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Three drawbacks and advantages of the Win Max that GPD doesn't tell you about

Three drawbacks and advantages of the Win Max that GPD doesn't tell you about
Three drawbacks and advantages of the Win Max that GPD doesn't tell you about
The permanent Wi-Fi 5, tiny joysticks, lack of FreeSync, and noticeable ghosting are real bummers on an otherwise fast and well-designed Windows 10 gaming handheld.

After spending a few weeks with the 2021 Win Max, we've found a few lesser-known hits and misses about the device that users ought to know about before purchasing. Hopefully these are something that the manufacturer can address on future revisions of the Win Max as the latest 2021 model is simply a minor internal refresh of the original 2020 Ice Lake model.

See our review on the AMD 2021 Win Max to learn more about the performance of the handheld gaming PC.

Display Response Times Are Slow

Most desktop monitors these days have response times of 8 ms or faster while gaming-specific monitors can be as fast as 3 ms or 1 ms. The black-to-white response time on the Win Max display is almost three times slower at 22 ms. Expect some noticeable ghosting especially when playing 3D games with fast camera movements such as Overwatch or Rocket League. Slower-paced games like DOTA 2 suffer less from the slower response times.

Black-white response times
Black-white response times
50 percent gray to 80 percent gray response times
50 percent gray to 80 percent gray response times

Chassis And Hinges Creak Too Much For Comfort

Though it looks good from afar, the unit exhibits a lot of audible creaking when held or when adjusting the angle of the screen. The rickety feel would have been more acceptable if the system didn't retail for a hefty $1000 USD.

Hinges are fairly rigid, but the creaking is concerning
Hinges are fairly rigid, but the creaking is concerning
Lid can open the full 180 degrees
Lid can open the full 180 degrees

Range of Movement On the Joysticks Is Too Small

It's unrealistic to expect such small joysticks to have the same range of motion as a full-size XBox or PS controller, but the ones on the Win Max are still way too small. Precise movements are more difficult to perform as a result.

Joysticks have a very narrow range of motion that's smaller than the PSP or Switch Joy Con
Joysticks have a very narrow range of motion that's smaller than the PSP or Switch Joy Con
Maximum range that the joystick can tilt from its default positioning
Maximum range that the joystick can tilt from its default positioning

Fan Noise Is Surprisingly Quiet When Gaming

Fan noise tops out at 35 dB(A) if Turbo fan mode is disabled or 49 dB(A) when Turbo fan mode is enabled. Performance remains the same by default regardless of the fan mode meaning users won't lose performance if gaming with Turbo fan mode disabled. The mid-30 dB(A) range is quieter than many Ultrabooks when under similar gaming loads.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.935.133.835.334.32527.628.92927.324.53125.324.824.524.2234022.123.920.322.721.25024.324.219.42024.66326.924.320.919.227.78023.725.521.52223.410020.824.718.118.719.312522.120.915.215.721.71602120.415.914.220.920021.220.515.714.321.925022.221.414.413.422.83152523.914.813.625.240028.327.615.912.929.350029.228.515.411.829.663030.728.216.911.330.780030.428.61611.630.5100030.929.1151030.8125032.531.715.21033.3160032.33113.610.232.9200034.832.815.710.635.325003835.71510.938315038.236.41410.938.1400039.437.514.211.339.6500041.939.713.211.441.8630038.836.212.811.539.2800039.13612.911.539.41000036.433.212.811.536.81250035.332.21311.435.81600030.827.615.511.231.3SPL4946.926.623.349.2N6.15.30.80.56.2median 30.9median 29.1median 15median 11.5median 31.3Delta65.30.91.15.8hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseGPD Win Max 2021

Battery and M.2 2280 SSD Are Easy To Replace

The back panel can be easily removed with just a Philips screwdriver to reveal the battery and M.2 drive. Users can save money by purchasing a lower capacity drive and then upgrading to a higher capacity one themselves.

No Wi-Fi 6 Support Or Upgrade

Both the Intel and AMD SKUs ship with the older Intel 7265 instead of the Intel AX200, AX201, or AX210 meaning the Win Max is not compatible with Wi-Fi 6 speeds. This wouldn't have been so bad if the WLAN module was removable, but it is sadly soldered onto the motherboard as a 1216 module instead of 2230.

Non-removable Wi-Fi 5 WLAN module
Non-removable Wi-Fi 5 WLAN module

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 09 > Three drawbacks and advantages of the Win Max that GPD doesn't tell you about
Allen Ngo, 2021-09- 3 (Update: 2021-09- 2)