GamePad Digital, a hardware startup, previously released a handheld device and 7-inch pocket PC based on Intel’s Atom mobile chipset. It was called the GPD WIN, and on Monday, the company announced the Indiegogo campaign for the second-generation version, the GPD WIN 2.
The new device, which nearly sold out of the initial stock of 1,000 units within the first two hours of availability, improves substantially on the original model:
- The processor has been upgraded from Atom x7-Z8350 to Core m3-7y30 — a similar model as the Surface Pro’s m3, but a newer generation.
- The memory has been switched from eMMC to m.2-2242 (SATA 6Gb/s). It comes with 128GB installed but, but users can upgrade it easily.
- It has a microSD card slot (in addition to a m.2 drive).
- It has 8 GB RAM LPDDR3-1866 (the previous generation ran either at 1333 or 1600 speed, depending on mode and BIOS version.)
- The rear layout of the ports has been rearranged.
- There’s now joystick controls and rumble motors.
- It has a Gorilla Glass 4 touchscreen.
- The battery has been increased by nearly 50 percent from a single 7,000mAh cell to dual 4,900mAh batteries.
Arguably the GPD WIN 2’s real draws are its ability to run the full version Windows 10 and play PC games at a decent framerates, albeit mainly on low settings. Thanks to GamePad Digital’s optimizations, some games that previously struggled to achieve a stable framerate on Intel’s Atom platform are playable on the GPD WIN 2 — the company says it runs Grand Theft Auto V at 38 frames per second (fps) on maximum settings, Overwatch on low settings at 50 – 70 fps, and Skyrim at an average of 53 fps.
If the GPD WIN 2 has an obvious downside, it’s the price. The Windows 10 clamshell starts at $649, $250 more than the original. And that’s just the limited-time promotional price — GamePad Digitial says it’ll retail for $899 later this year. Still, if you’re looking for the ultimate in portable PC gaming, there may be no substitute.