Waiting for Nintendo Switch 2? This tiny gaming laptop offers more power right now

GPD Win Max
(Image credit: GPD)

Getting hold of a Nintendo Switch at the moment has been tricky, as the console is selling faster than ever. But the GPD Win Max could be a powerful alternative to Nintendo’s wildly popular console. 

The GPD Win Max was shown off last year as a concept machine that blended a very small laptop into a game controller. Now GPD has revealed a fully-specced version, which it is claiming to be "world's smallest handheld gaming laptop.” With lots of power packed into a small design, this machine could tide you over until the Nintendo Switch 2 comes along. 

There have been plenty of such claims before, with super-slim laptops like the Razer Blade Stealth fitting nearly desktop-grade specs into a portable design. But none of these notebooks have been handheld. With an 8-inch IPS display and the latest Intel mobile chips packed into a compact chassis with what looks like an integrated Xbox controller, it’s hard to argue with GPD’s claims. 

Thanks to the use of Intel’s 3.7-GHz Core i5-1035G7 CPU, Iris Plus graphics, 16GB of DDR4 RAM And a 512GB NVMe SSD, the GPD Win Max should be able to handle modern games at acceptable frame rates on its 1280 x 800 resolution display. 

GPD Win Max gaming laptop

(Image credit: GPD)

GPD’s own benchmarks show the little laptop can run Red Dead Redemption 2 at 68 frames per second, Apex Legends at 55 fps, and Tom’s Clancy’s Rainbow Six Seige at 75 fps. Now we don’t know what settings those games were played at, so we have to take GPD’s results with a pinch of salt. But the Win Max certainly looks like it has more power to bring to bear than a Switch.

And since the Win Max is a Windows 10 laptop, it could also tap into a suite of game streaming services such as Google Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce Now. That could make it a pretty flexible portable gaming machine. 

Plus, thanks to its backlit keyboard and a trackpad, it could make a reasonable secondary work machine, though we doubt it’ll challenge a MacBook Air or Surface Laptop 3 any time soon.

While the Win Max looks like a reasonably compelling machine for people who’ve got a decent PC games collection, there’s no firmed up release date or price. But the tiny laptop could launch relatively soon as the website for it has an "order" button, though it's not active just yet. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face. 

  • y2kgtp
  • Paleo-rific
    Dear idiot who wrote this article,

    That has got to be one of the stupidest headlines I’ve ever seen, from a so called professional contributor.

    The switch lite is $200. The switch is $300. The GPD win max will likely be $800 or more, given its specs and the pricing history of GPD’s older devices.

    It’s like saying “Waiting for the new Honda Accord? This Tesla Model X offers more horsepower right now.”

    THEY ARE NOT COMPARABLE WHATSOEVER. Compare the switch to a device that costs the same amount of money. This is basic logic, you don’t recommend what is likely to be a $900 device, over a $200 or $300 device. That is called pure idiocy.

    God, where do you find these people?