GPD Win Max Review – Handheld Windows Gaming PC with i5-1035G7 Processor
This is a hand held windows. Pc it’s running with an intel ice lake, processor and it’s got an integrated game controller and it can actually play some games fairly decently and there’s. A lot of expansion opportunities on this as well to even use it as a desktop computer and we’re going to be taking a closer look at this very unique computer in just a second. But i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure. This came in free of charge from gpd. However, all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own. No one is paying for this review. Nor is anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded, so let’s get into it now and see. What this little computer is all about now, the price point on this is 999 dollars. It is pretty expensive for a handheld device, but it does have a pretty robust feature set, especially when you compare this to a laptop with similar specifications. Now this is, of course, a lot smaller than a laptop. I think a lot of it. Professionals like these kinds of devices, where you get a full, fledged intel pc and something that can fit in a bag easier than a heavier laptop, and one of the things that i like about gpd is that they make a very nice product. They’Ve been doing this for a number of years now, they’ve probably got half a dozen or more of these mini pcs.
That they’ve, put together over the years and everyone i’ve looked at, has been a really neat device, something different and i’m, always on the lookout for different stuff. So you’re, probably looking at this thinking, wow that’s, really cool. I can get some use out of that or you’re saying i have no use for that whatsoever and that’s exactly the point. I think there’s a very narrow audience for these things, but they are for the people that need or want one something that they’ve been very satisfied with over the years, and this one is certainly living up to the quality that they have made with their other devices. Now this one has an i5 1035 g7 processor, that is the prior generation ice lake chipset, but because it’s got that g7 on the end it does have the iris, plus graphics and you’ll, see that it will perform fairly decently. With some of the games, we typically look at here on the channel. It has 16 gigabytes of ram that’s soldered on and it also has a 512 gigabyte nvme ssd installed. You can upgrade the ssd. We did take this apart during the unboxing video and discover that you could upgrade that part. So you do have some degree of upgradeability on the storage. It has an eight inch touchscreen uh, which is perfect for the graphics chipset here, because you’re basically going to be running your games at around 720p or thereabouts, it’s 1280 by 800 for its resolution, 500 nits, nice and bright it’s got a touch capability to it as Well, it supports 10 touch points, but there is no webcam on it, so that might be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what your workplace might require.
So if you want a web webcam you’re going to have to clip it on there and plug in something via usb now you’ll notice here that it’s got a keyboard and a trackpad. The trackpad, of course, is above the keyboard, so it’s a little awkward, sometimes to use it, but it’s a pretty functional trackpad for what it is, so that works pretty nicely. The keyboard has keys of various sizes here, it’s a little hard to type touch type on it. It does take some getting used to, but it isn’t bad for the form factor. But of course this is a rather large device compared to some of the other ones. That they’ve made, but again you do have to get used to that. I don’t, like the number keys here i think they’re too small, so i’m, finding myself often hunting and pecking on this keyboard more than i would like, but it is better than some of the other keyboards i’ve seen on their little pcs in the past. You also have an x input, compatible game controller here at the top, unlike prior gpd devices, the the sticks here actually click, and that was something the other versions did not do so. If you have a game that requires you to push down the stick, while you move things around, you can do that now versus having a secondary button for that task. Pretty decent d pad here it feels nice and of course you got your buttons here laid out.
Like an xbox controller on the back here, you’ve got your trigger and shoulder buttons. These are digital buttons, though, and not analog there’s a number of ports on this one too we’ve got an hdmi output, full size, two usb 3 outputs here and then you’ve got a thunderbolt 3 port right here and we were able to test this with an egpu. A little bit earlier that worked fine, so one of the cool things you can do with this is bring it home and dock it to a gpu and get better graphics performance. If you wanted to do something like that, you also have a usb type c port. Next to the thunderbolt port, both of these ports are full service, so they do data power and video, so you can plug in docking stations as well. If you want to do something along those lines, so that’s nice to see there’s a very robust cooling system on this, you can configure the laptop or the handheld here to run at either 15 or 25 watts and when it’s on the 25 watt setting that’s. Obviously the best performing setting and it does move a lot of air – it does get pretty noisy and you can really feel the air coming out. The back of it here so you’re going to want to keep those vents clear to keep it from overheating and we’ll talk about its performance in keeping itself cool a little bit later here in the video.
But it does a pretty effective job of moving air. For sure, on the right hand, side here, you’ve got a full size. Gigabit ethernet jack you’ve got a micro sd card slot next to it, and then on the other side here you have a switch to put the game controller into controller mode or into mouse mode. So you can actually use the game controller as a pointing device if you want, which is pretty nice now. The weight on this is 790 grams or 1.74 pounds so it’s a lot lighter than even the lightest ultrabooks out there. At least the ones powered with this processor, there might be a few in that weight range there, but by and large it is a pretty lightweight device for what it has inside the battery life on this will vary based on what thermal mode you put it into. Obviously, if you run it at the lower thermal mode, it’s going to go longer, but if you have it in the 25 watt mode, it won’t go as long. I found that if you’re doing some of the typical work kind of stuff on it like spreadsheets and word, processors and terminal, emulators and stuff you’ll probably get eight to ten hours of battery life on it. If you keep the display brightness down, but if you’re gaming on this you’ll obviously get a lot less than that, so think about. Maybe the first generation nintendo switch where you get about two ish hours of gameplay that’s about what you’re going to see here.
But the battery life was a lot more robust than i anticipated now. The audio quality out of the speakers on this is not great. It does have stereo speakers that are downward firing here at the bottom, but if you want you can plug headphones into the front here in that headphone, jack and there’s also a built in microphone if you’re doing audio calls or that sort of thing again, there’s no Webcam on this one, but you will at least be able to talk to people on your zoom calls. Now, of course, the big question is: how well does it play games, and the answer is quite well: we’re running no man’s sky right now at the native resolution of the display, that’s 1280 by 800 and we’re at the lowest settings of course, and we’re getting about 30 to 40 frames per second here – and this is when we’re on the planet’s surface, which usually has the biggest impact on performance. So i’m pretty pleased with this, and this is on par with what we’ve seen out of other isolate processors running with the g7 iris plus graphics, so it’s working as expected, which is great in a little device like this one. The fan is certainly running. We are on battery, but i turned it up to the highest performance settings and all in a very nice experience. Now a lot of people might be asking well how well might it work as a game streaming device and i would say, for game streaming, it’s going to do great, but it’s overkill, because if your intention is to stream games, you can get something a lot less Powerful to do that, including some handheld android devices, but it can do that.
The real advantage here is that you can run the games locally on the device itself, which i think makes a big difference. And, of course, you could also dock it to a gpu like we discussed earlier and really get a lot of robust usage out of it. Let’S take a look at a few other games. We ran earlier so here’s gta 5 running at the native resolution 1280 by at the lowest settings and, as you can see, we’re doing a north of 30 frames per second, usually in the 40 frames per second category, not bad and very, very playable. So that’s awesome to see on a handheld. We also checked out rocket league high settings 1280×800. We were doing about 60 frames per second give or take very, very good for a handheld pc device like this, so that was exciting. We also ran the witcher 3 low settings again native resolution here and we’re in the 30 to 40 frames per second territory as well that little hit there. I think was due to the fact that we were running this off of an external ssd, but overall, very playable, not 60, but certainly 30 is something that will work for you fortnight. We ran at low settings again at the native resolution. Jake did have to do a little bit of coaxing to get this to work properly, but once he got everything working, we were running at about 60 frames per second on this one and sometimes as high as 100 frames per second, depending on what was going on.
In the game there, so that worked out pretty nicely too, because you have a lot of great networking options on this with the ethernet, along with its wi fi six. I think you’ll have a good go at multiplayer stuff like fortnight, here too so, all together, pretty good gaming performance and again on par with some of the other intel based devices. We’Ve looked at with this same chipset and we also ran a couple of benchmarks on this one, starting with the 3d mark cloud gate. We got a score of 14 292. and you can see that’s very competitive with two i7 based devices from the same generation chipset that we saw on the dell xps 13 laptop and the acer spin. Five: two in one so very good performance on this thing and then, if you look at a ryzen based device, you can see we’re a little bit behind it on the graphics, that’s, the lenovo ideapad flex, 5. We looked at a few months ago, so ryzen’s still a bit faster than these ice lake chips, but still pretty competitive for a handheld and on the more demanding 3d mark time spy test. We got a score of 894. again putting this one in the same ballpark as some of the laptops we’ve looked at powered by the same chips and at the top of the list there is a recent lenovo device. We looked at with the new tiger lake chipset and you can see that one does much better graphically, which is why i would love to see a tiger lake iteration of this device.
I think it’ll deliver better frame rates on some of the games that we looked at so we’ll have to see if they come up with that a little bit later on. We also ran the 3d mark stress test and there we got a passing grade of 97.7 percent. That was actually surprising to see given how compact this thing is, but it was able to keep itself cool even under load, which means that you won’t see all that much thermal throttling. But you will hear those fans going and you’ll definitely feel the hot air coming out the back of it, but it is able to get that hot air out of there to keep that processor running pretty consistently, which was really nice to see. Now, if i had any complaints about this is that it does get a bit awkward and bulky, especially when you’re gaming for a long duration, although it’s not heavy compared to a laptop it’s, certainly a lot heavier than an xbox controller might be, and of course, the Xbox controller has better ergonomics, so it does get a little bit tiring to hold it for a long period of time. I also found that if you have games that use the d pad, that your hand is going to reach over the keyboard to get to it. So i’m, occasionally hitting some keys in this area inadvertently as i’m, getting to the d pad here, especially if you’re really working the controls, so i’ve been finding that it’s been better to put it down on the desk and grab the game controller to play with.
And if that’s, what you’re going to do, you may as well get a gaming laptop with a larger screen, but if you want something handheld, this definitely accomplishes the task and again i think this will be really useful for it. Professionals that want something lightweight but powerful to carry around with them throughout their workday, but it will work for games too, and it certainly can play them quite well. Now there is a new device coming out called the gpd win3. You can see what it looks like here that one’s going to be a lot smaller it’s got a smaller display, but i like how they’re positioning the game controls on that one, a little better. So, if you’re looking for something a little bit more comfortable for gaming purposes, that might be the one to look at, but this one certainly does a nice job playing games, even though it might be a little bulky and heavy versus a game controller. Now you can run linux on this device, but you do have to make some changes to get the display to orient itself properly. So if you are looking to do linux, it will be a little bit of a project to get things up and running. But after you do all of those adjustments, you should be good to go on that front and there’s some info on the gpd reddit subreddit that you can find to help you along in that process. So overall, i am very pleased with how this thing is working.
It is a neat little compact pc that performs as well, if not better than many of the laptops we’ve looked at powered by the same intel chipset. That is awesome and if you are looking for something like this, i think you’ll be quite pleased with it and if you don’t think you need it. This is certainly not going to be for you, but i do know there’s a lot of folks out there. That love the gpd devices and this one is probably one of the best ones they have made so far to date, especially from a performance perspective and i’m really eager to see what their new gpd win3 looks like, which should be out sometime next year. So lots more to see from gpd and that’s going to do it for this review until next time. This is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters, including gold level supporters, brian parker, jim peter tom. Albrecht frank lewandowski, mark bollinger and chris allegretta.