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GPD launches Pocket computer crowdfunding campaign

GPD launches Pocket computer crowdfunding campaign

The 7" GPD Pocket is going great guns on crowdfunding site Indiegogo, despite issues with faults and missing hardware from the company's GPD Win campaign.

Hong Kong-based portable gaming company GPD has announced that it is breaking into the ultra-portables market, seeking crowdfunding for a device with which it hopes to bring back the long-dead netbook market: the GPD Pocket.

Based on similar internals to its previous gaming-centric products, the GPD Pocket is a fully featured laptop that has apparently shrunk in the wash: a 7" capacitive touch-screen with an impressive 1,920 x 1,200 resolution - 323 pixels per inch (PPI) - sits above a compact and heavily customised partial QWERTY keyboard with IBM-style trackpoint mouse. An Atom x7-Z8700 quad-core processor running at 1.6GHz (2.4GHz burst) linked to 4GB of system memory and 128GB of eMMC storage provides the grunt required to run either Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS or Windows 10, while network connectivity is provided by an 802.11a/ac/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi module and Bluetooth 4.1 radio.

The measurements of the device are, it has to be said, impressive: Weighing 480g, the GPD Pocket measures just 180mm by 106mm with a maximum thickness of 18.5mm, and is made from CNC-milled magnesium alloy. An internal 7,000 mAh lithium-polymer battery provides a claimed 12 hours of run time with top-ups available using USB power packs on the device's single USB Type-C port, which is joined by a full-size USB 3.0 Type-A port and an HDMI port plus a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Having taken design cues from the classic netbook era, GPD is also borrowing the same dead market segment's pricing strategy: Both models of GPD Pocket, whether equipped with Windows or Ubuntu, come in at $399 (around £321, excluding taxes) on the company's Indiegogo crowdfunding page, a discount on the planned $599 (around £482, excluding taxes) retail price.

GPD's track record for crowdfunded projects, though, is not unsullied. Its previous pocket-sized laptop, the Windows-based GPD Win, closed its crowdfunding campaign in April 2016 with a whopping 535 percent of its goal; many backers, however, are reporting that they have not received their hardware, that the hardware they have received is faulty, that GPD has been shipping hardware with pirated Windows 10 keys, and that units sent in to the company's Hong Kong office for repair sit in customs for months with no information or replacement available.

Despite this, the GPD Pocket has proven popular, having raised $255,228 of its $200,000 funding goal at the time of writing. More information is available on the company's Indiegogo campaign page.

12 Comments

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Paradigm Shifter 15th February 2017, 13:06 Quote
So it's basically a modern Psion Series 5mx or Series 7?

Had a 5mx for years... loved it. Ribbon cable to the screen eventually gave up. A real pity. :(
Gareth Halfacree 15th February 2017, 14:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
So it's basically a modern Psion Series 5mx or Series 7?
Had a 5mx for years... loved it. Ribbon cable to the screen eventually gave up. A real pity. :(

That is exactly why I want one. I mean, can you imagine if this thing lived up to its promise? My operating system of choice with a decent amount of computing power behind it and a 12-hour battery life, in something I can put in a pocket instead of a backpack? Yes please!

I'm just not sure GPD's the company to do it: the GPD Win hasn't been a flawless delivery. If any startup out there's looking for a project: build me one of these below £500 (and with a sunlight readable display if you want bonus points) and I'll buy it.
Big Elf 15th February 2017, 20:16 Quote
Isn't it a bit suspicious that they're posting the same price for the Ubuntu and Windows versions. Although they'd seem to qualify for the discounted/free Windows version with 4GB or less of RAM and low end CPU the 128GB of eMMC storage would normally rule that out.

I'd have been tempted if I hadn't read the feedback for the 'GPD Win'. They don't look trustworthy to deal with if any problems occur.

I loved my Psion 5s despite having 7 of them, all failing on the screen/backlight. It was the only device I ever paid for breakdown warranty which kept me running with replacements for nearly 5 years. I must have had second sight at the time.
Gareth Halfacree 15th February 2017, 20:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Elf
Isn't it a bit suspicious that they're posting the same price for the Ubuntu and Windows versions. Although they'd seem to qualify for the discounted/free Windows version with 4GB or less of RAM and low end CPU the 128GB of eMMC storage would normally rule that out.
They claim that, if anything, they should have to charge more for the Ubuntu version 'cos they're developing a custom driver (or drivers) - though they haven't said exactly what the driver runs, so take that with a pinch of salt.
Taua 15th February 2017, 20:36 Quote
The Psion series 3/3a/3mx is my favourite handheld design ever....a 5mx is still a functional machine too as you can easily swap files too/from with a compact flash card, and replacement screen cables are easily available on ebay...unlike the revo which needs that serial cradle and will need it's battery pack replacing long ago.
Paradigm Shifter 15th February 2017, 21:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
That is exactly why I want one. I mean, can you imagine if this thing lived up to its promise? My operating system of choice with a decent amount of computing power behind it and a 12-hour battery life, in something I can put in a pocket instead of a backpack? Yes please!

I'm just not sure GPD's the company to do it: the GPD Win hasn't been a flawless delivery. If any startup out there's looking for a project: build me one of these below £500 (and with a sunlight readable display if you want bonus points) and I'll buy it.
I'd settle for that, but also want it working off AA batteries. If it does that, 12 hours of battery isn't quite so essential (I always end up lugging around a few spare AA and AAA batteries as invariably the battery in the laser pointer dies just before the presentation... (or whatever)...

I'd also happily move backwards toward a monochrome screen as that helps readability in sunlight tremendously. For a 'pocket' device; I need it to work on documents, (and possibly record short audio clips) not be a multimedia machine.

Thing is, there's not much that a moderately priced smartphone with bluetooth keyboard (and possibly one of those partable chargers) can't do. It's just that it's less convenient than having it 'all in one'.

Which is of course why I want a 5mx successor. ;)
mi1ez 15th February 2017, 22:30 Quote
Love the idea, but not enough to risk it.
jb0 16th February 2017, 09:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Elf

I'd have been tempted if I hadn't read the feedback for the 'GPD Win'. They don't look trustworthy to deal with if any problems occur.

Feedback nothin'.

From the GPD Win website:
"customer service 1900 - 123 - 4567"

There's fake, and then there's blatantly fake.
MightyBenihana 16th February 2017, 11:02 Quote
They are missing a trick I feel by not putting a solar panel on the lid.
Byron C 16th February 2017, 21:29 Quote
I want this so badly. But I'd rather not give my money to a company with a crowd funding track record like theirs.
13eightyfour 17th February 2017, 17:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron C
I want this so badly. But I'd rather not give my money to a company with a crowd funding track record like theirs.

+1

This would be perfect for me but it's a little too much of a risk, I'd happily buy one at retail though.
IanW 17th February 2017, 17:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Elf
Isn't it a bit suspicious that they're posting the same price for the Ubuntu and Windows versions. Although they'd seem to qualify for the discounted/free Windows version with 4GB or less of RAM and low end CPU the 128GB of eMMC storage would normally rule that out.

Apparently, having a sub 7-inch screen is also a point in their favour towards free W10 licences.
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