The GPD Win Max is a mini gaming laptop with an 8 inch HD touchscreen display, an Intel Core i5-1035G7 Ice Lake processor and Iris Plus graphics, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and built-in game controllers.

GPD will begin taking pre-orders for $779 through a crowdfunding campaign set to begin on May 18th, and the company plans to begin shipping the Win Max to backers after the campaign ends on June 30th. The price will likely go up at that time though.

The company has already sent a few pre-production units out to reviewers, and mine arrived today.

After tinkering with the Win Max for a few hours, I can already tell you that this is without a doubt the most powerful laptop with an 8 inch or smaller screen to date, and there’s a lot to like about the little computer, whether you plan to use it primarily for gaming or productivity.

The system feels nice and responsive. The 1280 x 800 pixel display looks reasonably sharp at 100-percent scaling, and it’s probably lighter on the GPU performance and battery life than a higher-resolution panel would be. And the QWERTY keyboard is comfortable to type on (if you’re primarily entering text, anyway).

The GPD Win Max features WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. It has LPDDR4X-3733 RAM and PCIe NVMe solid state storage. There’s no shortage of ports — in addition to a Thunderbolt 3 port, there are USB 3.1 Type-C and Type-A ports, a full-sized HDMI 2.0b port, Gigabit Ethernet jack, 3.5mm audio jack, and microSD card reader.

And not only does the computer have an Intel Core i5-1035G7 Ice Lake processor, but GPD has configured it to run at 25 watts for better performance (although you can decrease this in the BIOS if you want to prioritize battery life).

But the Win Max is not exactly a no-compromise PC. It’s one of the largest “mini” laptops to launch in the past few years — at 1.8 pounds and 8.1″ x 5.5″ x 1″, it’s definitely not pocket-sized.

The computer’s twin cooling fans spin up constantly, and they’re quite loud. There’s no webcam. The game controller buttons are on the small side. And the keyboard has a few quirks that are going to be hard to get used to:

  • The Tab key is above the Q instead of to its left, so I often hit Q when I mean to hit Tab.
  • The number keys are really small in order to make room for a dedicated set of Fn keys above them. This makes them hard to pick out by touch-typing.
  • Number keys also aren’t quite lined up where you’d expect them to be — the 1 is above the W and E keys, where the 3 is on most keyboards.
  • GPD put a small Caps lock key so close to the A key that you could easily mistake them for a single key.
  • The colon, semi-colon, apostrophe, and quotation mark keys are to the right of the space bar rather than next to the L key, which makes them a little harder to find.

The keyboard is backlit, making this the first GPD laptop with a touch-type keyboard to feature illumination. But the lighting is pretty dim and only shines under the sides of the keys and not through the keycap labels.

Update: It does shine dimly through the keycaps, but not brightly enough to make out some functions in dim lighting (the blue Fn keys are particularly hard to make out).

OK, that’s a lot of keyboard quirks. But at leas this thing has a keyboard that you can reasonably expect to touch type on. The original GPD Win and GPD Win 2 handheld gaming PCs featured smaller screens, less powerful processors, and keyboards so small that thumb-typing was the only real option.

I haven’t tested battery life or performance extensively yet, but I plan to run some benchmarks, play some games, and maybe even use the Win Max for a bit of work in the coming days.

For now, here are some additional pictures that compare the GPD Win Max with some other compact laptops I’ve got lying around, including the 13.4 inch Dell XPS 13 9300 laptop and the 7 inch Peakago mini-laptop.

And here are some more pictures of the Win Max on its own:

GPD Win Max specs

Display8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel capacitive touchscreen (500 nits and 90% DCI-P3 color gamut)
CPUIntel Core i5-1035G7 (4-cores/8-threads)
GPUIntel Iris Plus 940 64EU
TDP15/20/25 watts (adjustable in BIOS)
Storage512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 2280
Connectivity802.11ax/Bluetooth 5.0/Gigabit Ethernet
USB Ports1 x TB3, 1 x USB- 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1 Type-A
Other portsHDMI 2.0b (4K60fps), RJ45, microSDXC, 3.5mm audio
Battery57 Wh (3 x 5000 mAh)
Power supply65W Gallium Nitride power adapter (75mm x 36mm)
Cooling2 x fans and 2 x heat pipes
Dimensions205mm x 140mm x 24.5mm (8.1″ x 5.5″ x 1″)
Weight800 grams (1.8 pounds)
Price (US) $779 during crowdfunding

Update: Check out Liliputing’s in-depth GPD Win Max Preview for more details, performance notes, benchmark results, and lots of photos and videos:

GPD Win Max mini gaming laptop review

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7 replies on “GPD Win Max mini gaming laptop – unboxing and first impressions”

  1. Hmm… I don’t dislike how that layout looks at first glance — my biggest problem with the original pocket’s keyboard was the ,.; cluster, and they’re separate keys. Usability aside the number-fn-number row looks pretty slick…

    The fan part is unfortunate though it makes sense for a gaming PC; that was my other big problem with the first Pocket. I may be too far out of the intended market for this one. 🙂 Thanks for the review!

  2. Kendy (GPD) posted on the gpdwin subreddit that you can run this solely off the power adapter with the battery removed. Can you try to include how difficult it is to run this way in your review? (How hard to access/remove/re-insert)

    This would be for someone who wants to maintain the battery health as long as possible, as well as run intensive tasks (games) with less heat being generated by a battery also charging while playing.

    1. Is that actually going to be a convenient thing to do though? Brad’s pictures make it appear as if it requires removing several screws and the entire bottom panel to get at the battery.

    2. Perhaps interrupt the battery positive wire with an external switch. Click it off and the battery is not in the picture, back on and the battery is connected. I like this line of thought, sort of a desktop/laptop switch.

  3. I will never have money for this but i want that so badly. Is there a chance that GPD make a International Giveaway of one GPD Win Max so that i can have just a little bit of hope?

  4. 800 grams, jeez thats heavy. A Nintendo Switch is about 300g with the controllers attached. A GPD Win 2 is about 460g.

    I’ve held a GPD Win 2 briefly, and I thought the weight was a little high, but I could manage.

    Theres no chance I’m going to hold an 800g device like a gamepad. I’d sooner buy a Surface Pro, and carry an Xbox One controller around with it.

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