The GPD Win 2 gaming handheld is an upgrade over its predecessor in almost every way. The keyboard and game controller are better. The processor is faster. There’s twice as much RAM. And the solid state storage is significantly faster.
It’s also really easy to upgrade or replace the SSD. All you need to do is remove a single screw, lift the SSD cover and slide out the M.2 2242 disk and replace it.
Unfortunately that’s just about the only thing that’s easy to replace or upgrade. But while I had a tiny Phillips head screwdriver handy, I figured I might as well open the case up and see what’s on the inside.
Once the case is opened up, you can get a good look at the fan that makes so much noise when the computer is in use, as well as the two 5,000 mAh batteries that keep everything running for hours at a time (I’m not ready to provide detailed battery life test results yet, but you can certainly get at least a few hours of gaming time and even more time if you’re web surfing or watching videos).
You can also see that the L1, L2, R1, and R2 shoulder buttons are held in place pretty firmly and provide nice clicking action even when the case is open. The L3 and R3 buttons, meanwhile, are held in place by a rather flimsy looking piece of silicone (or something like it). I’m not saying that’s necessarily a problem… if you don’t open the case often there’s not much reason for those buttons to come loose.
If you want to try this at home, the case is pretty easy to open up (assuming nothing changes between now and the time the GPD Win 2 actually ships… keep in mind that I’m testing a prototype).
There are seven tiny screws holding the computer together. Remove them carefully and set them aside and you should be able to pry open the case using nothing but your fingernails… although a plastic opening tool may also come in handy.
There’s a visible seam separating the top part of the computer from the bottom. That’s where you insert your fingernails or opening tool. Then gently pry the two pieces apart and work your way around all four sides of the computer until the bottom is easy to pull away.
When it’s time to seal everything back in place, just align the bottom carefully and press gently until you hear the latches that hold everything together snap into place and then start putting the screws back in.
The GPD Win 2 is expected to ship later this year and sell for about $699. It’s currently up for pre-order for $699 through an Indiegogo campaign.