have trouble justifying it Steam Deck is priced at $400 after dropping $300 on the Nintendo switch$219 on the Analog bagand $179 on the game date? There are many excellent handheld gaming systems on the market today, but the new ones GPD Win Max 2 hope it can justify its price of $899 with a generous 10-inch screen and keyboard so users can tell themselves it’s a device they’ll also use as a productivity tool.
GPD has been making these netbook/handheld gaming machines for a number of years and the Win Max 2, first announced in March, is their latest and greatest. It more or less resembles an oversized Nintendo DS or even the foldable GBA SP with physical game controls Positioned just below the screen, it includes a pair of analog sticks, a directional pad, four action buttons, as well as two sets of shoulder buttons and even an additional pair of user-programmable buttons on the back.
Nestled between the game controls is a touchpad and below it is a full QWERTY keyboard with a dedicated row of function keys and even a Windows key, but with a tall one condensed layout that might take some practice if you hope to get the hang of typing. The tiny keyboard seems fine for surfing the web and maybe firing off the occasional email, but writing a full dissertation on it might be a hand-cramping endeavor.
Despite the possible keyboard issues, GPD really wants to position the Win Max 2 as a productivity tool and even includes a pair of magnetic covers for game controls that can be stowed inside the device when not in use. But if you don’t want your boss to think you’re slacking off, or if you don’t feel comfortable being distracted by the lure of gaming, the joysticks and other buttons can be hidden.
Where the GPD Win Max 2 stands out from the competition – Nintendo in particular – is a 10-inch touchscreen with a 2560 x 1600 resolution. That’s also a solid improvement over the Steam Deck’s seven-inch 1280×800 display. Can it really run games at this resolution with a frame rate well over 30 fps? That remains to be seen, but the GPD Win Max 2 will come in two variants: one with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor and one with an Intel Core i7-1260P under the hood.
Other standard features include two USB-C ports and three legacy USB 3.2 Type-A ports, an HDMI port, a headphone jack, speakers, a 2MP webcam for video calls, motion detection for gaming, a fingerprint reader for biometric security , both microSD and regular SD memory card slots, WiFi, Bluetooth, optional 4G connectivity (with an add-on module), vibrating force feedback, and a 67Wh battery that GPD claims will last when playing processor-intensive AAA games, for example three hours or more runs up to eight hours on lighter tasks.
Pre-orders for the GPD Win Max 2 will start on July 7th, but via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The cheapest option, which will be available to earliest backers, is an $899 AMD model, of which only 50 will be available. But with just 16GB of RAM and a meager 128GB of SSD storage, gaming options are severely limited. (There are plenty of PC games that require far more than just 128GB of storage to fully install.) A jump to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD pushes the price up to $1,299 if you preorder through Indiegogo, or at $1,459, if that’s your preference wait for the Wind Max 2 to officially go on sale later.
That pushes the price of this handheld PC slightly into full-fledged laptop territory with an even larger screen, although in this case you’ll have to settle for an attached gamepad and limited portability. As with any crowdfunding product, there are risks and although GPD has been producing these types of devices for quite some time, as lilliputing points out that the company has also had issues with quality control, shipping hardware with the wrong components inside, defects, and customer support that can be difficult to deal with.