The GPD Win Max 2021 is a handheld gaming computer that looks like a tiny laptop, except it has game controllers and a touchpad above the controller, allowing you to hold it in your hands while playing PC games on its 8 inch HD display. It stands out from most other handheld gaming devices we’ve seen in recent years in that GPD is offering customers a choice of Intel Tiger Lake or AMD Renoir processors.
First revealed in May, the Win Max 2021 will go up for pre-order through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign set to begin on July 29th at 10PM Eastern. GPD says it will begin shipping units to backers when the campaign ends in mid-September.
Prices during crowdfunding start at $999 for a new model with either an Intel Core i7-1165G7 or AMD Ryzen 7 4800U processor, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage.
Folks who want to pay a lot more for a little more horsepower can also pay $1400 to get a Core i7-1185G7 chip instead, but honestly I don’t know why you’d do that.
Meanwhile, if you already have the original GPD Win Max, the company offers a chance to save some money by purchasing a new mainboard with the latest processor and memory for $669.
Those prices probably would have seemed a little steep if GPD had announced them last week (particularly the upgrade option). But GPD might have waited just a little too long, because now the company isn’t only competing with itself and other Chinese handheld makers like Aya and One Netbook. The company is also competing with Valve, which just announced that its Steam Deck handheld gaming computer will sell for $399 and up.
The Steam Deck doesn’t have a keyboard, has a smaller screen, and runs the Linux-based Steam OS rather than Windows. But not only does it have a lower price tag, it also has a more powerful graphics processor and the backing of one of the biggest names in gaming.
Will there still be space for niche portable gaming PCs like the Win Max 2021 once the Steam Deck ships? It’s hard to say at this point. At the very least, GPD, Aya, and One Netbook can probably take solace in the fact that Valve isn’t planning on selling the Steam Deck in China this year. But the space looks a whole lot different today than it did when GPD began planning for the Win Max 2021.
That said, GPD’s newest machine might still appeal to some folks who want more than a gaming machine. The QWERTY keyboard is large enough for touch typing, making the computer more of a tiny gaming laptop than a Nintendo Switch-style console. And the Intel-powered models feature Thunderbolt ports with support for external graphics docks, among other things.
But is that enough to justify paying more than twice as much for the Win 3 as you’d pay for a Steam Deck?
And so far we’ve only been talking about the prices during the crowdfunding campaign. Retail prices will be even higher:
|Product||Config||Crowdfunding price||Retail price|
|Win Max 2021||1185G7 / 16GB / 1TB||$1400||$1750|
|Win Max 2021||1165G7 / 16GB / 1TB||$999||$1250|
|Win Max 2021||4800U / 16GB1TB||$999||$1250|
|Mainboard||1165G7 / 16GB||$669||$837|
|Mainboard||4800U / 16GB||$669||$937|
So… anybody still interested in the GPD Win Max 2021?
GPD says models with Intel Tiger Lake chips will ship in mid-September, while models with the Ryzen 7 4800U processor will ship in October.