-core/eight-thread chip with an 80 Execution Unit (EU) Intel Xe GPU under the hood. There is a slightly more powerful option, though, one which I'm sure will play to PC gamer's insatiable appetite for performance. For $899, you can pick up a unit powered by Intel's Core i7 1165G7, complete with 96 EU Intel Xe GPU able to deliver that little bit more performance when you need it most.

Both models comes with 16GB of LPDDR4-4266 and come with a 1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD, although PCIe 4.0 drives are supported if you fancy switching one in. 

The unit itself is reminiscent of just about every modern handheld console we've seen lately. Twin joysticks straddles a central landscape screen, yet unlike the Nintendo Switch these are not removable. It does have one hidden feature, however, as the screen slides up to expose a hidden QWERTY touch keyboard.

That IPS screen is only 720p, although at 5.5-inch that's going to be less noticeable than, say, writ large on a 20-inch panel. The less demanding resolution does help this portable device deliver decent framerates, however, as GPD touts 60fps+ in a slew of the most recent games on 'default' graphics settings.

GPD Win 3 handheld gaming console in use

(Image credit: GPD)

GPD Win 3
Specification
ProcessorIntel Core i7 1165G7 or Core i5 1135G7
GPUIntel Xe, 96 or 80 EUs
Screen5.5-inch, 720p IPS with Gorilla Glass
SSD1TB PCIe 3.0 NVMe (support for PCIe 4.0)
RAM16GB LPDDR4x-4266
Ports1x USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 4), 1x USB Type-A, MicroSD slot, microphone jack, headphone 3.5mm
Dock3x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1x HDMI, 1x Ethernet
CoolingTwin heat pipe with single fan
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Price$899 / $799

End performance will depend on which chip you pick and your choice of TDP: The Intel Tiger Lake chip at the console's core can have its TDP shifted by the user in the BIOS, and performance will vary if you decide to set it to the more power and heat conscious 15-18W TDP as opposed to the maximum 22-28W.

You can read our Intel Tiger Lake testing to find out a rough idea of performance, although the compact cooler and confined chassis of the Win 3 will affect performance.

GPD says the unit is roughly the same size as the Nintendo Switch Lite, and it's noticeably sleeker than the GPD Win 2, the Windows 10-compatible handheld backed on Indiegogo back in 2018. The Win 3 will be available in black or black and silver, the latter a limited-time deal for the Indiegogo campaign.

It also comes with a few extra features beyond what you might expect from a traditional games console. For example, below the right joystick is a fingerprint scanner unlock key, and below that a Windows-compatible Xbox key. There's also a single USB Type-A input, so you can connect devices up to the console itself, volume controls, microphone and 3.5mm jacks, twin shoulder buttons, and a gamepad/mouse switch key to enable easier controls using that aforementioned USB port.

Since this is an Intel 11th Gen device, you can also expect native Thunderbolt 4 support and Wi-Fi 6 onboard.

Further connectivity is provided via an external dock, which combines wired ethernet, USB ports, HDMI, and Type C connections for greater expansion capabilities.

The company has a decent track record of getting its campaigns crowdfunded and out to backers, too. One of its most recent projects, the GPD Win Max, a diminutive gaming laptop with built-in gamepad, raised $2,945,371 from over 3,735 backers in July, 2020. It was later shipped in August—a handy benefit of GPD having done most of the designing and testing for the product prior to launching the crowdfunding campaign.

The GPD Win 3 console is yet to go live over on Indiegogo, as the link tweeted out takes you to a project still in drafts. However, there is a preview campaign live here if you fancy diving a little deeper.

There's no 'Silicon Valley' where Jacob grew up, but part of his home country is known as 'The Valleys' and can therefore it be easily confused for a happening place in the tech world. From there he graduated to professionally break things and then write about it for cash in the city of Bath, UK.