GPD Pocket Computer Review

Preface
Official Specs
Versions
Price
Short Review
Long Review
  What's Included
  Manual and Packaging
  Build Quality and Durability
  Specs
  Size
  Power
  Performance
  Keyboard
  Ports
  Display
  Tidbits
Conclusion
  What I like
  What I don't like
Up Next
Notes

Preface

Reviewing computers is a bit outside the scope of my expertise.  However, I was in need of a Windows machine for use with some other review items (namely the EasyThreed E3D Nano), and GearBest agreed to send this little computer to me for use with that printer, and for review.  Here’s the review of the GPD Pocket Computer!

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Official Specs and Features

Versions

There are at least two versions of this tiny laptop.  There’s a Ubuntu version, and a Windows version, which is the version I have.  As far as I can tell, the hardware is the same on these two versions.

Price

The price on these range from around $500 to $600.  GearBest has it for $509, and seems to have only the Windows version in stock.


Short Review

I needed a full version of Windows, and this computer fits that need.  It’s tiny, very tiny, and the keyboard is really not all that different for me, from typing on a phone or pad.  Which is to say, I type with one or two fingers, and it’s pretty slow (whereas I type at >100wpm on my mechanicals).  I do like it.  It’ll be great for my kids to play on, and it’s a touchscreen!

Long Review

What’s Included

  • GPD Pocket Computer
  • Headphones (earbud style)
  • USB-C to USB-C Charge cable
  • Wall wart
  • Manual

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Package and Manual

The GPD ships in a posh little box. The computer (and other parts for that matter) are held in place in closed cell foam, which makes for a safe ride for all the parts.  The computer even has a ribbon, allowing easy removal from the foam.  The box itself has fancy gold embossing with the brand name, on the front.

The manual could possibly be considered bereft of detail, at least with regards to operation.  However, it’s a laptop, and I’d wager most people who are going to use this will already know how to use a laptop.

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Build Quality and Durability

I normally use a 2013 Macbook Pro.  That’s an aluminum unibody laptop.  Having used this laptop for a long time, I have to say, in hand, the GPD Pocket has a very similar feel.  The body has the same build style as my Macbook (ie, “unibody”).

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Looking at the unit closed, one would be forgiven for thinking Apple had created a 7″ Macbook. It really looks like a Macbook.  There are a few notable differences, of course.  First and most use-related, is regarding the hinge.  When fully opened, the hinge touches the surface.  Which is to say, the laptop doesn’t rest on all four feet in all levels of ‘open.’  Overall I found this to be a little frustrating, but not that bad.  The second thing is that this laptop has a bunch of ports, in it’s very small side.

The bottom of the GPD Pocket (below).  There are four hard plastic feet, and the bottom of the device is held on by six Philips screws.

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Since the screen is a touchscreen, it’s more important that it’s be of good quality.  I have used this little laptop a fair amount, and the screen shows no wear at all.  As you can see below, it’s still completely reflective (as seen below).  Not that this necessarily means much.  But it’s a very nice screen.  The resolution of the 7 inch screen is 1920×1200.

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The screen goes surprisingly (but not completely) flat.  One of my minor complaints can best be seen here – with the screen back all the way, the body of the computer lifts off the table.

Specs

  • CPU: Intel quad-core Z8750
  • RAM: 8GB LPDDR3
  • Storage: 128GB eMMC
  • Wireless: 2.4GHz/5GHz dual band Wi-Fi, 802.11ac
  • Display: 1920×1200 HD, 1080P.
  • Ports: USB-C, Micro HDMI, USB 3.0, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Weight:
  • Dimensions: 180 x 106 x 18.5 mm
  • Webcam:
  • Battery: 7000mAh li-po with 2C charging

Have a better look at the ports below.  Leftmost here is the grille for the fan.

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Size

Officially the GPD Pocket is 7.48 x 4.33 x 0.79 inches.

This thing is just tiny.  Below is the TorchLAB BOSS 70 (in Brass), an 18650 flashlight.

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Power

A pleasant surprise about the Pocket is that it’s powered by USB-C.  A wall wart capable of 3A at 5V is included, and it has only USB-C (and just one!).  The cell is a 7000mAh LiPo and claims charge of 2C (which would mean 14A, at least as far as I understand things).

I won’t dispute the 2C claim.  And I did test the charging, which can be seen below.  From this test it can’t be said that the max charge current is 1.9A, because my recording setup isn’t ideal for this.  What can be said is that the charging looks good, and even at the rate of 1.9A, takes around 5 hours to fully charge.  What I’m less sure of is what happens when the device has charged completely, and charging “switches off.”  Based on the graph below, there was still over 400mA being sent to the laptop.  I’m not sure what that’s about.  And that seems to continue… indefinitely.

Also noteworthy is that when charging (CC/CV) stops, the capacity looks to be around 9aH, well over the rated capacity of 7aH.

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Performance

I’ve never tested the performance of a computer before so I searched around for how the other guys do it.  They seem to test a bunch of games, and video conversion, etc.  And some use Cinebench.  That’s the route I’m going.  So I tested the GPD with Cinebench, and here are the results.

Default settings:
OpenGL: 14.20 fps
CPU: 145 cb

Honestly the results were pretty much the same on all the settings I tried.  It’s not a huge performer, but it gets the job done.  I don’t intend to use it for gaming, and it’s worked well for the minor 3d modeling for prints that I’ve done.

Keyboard

The keyboard on the GPD Pocket is probably going to be one of the big sticking points for many users.  I will say up front that, while usable, I found myself doing more thumb typing – much like I would on a mobile device.  Not a huge deal, but not all that fast, either.

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Something you’ll note is how many keys there are on this board.  I count 75 keys.  Apparently the Macbook keyboard has 78 keys – I’m not sure what’s different, but the GPD feels like it has more keys.

It’s also spaced quite differently from what you may be used to.  For example the “Enter” key is directly to the right of “L” and all the stuff normally there is moved to modifier keys on the top and second row.

The keys are good for typing though, if you can get accustomed to the size.

Ports

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Only one side has ports (the other side has nothing at all).  From left to right is the fan exhaust (not a port but still…).  Then there’s the USB-C charge port.  Then a micro HDMI port for running an external monitor.  Next is a 3.5mm headphone jack.  And finally, a USB 3.0 port.  It’s a nice host of ports, and for such a small device.

 

Display

As I’ve already said, this is a 7″ (diagonal) screen, with a resolution of 1920×1200.

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Quite frankly, the device feels like a large phone (or ipad) with a keyboard physically attached at all times.

When I received the GPD, I hadn’t read the specs enough to even know it was a touchscreen.  That was a random and pleasant surprise.  And to be sure, the touch works very well.  And there’s some interesting background stuff going on with the touchscreen (which might be common for Windows touchscreens, but this is my first.)  Namely, when clicking an item onscreen, if there’s a menu that pops up, it’s often too small to touch reliably with a finger – the arrow keys are automatically active and can be used to scroll through the menu.  Quite handy.

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Tidbits

Without a better place to put this info, I’ll drop random stuff here.

There’s a blue trackpoint in the area of the spacebar and mouse buttons.  It works well enough, but again, this is a touchscreen device – that’ll likely be the preferred option for most users.

Furthermore there’s a split spacebar.  There’s no special keyboard programming (past what can be done in Windows), so both sides of the spacebar are just…. spacebar.

And one more point about the mouse/trackpoint area.  There are dedicated mouse buttons, too.  Left and right buttons both!

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Conclusion

What I like

  • Touchscreen works very well
  • Micro HDMI out allows connecting a second monitor
  • Very nice build feel
  • Lots of keys – some unusual – which help in dealing with the small keyboard
  • Surprisingly good battery life

What I don’t like

  • Typing on a keyboard this size is just something you’ll have to accept up front.  But it’s somewhat difficult.
  • Wifi seems only “ok”.

Up Next

Next I’ll have the Astrolux K01 Cu.

Notes

  • This laptop was provided by GearBest for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons.  Note I’ve upgraded that sheet so that now, you may subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

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