The company behind the GPD Win, Pocket, and MicroPC line of handheld computers may be planning to launch a Nintendo Switch-like device.

A set of images posted to a Chinese forum show what appears to be a small tablet designed to work with a set of detachable controllers that slide into slots on the sides.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen such a device — GPD’s CEO posted an image of a prototype earlier this year. At the time we could only see the back, but now we have a better idea of what the portable game system looks like from the front.

The left and right controllers feature a direction pad, analog sticks, and X, Y, A, and B buttons, and select and start buttons. There are also shoulder buttons on both the detachable controllers and the tablet itself.

As for the tablet, it appears to be a a little smaller than an original Nintendo Switch, and from the front it actually looks pretty phone-like, although it’s unlikely that GPD plans to launch a gaming smartphone anytime soon.

Unfortunately we still haven’t seen what the device looks like with its screen on, so it’s unclear if we’re looking at a gadget that runs Windows, Android, or something else.

There’s also no word on the processor or other specs and if or when this thing will ever actually see the light of day.


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14 replies on “GPD developing a gaming tablet with detachable controllers”

  1. Please be ARM powered, and running Android. Windows gaming devices are so underwhelming in performance, and inconvenient to use.

    1. Performance? Emulators in windows are much more optimized compare to Android. Something low end like Pentium can run Citra (3Ds), dolphin (Wii and GameCube), pcsx2 (ps2) smoothly at 60fps.

      Even in non demanding emulator like gba still windows has edge emulator like VBA can do so much more compare to my boy or equivalent emulator in Android.

      The only advantage of arm/Android is battery life.

      1. Not really.

        I did a comparison the other day, and the results were surprising. I looked at Emulators on Android, and the most complicated one available is the Nintendo Wii emulation. And from this, one of the most graphically demanding titles is Metroid Prime 3 Corruption, and you can natively double the resolution to 720p. So I used that as a benchmark to compare between ARM-Android and x86-Windows. Here are my findings:

        Nintendo Wii (console) – 18W upscale-mode: locked 30 out of 60fps
        Intel Atom X7 (Z8750) – 6W regular-clock: fluctuating 30 out of 60fps
        Intel Core M (8510Y) – 6W under-clocked: fluctuating 40 out of 60fps
        Cortex A76 (QSD 855) – 4W over-clocked: stable 59 out of 60fps

        The ARM chips are definitely faster and use less power, despite their software handicap. Where the x86-Windows options shine, is that they can run longer complications of algorithms, so they naturally have more emulators and better optimised ones such as 3DS, PS2, WiiU, Switch, and PS3. They can even Boot Android Natively, or run Android-Emulation. And even these ultra-low-power models can run some AAA-titles, from older demanding titles like Fallout New Vegas, to newer demanding titles like Battlefield 1.

      2. I don’t mean that ARM processors have more performance. I mean that the percieved increase in performance that people think they’re getting with x86 Windows devices isn’t actually worth that much to me.

        My Galaxy S9+ can play Dreamcast, Gamecube, and Wii games at increased resolutions with perfect FPS.

        A Core M3 Windows device like GPD Win 2 sounds enticing, but it doesn’t actually afford me much more real abilities. Sure i can play some low end PC games, and maybe some newer games at very disappointing speeds. There’s really very little to be gained in that jump from high end ARM to low end x86.

        To me, it isn’t worth the loss in battery life, and the decrease in UI simplicity.

        1. I will give you some real life example, am soccer fan , I love playing soccer games is there anything in Android or emulators which Android can emulate worth playing? None, only x86 can fulfill that.

          Android also is very limited in 3Ds department, available Citra port has little to no support compare to PC version.

          And you can always lower resolution to play PC games smoothly, games like GTA V are playable even in atom series, Android can’t offer you something like this.

          And bottom line you have smartphone which can do everything like handheld Android console, hence windows handheld make sense to accompany your Android smartphone.

          About UI, you can use Kodi front end for emulators and your PC games.

          1. I agree with everything you said, but its just not enough to balance everything.

            I could also think of many games that I would find to be absolutely only possible on a portable x86 system.

            Yes, 3DS is not there yet on android. To add to that I would say PS2 is not quite there yet on android (its borderline).

            So if we define the upper limits of ARM+android and x86+windows, we can identify what lays in the gap between.

            As far as I can tell, a good Core M3 Windows device will afford me the ability to play 3DS and PS2. Along with whatever windows exclusive games are low end enough to run.

            To me that isn’t with spending $700-800 on a device that, aside from gaming, doesn’t have a very portable-friendly UI, wont have nearly the battery life, and isn’t going to be nearly as easy to use when it comes to using for casual web browsing, and media consumption. It just doesn’t buy me enough extra possibilities.

            I’ll play 3DS games on my 3DS. I’ll play PS2 games on my PC at home.

          2. In theory, you’re wrong. But in-practice, I agree with it.

            The golden standard seems to be the GPD Win2. And to take advantage of better processing, emulation, and AAA-titles… we need to see a doubling of performance. On top of this, battery life seems pretty low for those demanding titles, and we’d need a doubling here too. That means stretching 2hours into 4hours, and pushing new games from 360p-30fps-No Shadows/Lowspecgamer… to a better 720p-30fps-Low Settings.

            Overall, we’re wanting a x4 increase in efficiency to take advantage of it all. Which is basically equivalent of current ARM Systems. Basically, we want PS4 performance/quality, but downsized for a portable system with acceptable battery life.

  2. I think I would rather have just the controllers, assuming they could be made in such a way that they clamp onto any phone. I know there are some telescoping controllers out there, but very few are truly universal, and those that are are frequently cheaply made. If these are decent quality, I’d rather have them than an iPega or something.

  3. a good android gaming device that runs emulators well and can do native android-games even better? I’m looking for a good one since my Archos Gamepad – count me in!

  4. This would be awesome!
    Their handheld devices are known for running emulators exceptionally well!
    I look forward to hearing more information on this.

    1. I like that the tablet is made from an Aluminium Unibody, and the controller rails were built-in to it. I sort of wished they abandon the “tablet” form-factor and go with something pocketable like a phone. And have each JoyCon be able to be tossed in another pocket, so that it truly is a “take anywhere” experience reminiscent of the Ericsson Xperia Play or the Sony Playstation Go Portable.

      Imagine if they opted to use a phone with 1080p IPS-LCD screen (no burn-in). Implemented Front-Firing Stereo Loudspeakers like the ZTE Axon7. And kept it with a compact 16:9 Flat Display. Just throw in a Glass Protector and Thin Polycarbonate case, and it’ll be durable for road warriors. Of course, this means giving up that IP69K waterproofing for something weaker. All to have a Removable Battery, which ensures even longer product lifetime, and hot-swapping which is better than Fast Charging. The cream on the pudding would be to using a Stock AndroidOne OS, with an unlockable bootloader.

      And with the final specs and dimensions coming in at a respectable:
      2040 x 1080 screen (17:9…. for round corners, Nav Buttons, Status Bar)
      5.89 inches (132 x 70mm) for 392ppi density and 88% Screen-to-Body Ratio
      142 x 74 x 7.9mm naked dimensions
      150 x 80 x 10mm with Glass Protector + Polycarbonate Case (w/ kickstand)
      Front made from affordable Gorilla Glass 6
      Sides-Back made from Unibody Aluminium (7000-series) with Anodised scratch protection
      1,000mAh sealed backup battery on Left-Strip (IP67)
      3,000mAh User Removable Battery (in special water-resistant compartment)
      User accessible for microSD, DualSIM, and IrDa blaster
      Dual Vibration Motors
      Front-Firing Stereo Loudspeaker
      Dual ultrawide Selfie cam on both ends of Slim Bezel
      Dual ultrawide Rear cam on both ends of back, central aligned
      High Quality fingerprint scanner in the middle of back
      Headphone Jack and USB-C in centre-middle of Left Side
      Four symmetrical hardware buttons on Right Side
      (Power, Volume Up, Down, Camera… all user customisable)
      Overall, phone can be used “upside-down” and is very friendly for Landscape Mode

      Each box to come with a Horizontal Dock to use as Alarm Stand, or for TV Connection, or as Desktop PC Mode. Each box also comes with a Left JoyCon and a Right JoyCon. Each JoyCon has a Joystick at top, Four triggers on underside, a Pairing Switch, and a USB-C port for recharging.

      This thing will sell like hotcakes anywhere from USD ~$400 (little profit) to ~$1,000 (big margin), since it is very customer friendly and prosumer. There’s no Planned Obselescence designed or built-in, and the selling point is for power-users. And if such intelligent and selfless product were to hit the market, it wouldn’t take long until it was copied by the Chinese rivals and maybe even the Korean/Japanese brands as well. But not arrogant brands like Pixel or iPhone.

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