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GPD Win 2 pocket gaming laptop announced for $649

GPD Win 2 pocket gaming laptop announced for $649

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Last year I wrote about the GPD Win, a clunky but ultimately impressive Atom-powered gaming laptop the size of a 3DS. Now, Shenzhen-based GPD has announced its successor, the Win 2. It’s looking like a much more potent device, but comes with a price tag to match.

The Win 2 upgrades the original model’s Atom processor to a Core m3-7Y30 with integrated HD Graphics 615, doubles the RAM to 8GB, and increases the screen size to a 6-inch panel while remaining at 720p. The battery capacity has also been increased by nearly 50 percent, courtesy of two 4900mAh batteries.

Otherwise, some design tweaks here and additions like rumble support there, the Win 2 is a similar proposition to the original Win — it’s a pocket-sized Windows 10 laptop with built-in gaming controls. The main downside to this approach is that it isn’t really a slick consumer product — don't expect a convenient UI to match the screen size — but the huge pro is that it’ll run pretty much anything you can throw at it. Within reason.

Performance won’t be up to par with a dedicated gaming PC, of course, but GPD is making some pretty hefty claims about the Win 2: it’s said to run Grand Theft Auto V at 38 frames per second on maximum settings, for example, which would be well beyond the capabilities of the original Win and is definitely something we'd want to confirm for ourselves. Other stated figures include Overwatch on low settings at 50-70 fps and Skyrim at an average of 53 fps. The Win 2 will also no doubt be a great device for streaming games from your Steam library or Xbox, though the original Win was up to that task as well.

The Win 2 sounds like a huge upgrade, but it’ll have to be in order to justify the price. Right now GPD is taking orders on Indiegogo for $649 — $250 more than the original model, which often sells for less — and even this launch price is said to be knocked down 27 percent from $899. Will the power boost be enough for the Win 2 to find an audience? We’ll have to see when it ships in May. But if you’re into niche gaming gadgets, it’s kind of heartwarming to see one as decadent as this.