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GPDwin: Could this 5.5-inch handheld gaming PC kill the Nintendo 3DS?

The GPDwin handheld Windows 10 PC looks like a miniature laptop, but dedicated gaming controls could make it the ultimate portable device for gamers. Here’s everything you need to know, including the GPDWin specs, games compatibility, UK price and release date.

What is the GPDWin?

The GPDWin is basically a tiny 5.5-inch Windows 10 device with a built-in keyboard and gaming controls. It runs full Windows 10 Home, so you can use it as a mini laptop, but the addition of two thumbsticks and gaming buttons means that you can kick back and play any PC game with controller support. The thumbsticks and shoulder buttons can also be used as an alternative mouse, with just the flick of a switch.

Of course, the Intel Atom processor can handle some relatively intense action titles, but any modern games with demanding requirements are out.

The GPDwin is currently in its prototype stage but the Indiegogo project has already smashed its $100,000 target (funding is already over triple that amount) with over three weeks to go.

What are the GPDWin specs?

An Intel Atom X5 Z8500 processor (backed by 4GB of RAM) runs the show, which should handle Windows 10 with ease. You get 64GB of storage packed into the GPDWin, and it looks like there’s support for TransFlash microSD memory cards.

That 5.5-inch IPS display is a 720p panel, offering 267 pixels-per-inch (comparable to Apple’s iPad devices). Intel’s integrated HD graphics are on-board, which means that some of the latest games won’t run on the GPDWin and you’ll have to dial down the graphics quality on any recent 3D titles. However, we’ve had the likes of Crysis 2 running on Intel graphics, so you certainly won’t be limited to 2D platformers.

The GPDWin’s 6000mAh battery promises 6-8 hours of use, even when gaming, and hopefully we’ll find that’s the case in our final tests. As for ports, you get plenty, including a full-sized USB port, Mini HDMI and micro USB for charging.

 

What games is the GPDWin compatible with?

The GPDWin is a full Windows 10 device, so you can play anything that a standard Windows PC can run. For example, you can download and play Steam games and other Windows-compatible games from the likes of GOG.

The only real constraints are the Intel Atom processor, which will struggle with more demanding titles (and point blank refuse to load the likes of Rise of the Tomb Raider). And of course, while it”s possible to play simple mouse and keyboard-based games, using the right thumbstick as a kind of trackpad and the shoulder buttons to left and right-click, it’s going to be far too clunky for the likes of fast-paced strategy titles. You’ll need to connect a dedicated mouse and keyboard for the likes of that.

Of course, the GPDWin’s major advantage over the likes of the Nintendo 3DS is its flexibility. You can install millions of games from a range of sources and you’ll easily be able to find titles for just one or two quid on the likes of Steam.

Read next: Vega+ gives you Spectrum gaming on the go

When will the GPDWin be on sale, and how much will it cost?

The fact that the GPDWin has already smashed its Indiegogo goal means we should see the console hit market in October 2016, if all goes well. Backers of the Indiegogo project will be the first to receive the device and we’re hoping that online retailers will start shipping before Christmas 2016.

The GPDWIn will cost $499 US when it goes on sale, although by supporting the Indiegogo project for just $299 you will receive one of the first units. Here in the UK, we’d expect the GPDWin to cost around £399 on release.

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