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Look Out Steam Deck! Competitor Offers 5-GHz CPU, 1TB SSD

Images of the Win Max 2021 handheld.
(Image credit: GPD)

If you're frustrated by the long estimated shipping times for Valve's Steam Deck or you just want something with more flexibility, GPD's upcoming WIN Max 2021 mini gaming laptop could fit the bill. A sequel to the current GPD WIN Max, the WIN Max 2021 begins a funding round on Indiegogo tomorrow for a starting price of $999, with a post-campaign price of $1,250. That's way more expensive than the $399 entry starting price for the Steam Deck, but the WIN Max 2021 does have some tricks up its sleeve, including 1TB of SSD storage and an optional Intel Core i7-1195G7 CPU that can boost to 5-GHz.

Unlike the Steam Deck, the GPD WIN Max 2021 is a clamshell-like device. When you lift up the screen, you're presented with not only the usual gaming console controller buttons (a pair of joysticks mimicking the Xbox 360 controller design, arrow buttons, ABXY inputs and shoulder buttons are available), but also a backlit QWERTY keyboard and trackpad. This means that you can use this as a pure handheld console or even as a stop-gap for actual productivity, until you can get to your laptop or desktop PC. 

The H-IPS screen features a default resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, which might seem on the low side, but do remember the 8-inch screen diagonal, meaning that there's roughly 188 Pixels Per Inch (PPI). The screen also features a maximum brightness of 500 nits for more comfortable outdoors usage, 90% DCI-P3 color coverage, and is protected by Gorilla Glass.

There will be two different CPU platforms for users to choose from: one with an AMD Ryzen 7 4800U low-power APU (8 physical cores,16 threads and Radeon Vega graphics) or an Intel Core i7-1195G7 solution (4-core, 8-thread Tiger Lake with Iris Xe Graphics). 

GPD says that the Intel version will offer offer increased gaming performance due to its higher single-thread performance and overall higher graphics oompf, though the AMD solution should offer a more balanced gaming and productivity experience compared to the Intel version whilst offering longer running times due to its higher overall efficiency.

Performance numbers for the AMD and Intel-powered versions of the WIN Max 2021

Performance numbers for the AMD and Intel-powered versions of the WIN Max 2021. (Image credit: GPD)

The WIN Max 2021 will also offer user-definable TDP settings; 20 W, 25 W or 28 W limits are available, and there should be a 7 W profile available also for more battery-conscious moments. There is no DDR5 here for increased integrated graphics performance, so the WIN Max 2021 will make do with 16 GB of LPDDR4 dual channel memory. Integrated storage is 1TB of the NVMe flavor, which is twice what you get with the Steam Deck, which currently tops out at 512 GB. I/O is provided by 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports (for the Intel-based version), whilst the AMD one adjusts that to 2x USB 3.2 Type-C. There are a further 2x USB 3.2 Type-A ports, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, and 1x 3.5 mm audio output.

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Images of the Win Max 2021 handheld.

(Image credit: GPD)
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Images of the Win Max 2021 handheld.

(Image credit: GPD)
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Images of the Win Max 2021 handheld.

(Image credit: GPD)
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Images of the Win Max 2021 handheld.

(Image credit: GPD)
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Images of the Win Max 2021 handheld.

(Image credit: GPD)
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Images of the Win Max 2021 handheld.

(Image credit: GPD)

One final trick up the GPD WIN Max 2021's sleeve is the capability for users to upgrade from previous WIN Max releases to the new components. For $699, users holding a previous-gen WIN Max handheld can purchase a mainboard upgrade, which includes the users' choice of either the AMD or Intel solution and memory (the NVMe itself is user-repleaceable, and thus not included in the mainboard upgrade bundle). 

Outside of the crowdfunding campaign, GPD will sell these mainboards for $837 (for the Intel version) and $937 for the AMD one. What this does mean however is that there is a good chance that users can further upgrade their WIN Max 2021 down the line with a similar mainboard upgrade strategy, though it has to be said that GPD isn't announcing such upgrade paths right now.

Please remember that participation in crowdfunding campaigns does not equate to a product purchase; there are times when the company may not ever release the hardware to market. The GPD WIN Max 2021 currently features a $200,000 flexible crowdfunding goal, meaning that proceeds from crowdfunding will be given out to the manufacturer irrespective of them reaching the crowdfunding goal.

via Lilliputing

  • RushMan2112
    Let's see...
    Trust some company out of China using Indiegogo (aka ripoff market) or a well-established US company?

    I know where my money would go.
    Reply
  • chaoyang
    Looks very small for me. Even for my younger cousins.
    Reply
  • AtrociKitty
    chaoyang said:
    Looks very small for me. Even for my younger cousins.
    It's the perfect size actually. Any larger and it would be uncomfortable to hold, but any smaller and the keyboard would be difficult to use.

    RushMan2112 said:
    Let's see...
    Trust some company out of China using Indiegogo (aka ripoff market) or a well-established US company?

    I know where my money would go.
    I've had three devices from GPD, including the previous Win Max, Win 2, and Pocket. They're a fairly well-established company and mostly use Indeigogo as a means of collecting preorders from outside of China. Until the Steam Deck, GPD was by far the largest player in this niche.
    Reply
  • TechLurker
    This would definitely be something I'd buy, but I'll wait for a DDR5 AMD version, where the DDR5 should help greatly with AMD's graphics arch, whether it'll be another Vega or RDNA.
    Reply
  • thisisaname
    Nice but is there a market for a "mini gaming laptop" at that price?
    Reply
  • chaoyang
    thisisaname said:
    Nice but is there a market for a "mini gaming laptop" at that price?
    I was thinking the same thing when I saw the picture of the laptop. Furthermore, the mini pc almost appear cheap and counterfeit (personal opinion of course).
    Reply
  • torotoro
    Too bad the units from their IGG campaigns have a 5% - 10% chance of having hardware problems right out of the box: broken SSD, display, joysticks, mouse/gamepad switch, buttons, etc. Things fail later as well. GPD's warranty support is horrendous so good luck getting things resolved.

    They even swapped out components on units without telling the backers. Some got slower Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and SD card reader chips.
    Reply
  • ConfusedCounsel
    For that price I could buy the Asus ROG Phone 5. I know this because my daughter keeps telling me to replace my Motto E with a real phone. Apparently, in her mind, the ROG Phone 5 is real phone. I fear if I get one, my daughter will indefinitely borrow it.
    Reply
  • VforV
    I'm amazed how no one said the this is NOT a Steam Deck competitor at all...

    Click bait title.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    To clarify, it should say 5 Ghz for a split second. It is known that Tiger Lake U can boost very high, but only for a very short while. Which is essentially pointless for games since it is a sustained load. And comparing Xe graphics with AMD's RDNA2, I think the latter definitely have a better advantage in games, especially with LPDDR5 memory.
    Reply