Is The GPD Pocket 2 Laptop Good For Ham Radio?
You know the icon. 7300 is is universally a good hf radio and if youre interested in hf its really easy for me to recommend that if someones looking for super ultra portable well, maybe thats, not the best radio, where im going with this is the gpd pocket. 2 is for me very cool, but it feels very specific niches within operating amateur radio. So what im going to do is im going to cover a little bit of a review of what the actual computer does, how i use it and then why some of those things probably wont work for you, Music gpd is a chinese computer manufacturer and the pocket 2 is the second iteration of their pocket line, gpd up until the creation of the pocket and some of the more recent computers focused mainly on laptops that had joy, con or joystick integration for people that wanted to play computer games in a highly portable platform. The pocket and then its later brother, the pocket 2. Here it came with just the design of being a computer. Its touch screen this one that i have i bought used. It is an m37y30, it has eight gigs of ram and it is a 128 solid state. Drive in it for ham, radio things it has two usb 3.0 ports and one usb c port and the usb c port is its charging port and fun. Fact. It charges off of 4.5 volts. So if you had a power film power saver, something with an integrated solar panel, you could charge this computer well on the go.
You can also charge a 705 off of this, so they actually work out really well together. But let me continue now, even though this is the pocket 2 line of computers – theres, not one hardware spec. In fact, there is an updated model, which is the one behind me on the screen there, and that is a m3 8100 y. That is a different processor and theyve actually kicked up the sd size to 256 gigs. They also have a cool black um case on it. I, like the black, more id, probably swap for the silver uh, but i paid 500 for mine and that one goes over 700. So already a big number for a tiny laptop rounding out the i o. There is also a micro sd card slot for ios its actually pretty useful theres, a lot of different ways to connect your laptop to it, of course, theres wi, fi and bluetooth as well. Now this screen is seven inches and it is a touchscreen. You might notice, as looking at this, that there is no trackpad. There is no mouse. In fact, how you mouse around is this little nub here, where my finger is its kind of like an optical sensor and its, if you think about a mouse upside down, what does a mouse have in the bottom? It has an optical sensor. Your finger is basically the mousing surface on this little tab and then, on the left hand, side of the computer.
There are left and right hand, click buttons or left and right click button. So you would literally hold it up like this mouse around and then left and right click with your left thumb. You can also click with the little sensor, but i found that to be really difficult. The mouse like skitters off and then you cant, really do a good click im used to this, but uh. This is totally something that you would have to get used to. If you were interested in this computer performance, wise ive had no problems running amateur radio software with this and multiple different types of software, jsa call wsjtx. You know not at the same time and then running like grid tracker and my logging program running automatic logging. For my contacts that works, fine, it works fast. It does. It does just fine in in all those spaces in a lot of ways, its actually a pretty nice computer as far as performance goes, if youre factoring in the small size, all right overviews out of the way why? Why am i telling people not to buy this? Well, to be so small, there are a couple of things going on with this computer. That may be a big problem for you, the first one that is the biggest issue for portable operators is the screen brightness. It has a very dim screen. It is so dim that you kind of have to put like something over your head or sit in a really nice shaded area.
If youre going to run it outdoors im talking even the ambient light, when youre under a shade could be enough to wash out the screen. So you may need to run in high contrast mode or do something else to make the screen usable in a very bright setting issue two, because this is so portable and so small. The keyboard layout is wild. It is not a joy to type on this keyboard. You do have to get used to it. Things like tab keys, have been moved in places that you wouldnt expect. There are no f keys and some keys are just straight gone like the right side shift key issue. Three, this puppy runs hot uh. If you think about it, theres not that much mass on the the laptop itself, you cant get rid of a lot of that heat. The fan runs constantly, even in just sitting here with windows on, and this does run windows 10, which is nice. There is actually an intake fan or grille for the fan right here and the exhaust blows out the back. But if you notice the the laptop has a bit of a kick here, and so you kind of need it always bent so that the venting gases comes out on the top and out the bottom. It is warm at all times. Here is a thermal probe of how hot this thing is. It gets kind of hot its straight up, just in just sitting there and the more you work with it, its going to get a lot hotter and it could have thermal throttling which will make the performance drop again.
Thats not really that big a deal for amateur radio operators, but i mention it just in case that somebodys going to sit there with it on their lap or holding it in their hands and realize pretty quickly. This is pretty warm to the touch getting to the point of almost being uncomfortable. With those complaints said, this is a good laptop. If you want something portable and by portable i mean, like close it up, put it into a small sling bag type of thing and just go because thats, like i mean its gone its in the little tablet sleeve back here for like seven inch tablets. It just absolutely disappears in bags. You know i like tablets and i like highly portable things that allow us to connect radios to computers to add functionality. This does that it absolutely does that, but there is a cost associated with that and thats part of the reason why im making this video i get asked all the time. What is that tiny, laptop youre using usually on instagram, oddly enough, because i post a picture of it? People just go nuts im showing a radio and itll be off in the distance, and somebody said what is that thing? It is fun, it is cool, it is ham sexy, but it has drawbacks, and i really really hope you consider that before you go dropping what 700 something dollars ill post the link to the amazon. It is my amazon affiliate store.
I do get a cut if you do buy one of these or anything thats on my amazon store or just anything you buy on amazon. If you take the link just be warned, please be warned. That is the only thing that matters to me im happy. If you like it, and you use it and its good for you its good for me, it might not be for you, though, particularly you know. If youve got a harder time, seeing or you do a lot of outdoor portable activations, where you dont have shade, the heat could be an issue if the suns bearing right down on top of it thats going to get really hot. Those are all things you should consider before you go out and pick up this laptop ill leave it with this, though, i have not encountered a situation where this doesnt work, like any other laptop, including my toughbook cfc2, which is my 320 dollar tank of a laptop, But its its really light its super light. This does everything too. This goes with me in a lot of situations where im packing much larger, like if im doing a portable live stream. This is the laptop i bring to connect to the radios 320 versus you know. 500 use again i bought this used. You can just see the size difference its its ridiculous, but this is way more expensive. This is easier to use. This is tinier, ah its its tricky right.
So i hope you you do uh do think about this. If before you go out and buy the gpd pocket too – and hopefully some of this is answering the questions that people have had touchscreen windows 10 uses all the ham radio applications and does it fairly well. So, for that, i give it a thumbs up, but its accessibility, just for anyone really can be on the tougher side, and you really need to know that before you go in anyway post your questions on the gpd pocket too, or just whatever hammer your questions in The chat and ill try to answer them as soon as i can. If this was helpful to you or you think it might be helpful to other people, make sure you click that thumbs up button. It tells youtube to put this in front of other people and if you enjoyed this video – and you have not already – please subscribe – a live stream every saturday, 5 p.m, pacific standard time and every other wednesday at 6, 00 p.m.