GPD Win Max 2021 handheld gaming laptop now available for preorder with surprising Intel Core i7-1195G7 upgrade and lower price
GPD’s Win Max 2021 handheld gaming laptop is going up for pre-orders today at 10 PM ET on Indiegogo. This year’s model is the first one to integrate an AMD processor in the form of the Ryzen 7 4800U, but it will feature Intel Tiger Lake-U options, as well. GPD initially announced that it will offer i7-1185G7 and i7-1165G7 variants; however, just before the crowdfunding launch, the company decided to upgrade the final specs to include an i7-1195G7 processor and scratch the other two. What is really surprising here is that GPD now offers the i7-1195G7 variant for the same $1250 price tag on the Ryzen 7 4800U model. As always, the price is lowered during the crowdfunding campaign, so early birds can pre-order for just $999.
The chassis on the Win Max 2021 model is almost identical to the 2020 one, so owners of the previous model can opt to get only the mainboard upgrade that is priced at $837 ($669 during the pre-orders campaign). Lowering the price on the Intel model is indeed a pleasant surprise, but then again, we are not sure why the AMD model still has the same price. The performance of the Ryzen 7 4800U is clearly not on par with the Intel i7-1195G7 that can reach single-core speeds of up to 5 GHz at full TDP.
Youtuber The Phawx offers some insightful findings that could shed more light on the pricing. He points out that the Ryzen model appears to be performing better when setting the TDP between 5 and 10 W, while the Intel model is faster when setting TDPs to 14 W and up. With a bit of frequency tweaking for the CPU and Vega iGPU, as well as by setting a custom resolution, the Ryzen model performs quite well and also saves a few hours of battery life. On the other hand, the Intel model with higher TDP offers considerably faster gaming performance, plus it enables external GPU support through the Thunderbolt 4 connector.
Is the GPD Win Max 2021 really worth it when the Steam Deck is also a thing? GPD clearly wants to differentiate its product through the mini-laptop features that include a keyboard, more advanced ports, slightly larger screen and more storage space. Are all these enough to justify the $350 ($600) price difference though? Moreover, the Steam Deck will integrate an RDNA2 iGPU and faster LPDDR5 RAM, so it will clearly get the performance edge, but keep in mind that it will only be available in around 1 year from now.