The next handheld gaming PC from GPD will have a brand new design… that’s inspired by a rather old design.
The upcoming GPD Win 3 is a gaming PC that’s about the size of a Nintendo Switch Lite, and which looks a bit like one two – there’s a 5.5 inch touchscreen display surrounded by game controllers.
But if you slide the screen upward, you’ll reveal a hidden keyboard that can be used to enter text in games (or other apps). If the design looks familiar, that’s because it’s heavily inspired by the Sony Vaio UX line of handheld computers from almost 15 years ago.
GPD’s model is an all-new take on the design though, with upgraded components including an Intel Tiger Lake processor and Intel Iris Xe graphics.
The GPD Win 3 will go up for pre-order through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that’s tentatively scheduled for January, 2021, and it should ship to backers in April or May. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet.
GPD has been making handheld gaming computers for several years, but up until now they’ve all featured clamshell designs. That means that they fold like a laptop. Lift the screen on the GPD Win, Win 2, or Win Max and you reveal a small keyboard and integrated game controllers.
But while that design makes sense for a laptop that rests on a table, desk, or lap, it can be a bit more awkward for a gaming device that’s meant to be held in your hands like a Nintendo Switch.
So GPD decided to try building a model that you can hold like a Switch. But unlike Nintendo’s handheld game consoler, the GPD Win 3 is a full-fledged computer capable of playing PC games. And since it has a keyboard, you can use it to enter usernames, chat, or use other applications that require text input.
But make no mistake, the Win 3 is first and foremost a gaming computer. The keyboard is a capacitive touch keyboard – the keys register your taps the same way a touchscreen does, but they won’t move when you press them. That could make touch typing a little tricky for some users, although it does allow the keyboard to take up a little less space than it would if the keys moved.
You could theoretically use the GPD Win 3 as a productivity device. But its design and feature set were clearly chosen for gaming.
GPD has equipped the game controllers with dual vibration motors, analog L2 and R2 buttons, and dual analog sticks that can work as L3 and R3 buttons when you press down, among other things.
And while the company says the original plan had been to use an Intel Tiger Lake Y-series processor, but the company eventually decided to go for a higher-power U-series chip in order to support faster data transfer speeds for overall better performance. With the highest single-core CPU performance, faster memory, and integrated graphics that can best NVIDIA’s GeForce MX350 or MX450 discrete GPUs in some cases, the Win 3 will be GPD’s most powerful handheld gaming computer to date.
If you’d rather have many of those features in a device with a larger screen and keyboard though, GPD does plan to offer a version of the GPD Win Max with a Tiger Lake processor eventually. You just may have to wait until later in 2021 or maybe early 2022 to get your hands on one.
While GPD has been one of the driving forces behind the emergence of a modern handheld gaming PC renaissance, there’s growing competition in this space. Rival One Netbook plans to release a OneGx Pro mini-laptop with a Tiger Lake-Y processor soon. The upcoming AYA Neo handheld features an AMD Ryzen 4000U processor with Radeon graphics. And maybe the Smach Z will actually ship one day.
But there’s nothing currently on the market that’s quite like the GPD Win 3 – a modern handheld gaming PC with high-performance CPU, GPU, storage, and memory and a slider-style design that allows you to use a keyboard when you need it, and hide it when you don’t.
Oh, and there’s also an optional docking station that allows you to quickly and easily connect an external display, allowing you to use the same computer for gaming on the go (or around the house) and on your TV or monitor.
That doesn’t mean that this is necessarily the perfect gaming device for everyone though. GPD opted for a 720p display, even though the Tiger Lake processor should easily be able to handle a higher-resolution panel. There’s no gyroscopic sensor for motion controls. And while the Win 3 is about the size of a Nintendo Switch Lite in terms of length and width, it’s rather chunky for a handheld.
Here’s a run-down of all the specs that have been confirmed so far, but keep in mind that with release still several months away, it’s possible that some specs or features could still change.
|Display||5.5 inch, 1280 x 720 pixel IPS|
84-percent NTSC color gamut
Gorilla Glass 5
Slides up to reveal keyboard
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1135G7 or Core i7-1165G7|
15W to 28W TDP
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe|
80 EUs (Core i5) or 96 EUs (Core i7)
|Storage||M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe SSD|
microSDXC card reader (supports A2 cards with 160MB/s speeds)
|Battery & charging||44 Wh battery|
65W power adapter (1.5 hours for a full charge)
|Battery life (estimated)||3 hours of heavy use|
6-8 hours of moderate use
14 hours of light use
|Ports||1 x Thunderbolt 4|
1 x USB Type-A
1 x 3.5mm audio
|Cooling||Active (fan + dual heat pipes)|
Hidden behind screen
|Game controllers||Analog L2/R2 triggers|
Dual analog sticks (press down for L3/R3)
X, Y, A, B keys
Dual vibration motors
|Docking station||1 x HDMI 2.0b|
1 x Gigabit Ethernet
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10 Gbps)
3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (10 Gbps)
|Materials||Magnesium alloy & ABS plastic|
|Colors||All black or silver black|
|Dimensions||198mm x 92mm x 27mm|
(7.8″ x 3.6″ x 1.1″
Update: The Phawx has a new video showing a little bit of gameplay on a prototype with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor as well as a few new details:
- The base model will have the Core i5 chip and a silver paint job.
- An Indiegogo Special Edition black model will have a Core i7-1165G7 processor.
- There’s a fingerprint sensor on the right game controller so you can login without raising the screen to access the keyboard.
Update 2: GPD has shared a short video showing Win 3 prototypes in action:
First show of WIN3 1035G7 pic.twitter.com/qjQYTXXOXL
— GPD Game Consoles (@softwincn) November 12, 2020
Update 3: GPD posted a few new images showing a the ports, shoulder buttons, and size of a recent prototype:
Last time we already knew Win3’s size, now let’s see the thickness.
It would be quite similar as Win2. (Nice tea😅) pic.twitter.com/FM0oEQHjLz
— GPD Game Consoles (@softwincn) November 25, 2020
Update 4: GPD has announced that the Win 3 will sell for $829 and up during crowdfunding. Some more specs have also been revealed, so I’ve updated the spec table above.
via qq, The Phawx (YouTube), @softwincn, and gpd_devices (discord)
That touch keyboard (pretend physical keyboard) might end up being a deal breaker for me. Waiting to see more info/photos/videos of the keyboard in use.
Same for me
Hopefully the buttons are of good quality. I can’t stand mushy buttons.
This is actually a very interesting device. I’ve used to Win 1 quite a bit but this Win 3 could potentially be used as a desktop replacement when in docked mode. One of my current PC’s is an Intel Skull Canyon NUC with an external slim GTX 1050 for the GPU. If the Intel Xe GPU is more powerful than a GTX 1050, then this could actually be a replacement PC. One in which would be suitable as a desktop PC while being portable enough when undocked. I just hope the price will be pretty reasonable.
Looks like mutantC or Sony UX.
As a person who generally used the Win 1 as a portable computer that can also play games this new iteration is a little disappointing. It looks really cool but I don’t like having the game controls sticking out all the time if I’m not using it all the time. I’m also disappointed about the loss of tactile keys. If you’re going to have a keyboard it may as well have proper keys. Otherwise you could just use an onscreen touch keyboard if you feel like tapping on a hard surface. The layout also makes it look like a stretch to do thumb typing because of the controllers being in the way on each side. I would have been happier with a refresh of the Win 1, keeping the same basic size and form factor but with improvements in cooling so that the batteries don’t swell and maybe some minor adjustments to the keyboard layout (maybe more centered) and whatever appropriate increase in CPU that we can get from technology advancements from 2016 to 2020 for close to the same price point or a bit more due to inflation and our willingness to maybe pay a bit more for upgrades. Just to reiterate, I think it looks cool, and I like to see GPD and others innovating and bringing more, and better products to the market for us to choose from but the Win 3 sadly is probably not for me. Though I can imagine it will make a lot of more serious gamers very happy.
Then get a Win Max, if you want a proper blend of portable productivity and clamshell gaming laptop. Or get the One GX1 Pro and detach the controller’s. Using a 5-6 inch screen with thumb keyboard of GPD Win 1 is feasibly too small for genuine productivity.
The Win Max is not a replacement for the Win1 and 2 since the first 2 were thumb type devices which you could type on while holding. The Max is too big to type while holding and has a too small screen (also borderline unusable due to it’s layout) to be used as a laptop placed on the table. If you want a thumb type UMPC you are now restricted to the GPD MicroPC until they decide to discontinue that too…
I owned two models of the old Sony UX. It was a nice handheld, for its day. I immediately noticed the similarities when I saw the article.
Personally, I would have preferred a 7″ screen instead of 5.5″. Maybe GPD WIN 4 will have that.
Then get a Win Max, which is 8″ or an Aya Neo, which is 7″.
Aya Neo is missing the keyboard part. Otherwise, it’s the one to get.
Or a One GX1 Pro, which is 7″ and has a keyboard.
They should get rid of the GPD logo on the bottom bezel and fill in the remaining bezels for additional screen size. I fired up Moonlight on my phone to give myself a similar compare, and it really needs to have a slightly bigger screen. Since the sticks and everything are already fully exposed, growing the device slightly will not hurt or make anything any less convenient for travel than it already is.
I hope they don’t go with a capacitive touch keyboard for the next MicroPC. That would be a deal breaker.
I guess, for some, if the primary use case is gaming, then a crappy touch keyboard is better than no keyboard. Although, I’m sure there are many users that use their Win 2 for “PC” purposes a lot.
Plus, it seems GPD is giving up on the pocketable gaming audience with this form factor.
“seems GPD is giving up on the pocketable gaming audience with this form factor.”
Uh, it’s literally around the same size as the Switch Lite and looks super pocketable. If you want added protection for the sticks, there will likely be flip covers, like there are for the Switch Lite.
I’m really excited for this. I canceled my win max pledge at the last minute because I knew tiger lake was going to kick ass. And here we are.
Joystick location seems odd to me but I could deal with it. The vibration feature and fingerprint reader seems needless to me but sure why not. If they can lower the price of the device by not including these 2 features I would say do it.
overall really hyped
Using a smaller screen is going to suck using W10.
It was at times a pain to use on the Win2 this is only going to be worse.
More power is all well and good but if you can’t see it it’s useless.
The GPD win 1, which is smaller, is still huge. Its only close to pocketable, and that is really important for an “UMPC”. When not “on the go” you can just dock it, and if you bring a backpack you can just bring a laptop anyway.
The screen size is good, its just that everything around it is too large :/
Sony is hands down more aesthetically pleasing. Thats the way it goes I guess.
If you want a Windows switch, this is that. To me it’s a waste of all that power that you couldn’t use it whillst on the go for some light productivity as well. That’s why I’d go for the GX 1 Pro over this or the Win Max 2 with tiger lake. They can do both duties and you’re paying big bucks for these so get them working.
You’ll pay much more for the One GX pro than for the Win 3, knowing how bad it’s Onenetbook pricing, it is going to be around 1400$.
I wonder if my thumb can reach the center of the keyboard while thumb typing though. With Win 1 my right thumb can become sore after a while.
Hopefully lighter than or as light as Win 1
Bezel less display would be nice….
This looks absolutely fantastic. Other companies have tried to one-up GPD in the handheld gaming PC market but keep falling behind the king. My only concern is the price. If it costs $1200 that may be a tough sell, but then again this is a niche product that will appeal to its base regardless.
I haven’t been this impressed by a portable device in a long time. A full-fledged handheld PC with a discrete GPU is a game-changer. No more intel integrated graphics.
This does have integrated graphics. They’re just pretty good integrated graphics.
The whole attraction of Tiger Lake is G7 has decent igpu, not a discreet one.
Wow, on paper this thing looks like an absolute win. That i7-1165G7 should be a fantastic CPU, on par with the performance of recent i5 desktop CPUs (9th and 10th gen). I think someone could conceivably use this thing as a desktop replacement with that dock, along with an external GPU and a monitor.
With this CPU combined with 16gb RAM, the GPD Win has finally crossed the threshold of being a viable Gaming PC overall.
If this product was sold in my country with a warranty, this would be a buy for me.
However, I’d like to see more about how usable it really is as a handheld, and also how well it can stay cool.
I think you can get an online device warranty with SquareSpace or somewhere else for it.
You can buy a warranty if you buy it from Amazon but expect to pay more for the device and more for the warranty.
Im not interested in extended warranties provided by retailers. They don’t have the ability to provide any kind of real support, they’re just offering to replace the product if it dies. But with a product like this, it’s not going to be in stock for very long, so replacement isn’t likely.
They’re probably just going to offer to contribute towards the purchase of another product.
When a company provides warranty and support themselves inside my own country, that means that there will be a support team to help with issues, and it forces them to be committed to their product. My desire for locally supported warranty is my way of saying that I don’t want to send $1000 to a retailer in a foreign country with no obligation to ever answer any emails from me in the future.
Also, offering a factory warranty and support inside my country allows many people the ability to obtain one through their employer for work.
After thinking about this form factor some more, I’m not really that hyped about this product specifically, but I’m excited to see it in the Win Max iteration as the article suggested.
The keyboard on this design doesn’t seem to be a great idea. The dimensions of this device are roughly the same as the Switch Lite. I own a Switch Lite, and I was kinda playing with this idea by holding my Switch. I’m not convinced that I could use a capacitive keyboard with my thumbs and those ergonomics. I’m also not sure I want to use my index finger to type either.
I think I’ll wait for the Win Max version of this hardware.
Agree 100% regarding the keyboard.
Handheld device manufacturers NEVER get the keyboard right; it’s always a sloppy mess that has keys in the wrong places, lack of right shift / no sticky modifiers, keys too close to the sides, etc.
If they are so dead set on having a capacitive keyboard under the screen, they should just put an e-ink screen under the keyboard that displays the layout, and allow the keyboard layout / keymap to be modified. Everybody can have whatever keys they want where they want.
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