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In brief: The Steam Deck isn't the only handheld gaming machine people are anticipating. GPD's WIN Max 2021, the sequel to the GDP WIN Max, starts its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign today. For those who don't know, it's a device that's more akin to a mini laptop with a built-in controller.
The upcoming handheld looks similar to last year's model, keeping the same clamshell design, mini backlit keyboard, and integrated controller. But there are several upgrades, the most significant being the option of AMD Ryzen 4000 or 11th-gen Intel Core processors.
Those opting for team red will get an 8-core/16-thread Ryzen 7 4800U low-power APU with Radeon Vega graphics, but if you want more out of your games, there's the 4-core/8-thread Intel Core i7-1195G7 that can boost to 5GHz.
GPD says the better single-threaded performance of Rocket Lake means buyers should pick the Intel option for gaming. It has some impressive figures, including 89 fps in Metro Exodus and 66 fps in Microsoft Flight simulator (low to medium settings). The Ryzen APU can't match that, but you do get a chip more suited for productivity tasks—and it lasts longer.
The 8-inch H-IPS screen offers a 1280 x 800 resolution, which works out at 188 PPI. It also has a maximum brightness of 500 nits, 90% DCI-P3 color coverage, and gorilla glass. Internally, there's a 1TB NVMe SSD—more than the Steam Deck's maximum 512GB—16 GB of LPDDR4 dual channel memory, and user-definable 20W, 25W or 28W TDPs.
Port-wise, the Intel version comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports and the AMD option has two USB 3.2 Type C. There's also two USB 3.2 Type-A ports, one HDMI 2.0, one Gigabit Ethernet, and a 3.5 mm audio jack. It starts at $999 (both CPU options), but that goes up to $1,250 after the campaign, which is a lot more expensive than the Steam Deck's $399 starting price.
There's good news for owners of older GPD WIN Max handhelds. Users can buy the latest model's mainboard/memory upgrade—Intel or AMD—for $699. This will increase to $837 (Intel) and $937 (AMD) after the campaign. The upgrade doesn't include the SSD as that is user-replaceable.