GPD’s Win Max tiny handheld laptop is hiding big gaming power

I love that my gaming laptop enables me to play my Steam library beyond the confines of a desk. But it’s still not quite portable enough. That’s a problem that Chinese hardware company GPD has always worked to solve with its handheld laptops. And now the GPD Win Max’s hardware specs make the device difficult to ignore.

Here’s a rundown of what GPD is packing inside of the Win Max:

  • Intel Core i5-1035G7
  • Integrated Intel Gen11 Graphics Iris Plus 940
  • 1200×800 8-inch IPS display
  • 16GB DDR4 @ 3733MHz
  • 512GB SSD
  • Wi-Fi 6 wireless card
  • Thunderbolt 3 support
  • HDMI 2.0b port
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Built-in gamepad controls

I’d call those specs uncompromising — although how impressive it really is will depend on the price. GPD hasn’t announced the release date or price yet.

But what really sets the Win Max apart is its full Intel i5 CPU and Gen 11 Iris Plus 940 graphics processor. While the i5 doesn’t quite stack up to recent Ryzen 5 (or even some Ryzen 3) chips in terms of compute, the i5 is still an excellent gaming processor. And that’s especially true when you pair it with Intel’s Gen 11 integrated GPU.

Intel has put a ton of work into boosting the gaming performance of its iGPUs, and Gen 11 is competitive with other lightweight video processors like Nvidia’s GeForce MX150 and AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 10. This means you should get playable framerates even on demanding games on medium or low settings. And GPD Win Max should crush 2D games or online competitive games like Rocket League.

My biggest concern about the Win Max is the comfort. It’s 790 grams, which is about 2.5 times the mass of the Nintendo Switch. With an 8-inch screen, full keyboard, and big-boy CPU, that’s not surprising. But I’ll have to hold one for myself to know if that’s a problem.

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