Chinese device maker GPD has been making handheld computers for a number of years, including models designed for gaming, general purpose usage, or IT administration duties.

But the upcoming GPD Pocket 3 will have three features the company has never offered before. It’s up for pre-order through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign set to run through mid-December, and the Pocket 3 could begin shipping to backers in January.

The GPD Pocket 3 will have an 8 inch display, Intel Jasper Lake or Tiger Lake processor options, and a QWERTY keyboard that’s just (barely) large enough for touch-typing. It also has a small touchpad above the right section of the keyboard and mouse-click buttons above the left side. There’s a power button in between them.

The Pocket 3 is also the first GPD device to feature:

  • A convertible tablet-style design
  • Stylus support
  • A modular design (one of the ports can be changed)

GPD’s latest handheld looks like a mini-laptop at first glance, but you can rotate the screen vertically 180 degrees so that it faces away from the keyboard, and then close it down over the keys for use in tablet mode.

While the Pocket 3 doesn’t come with a stylus in the box, it’s designed to work with an optional digital pen that you can use to write or draw on the screen with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity.

And that modular feature allows you to choose what kind of port or other feature to have in the back right section of the Pocket 3. The mini-laptop ships with a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A module, but you can swap it out for one of two other modules, which are sold separately:

  • Serial RS-232 COM port
  • KVM & USB-input port
Left to right: USB module, KVM module, RS-232 module

The serial port allows you to connect hardware like barcode printers, scanners, or other gear for use in commercial, retail, healthcare, or industrial industries. This is clearly an option aimed at IT pros.

Also for IT pros? The KVM & USB input module, which allows you to connect to another computer for device administration purposes. It lets you:

  • Plug in an HDMI cable and the GPD Pocket 3 becomes a display for a server, PC, or other hardware.
  • Connect an HDMI input and a USB input and use the Pocket 3 to view and control a connected machine without the need for remote desktop or cloud software.

GPD also notes that the Pocket 3 supports up to two external displays.

If you opt for a model with a Pentium Silver N6000 processor you get an HDMI 2.0b port and a USB-C port allowing you to connect up to two 4K displays with refresh rates up to 60 Hz.

The Core i7-1195G7 model has an HDMI 2.0b port and a Thunderbolt 4 port, which means you can plug a [email protected] display into the HDMI port, while the Thunderbolt port works with displays up to [email protected]

Here’s a run-down of the key specs for the GPD Pocket 3, which will be available in two versions (better specs are highlighted in bold):

GPD Pocket 3 specs
ProcessorIntel Pentium Silver N6000
4 cores / 4 threads
1.1 GHz base / 3.3 GHz turbo
1.5MB L2 cache
4MB L3 cache
6W / 10W TDP
Tremont architecture
Intel Core i7-1195G7
4 cores / 8 threads
2.9 GHz base / 5 GHz turbo
5MB L2 cache
12MB L3 cache
12W – 25W TDP
Tiger Lake UP3 architecture
GraphicsIntel UHD 630
32 execution units
350 MHz base / 850 MHz max
256 shaders
[email protected] Hz
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.5
Intel Iris Xe with 96eu
96 execution units
400 MHz base / 1.4 GHz max
768 shaders
[email protected] Hz
DirectX 12.1
OpenGL 4.6
Display8 inches
1920 x 1200 pixels
248 ppi
IPS LCD
500 nits
10-point multitouch
180 degree hinge
8 inches
1920 x 1200 pixels
248 ppi
IPS LCD
500 nits
10-point multitouch
180 degree hinge
RAM8GB LPDDR4x-2933
(LPDDR4x-4266, but the Pentium N6000 SoC limits speeds to 2933 MHz)
16GB LPDDR4x-3733
Configurable up to 4266 MHz in BIOS
StorageM.2 2280
PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe 1.3 SSD
512GB
M.2 2280
PCIe 3.0 or 4.0 x4 NVMe 1.3 or 1.4 SSD
1TB
Modular portUSB-A (included)
RS-232 (sold separately)
KVM / USB input (sold separately)
USB-A (included)
RS-232 (sold separately)
KVM / USB input (sold separately)
Other Ports1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
2 x 3.2 Gen 2 USB Type-A
1 x HDMI 2.0b
1 x 2.5 Gbps Ethernet
1 x 3.5mm mic/headphone combo
1 x Thunderbolt 4
2 x 3.2 Gen 2 USB Type-A
1 x HDMI 2.0b
1 x 2.5 Gbps Ethernet
1 x 3.5mm mic/headphone combo
WirelessIntel AX201
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Intel AX210
WiFi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
KeyboardQWERTY chiclet-style keys
Backlit
QWERTY chiclet-style keys
Backlit
Webcam2MP
77 degree field of view
2MP
77 degree field of view
Battery & Charging38.5Wh 10,000 mAh battery
45W USB-C charger (20V/2.25A)
38.5Wh 10,000 mAh battery
45W USB-C charger (20V/2.25A)
AudioStereo speakers
3.5mm audio jack
Stereo speakers
3.5mm audio jack
SecurityFingerprint reader
TPM 2.0
Fingerprint reader
TPM 2.0
CoolingActive (fan)Active (fan)
StylusMicrosoft Pen Protocol 2.0
4096 levels of pressure sensitivity
Sold separately
Microsoft Pen Protocol 2.0
4096 levels of pressure sensitivity
Sold separately
MaterialsAluminum unibody chassisAluminum unibody chassis
Dimensions198 x 137 x 20mm198 x 137 x 20mm
Weight725 grams725 grams
Price (during crowdfunding)$650 for Pocket 3
$730 for Pocket 3 + module
$999 for Pocket 3
$1079 for Pocket 3 + module

While the modular capabilities of the GPD Pocket 3 make it clear that the system is designed for use in professional settings, it’s also got the kind of horsepower that makes it an option for play as well as work.

The Pocket 3 doesn’t have built-in game controllers like the GPD Win and Win Max line of devices, so it’s clearly not designed specifically for gaming. But if you opt for a model with a Core i7-1195G7 processor and Intel Iris Xe graphics, it should be able to handle gaming reasonably well.

GPD released a short video showing Devil May Cry 5 running on the little computer:

As the name suggests, the GPD Pocket 3 the company’s first mini-laptop. It follows the GPD Pocket 2, which was released in 2018, and which has a 7 inch display but no support for pen input, no convertible tablet mode, and no room for a trackpad.

That model lives up to its name a little better, since it’s smaller and easier to actually fit into a pocket. But the latest model should be a little easier to type on given the larger keyboard, touchpad, and mouse buttons.

If the GPD Pocket 3 design is giving you déjà vu, that may be because we’ve seen something very similar recently. The One Netbook A1 is a handheld computer released in 2020 which has a 7 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel touchscreen display, and 180-degree swivel-style hinge that allows it to fold down over the keyboard for use in tablet mode, and support for an optional pressure-sensitive stylus.

One Netbook’s A1, which seemed to be the company’s response to the GPD MicroPC, also has a Gigabit Ethernet port and RS-232 COM port. The computer is powered by an Intel Core m3-8100Y processor and has 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a starting price of around $660 at the moment.

Now it looks like GPD is taking a page out of One Netbook’s playbook for the upcoming Pocket 3, although the GPD version will have a larger touchpad (rather than an optical pointing stick) and newer Intel processor since the Core m3-8100Y has been discontinued.

A few other expected features include a webcam, a full-sized HDMI port, two USB Type-A ports, a headset jack, and an Ethernet port.

via @softwincn and /r/GPDPocket

This article was originally published September 23, 2021 and last updated October 20, 2021.

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17 Comments

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  1. i need more wide screen (old sony packet format)
    and better keyboard (because more space) with altGr
    (and bigest battery because bigest screen)

  2. These will come with pre-installed malware like the previous GPD products. The 2021 Win Max is now being delivered to customers and, of course, people are reporting they have malware installed.

    I wonder what malware GPD devices have that don’t get detected.

  3. Given GPD’s history with broken hinges, I’m not confident in their skills in making a swivel hinge. I bet I’m going to read a lot of “Help! My Pocket 3 hinge broke!” next year.

    Also, yeah that modular thing seems like a gimmick that’ll also have reliability issues since GPD has problems getting more simple things working properly.

    1. The “modular” feature is absolutely a gimmick. GPD sees the hype over modular laptops, and they think they making a swappable IO port will win them more customers.

      Once again GPD is going to try out a new design concept, and they’ll never improve it to the point that it will work well enough, and then they’ll move onto some other concept and not perfect it either.

  4. I like the removable SSD.
    The ethernet port and full HDMI do make it seem like this one will be a lot bigger than the Pocket 2.
    I have many GPD and One Netbook devices but I do not have much reason to upgrade yet.
    Like other people have said, the first one with a removable battery gets my money.

    1. The right side is a Touchpad.
      The middle is a Power-button and finger.
      The left side is three physical mouse buttons for the touchpad.

      This form-factor reminds me of the Sharp Zaurus. Anyone remember those (linux ?) portable devices?

      1. I have 2 Zaurus SL-Cxxx. Sharp Zaurus are real pocket computers (near a Nintendo DS), this GPD Pocket isn’t a pocket computer because it is too much big.

  5. This is pretty close to an ideal netbook for me, in concept. But I’m just never going to buy a GPD product.

    I would barely trust a standard laptop hinge from GPD, much less a rotating laptop hinge.

    I wonder if GPD might be more highly regarded if they simply stuck with 1 design from day one, and just worked on evolving the hardware. They try to reinvent their products every time, and they never get better at it.

  6. If they’re going to make something modular, they should make the battery “modular” instead. The batteries die/bloat on every GPD Pocket generation.

    Make the SSD “modular” without opening the device too. Those cheap BIWIN SSDs GPD keeps using aren’t reliable either.

    1. GPD devices are just not reliable in general.

      Too bad as they’ve significantly increased the prices of their products, the quality/reliability of their devices/support hasn’t improved at all.

      I’m sure people will still take the risk (or don’t know the risks) and pay $1000+ USD with a 10% chance of having hardware issues and pre-installed malware. That won’t be me though.

  7. That hinge is going to break like most of GPD’s other poor quality devices, then you’ll have to deal with their nearly non-existent customer support.