The GPD MicroPC is a handheld computer with a 6 inch full HD display and an Intel Celeron N4100 Gemini Lake processor. It’s set to go up for pre-order through an Indiegogo campaign in February, and it should start shipping to backers in March or April.

While final pricing hasn’t been determined yet, a GPD representative tells me the company expects it to sell for around $300 during the crowdfunding campaign, give or take. The full retail price will be a little higher.

First announced in December, the microPC is the latest in a line of handheld computers from GPD. The company’s Win and Win 2 are gaming Windows 10 gaming computers with built-in game controllers. The GPD Pocket and Pocket 2 are more like tiny laptops with 7 inch screens. And the microPC is the company’s most affordable pocket-sized computer to date. It’s aimed at IT professionals or other folks who are looking for an affordable, versatile machine for use on the go — but it’s a quirky device that has some unusual design elements.

For example, the little computer doesn’t have a touchscreen. Instead there’s a touchpad above the top right corner of the keyboard, with left and right mouse-click buttons on the left side.

It feels a little weird to reach up to that touchpad if the system is resting on a table and you’re trying to use it like a laptop. But if you’re holding it in two hands and typing with your thumbs, it’s pretty easy to move one thumb up to the touchpad and the other up to the left/right buttons.

Speaking of typing, during my brief time with the microPC, thumb typing seems like the way to go. For two-finger typing, the keyboard feels large and luxurious — but the keyboard is small enough that I can easily reach center with my thumbs.

10-finger typing is a lot less comfortable. It’s probably something you could learn to do if you really tried. But I’m going to need to spend some more time with the microPC before deciding if that’s actually something that I ever really want to do.

Fortunately GPD has already shipped me a demo unit for testing… but it just arrived in Philadelphia while I’m in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, so that testing will have to wait.

For now I can say that the company’s newest PC seems like an intriguing option for folks that were put off by the high price of earlier models. The RS-232 serial port on the back may seem like an odd feature, but it’s aimed at commercial or enterprise customers who may need that functionality. And its inclusion didn’t stop GPD from loading up the little computer with a decent array of ports.

Weighing about 1 pound, the little computer also comes with a lanyard you can wear around your wrist so you don’t drop the computer when you use it.

It has a USB Type-C port for charging and data, an Ethernet jack, three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a microSD card reader, and a headset jack on the front.

The GPD MicroPC features 4GB of RAM and a 128GB M.2 2242 SSD.

The MicroPC is also GPD’s first device with a backlit keyboard (although it was a little hard to see that under the bright lights of the CES showroom). There’s also a switch above the keyboard for turning the little computer’s fan on and off (depending on whether you want to prioritize performance or noise).

Update: GPD sent me a pre-release version of the MicroPC to test, and I’ve posted some initial thoughts, along with some benchmarks:

GPD MicroPC benchmarks

 

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19 replies on “First look: GPD Micro PC handheld computer with Intel Gemini Lake (CES 2019)”

  1. I’m definitely going to try to get one. I was a proud owner of the OQO Model 02 UMPC — I actually still have it but the battery is gone since it swelled up. This feels like a similar idea but in a more traditional form factor, And $300 is far more affordable than the OQO’s $1500+ price tag!

  2. I’ve been waiting on a GPD with an Ethernet port. But also one with a SIM card slot! It’s a mobile computer… Come on GPD!

    1. I’m the same with wanting built-in mobile broadband. While I would have uses for built-in Ethernet and RS-232 ports in a highly portable Windows device, built-in WWAN is more important for me.

      That’s why I got the 8 GB RAM Surface Go LTE over the holidays. It’s not as small and doesn’t have many ports but the built-in LTE was the deciding factor.

  3. I heard GPD was going to come out with 2 new product lines this year. The MicroPC is one. I wonder what’s the other one.

  4. I really like the job they did with the keyboard on this, in particular: the arrow keys, smaller right-hand shift, the backspace and larger enter key. That section looks especially well thought out. The two rows of numbers, on top, look to be easier to work with than the single line found on most larger keyboards. I could see myself embracing the general layout on a larger keyboard.

    Seeing a hand on the actual keyboard really drives home just how small and cramped it is. It can’t be a good typing experience. If they had gone with circular keys with spacing in-between each key, it might have improved 10-finger typing (or typing in general).

    They probably spent a lot of time trying to figure out the touchpad placement. I think separating the pad from the activation buttons (something they were forced to do given the size constraints) fails. Given how (relatively) thick the unit is, a slide-out touchpad perhaps? Maybe dump the idea of a touchpad and go with a smaller wireless finger mouse.

  5. No thank you, I’ll pass. Already love my GPD Pocket 2 with the new m3-8100y processor, not going to replace it anytime soon.

  6. I bought a first gen GPD pocket, but this is the type of portable pc I really wanted. If it is really $300.00, I’m getting one.

  7. reminds me of my fujutsu u810 UMPC. That had a thumb nub though which took up a lot less space than the touchpad. I think this is a good device for their target on this one.

  8. I hope GPD announces a Win 3 soon. I’m thinking about upgrading my 1st gen Win but the Win 2 is crazy expensive compared to the 1st gen and their other products. You could get a GTX 1080 or RTX 2070 for that price… I’m hoping the Win 3 would be decently powered still but more affordable this time around.

    1. Actually you should be able to get a RTX 2080 Ti for that price, but Nvidia’s practices and lack of AMD competition has allowed to get out of hand (basically RTX 2060 level).

      Same thing with Intel. There’s really no competition in the ULV space. And Intel’s practices are far more nefarious. Which is why the GPD Win2 is as cheap as it gets.

      I would like to see that Intel Core i7-Y inside a phone like the Note9. Use it as a regular Android phone on the go (if even feesible) and as an x86-Emulation machine when gaming is concerned.

  9. I can imagine a sysadmin-type seriously wanting one of these, especially with the old-school serial port on the back for those visits to the room with all the network gear in it.

    Me: I want one running Arch Linux…

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