GPD updates Win mini PC
Remember the GPD Win? I don’t blame you if you don’t. It’s a small, pocket-sized Windows PC that folds in half a la Nintendo’s 3DS handheld. It features a full 10-keyless keyboard, four gaming buttons, two joysticks, a directional pad, and a 5.5” touchscreen. The $350 product made a small splash after meeting its crowdfunding goal last year but was criticized for its shortcomings. While its specs were impressive for the size (4 GB of RAM, 64 GB eMMC storage, USB 3.0 Type-A and Type-C ports, mini-HDMI, microSD support), the build quality was questionable and the device would overheat. It seemed to fade into the background, but GPD hopes to bring it back into the spotlight with some notable improvements.
The original Win was powered by an Intel Atom x7-Z8700, and the storage solution was a cheap chip from Toshiba. GPD will outfit future models with the slightly faster Intel Atom x7-7850 and switch to Samsung eMMC storage. The Win will also come with an improved metal dome for the keyboard and higher grade silicone pads for the game buttons. The input devices came under heavy fire in initial reviews, but hopefully these changes will rectify those grievances.
The GPD Win is an interesting machine. It’s geared towards PC gamers that want something compact to game on the go. While it won’t be able to run the latest AAA titles, it can handle older and less demanding games. Where the GPD really shines is retro emulation. Most emulators for consoles up to the original Playstation don’t demand a lot of system overhead and can be played smoothly on very low-end hardware. While the changes to the Win are nothing too drastic, they may be enough to entice retro gamers to purchase one for the train ride home.
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