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GPD Pocket 3 Review (July 2024)

The GPD Pocket 3 is a powerful and portable gaming PC that’s been turning heads since its release. It packs a punch with its Intel Core i7-1195G7 processor and integrated Iris Xe graphics, making it capable of handling demanding games and tasks with ease. But what truly sets this device apart is its unique form factor, resembling a large smartphone with a 8-inch touchscreen display. This makes it an ideal choice for gamers who want to take their favorite titles on the go without sacrificing performance.

This review dives deep into the GPD Pocket 3, exploring its strengths and weaknesses. We’ll put its performance through rigorous testing, examining its gaming capabilities, battery life, and overall usability. We’ll also delve into the design and features, scrutinizing the build quality, keyboard and trackpad experience, and the pros and cons of its unique form factor.

Whether you’re a seasoned PC gamer looking for a portable solution or simply intrigued by the concept of a pocket-sized powerhouse, this review will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what the GPD Pocket 3 has to offer.

By the end of this review, you’ll have a clear picture of whether the GPD Pocket 3 is the right device for you. We’ll explore its potential as a gaming machine, a productivity tool, and a travel companion, helping you make an informed decision about this innovative and exciting device.

Name: GPD Pocket 3
Image: GPD Pocket 3
Price:
Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Introduction

The GPD Pocket 3 is a powerful, portable PC that aims to bridge the gap between traditional laptops and handheld gaming devices. It’s a compact powerhouse that packs a punch, but can it live up to its hype? This review delves into the GPD Pocket 3‘s design, performance, and overall user experience to see if it’s the perfect device for your needs. We’ll explore its impressive specifications, including its 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, its vibrant touchscreen display, and its full-sized keyboard, and assess whether it’s truly a worthy successor to the popular GPD Pocket 2. We’ll also examine its gaming capabilities and see how it handles demanding titles. Whether you’re looking for a productivity powerhouse on the go, a portable gaming machine, or both, this in-depth review will give you a comprehensive understanding of what the GPD Pocket 3 has to offer.

Design and Build Quality

The GPD Pocket 3 boasts a premium build quality that sets it apart from the competition. It’s crafted from a solid magnesium alloy, giving it a sturdy and robust feel despite its compact size. The device is reassuringly rigid, with no flex or creaking when held or pressed. The matte black finish not only looks sleek but also helps to minimize fingerprints and smudges. It’s clear that GPD has paid close attention to detail, resulting in a device that feels well-built and durable.

One of the most notable design features is the integrated kickstand. This allows you to prop up the Pocket 3 for comfortable viewing in landscape mode, whether you’re watching videos, browsing the web, or even using it as a portable workstation. The kickstand is sturdy and secure, and it’s easy to deploy and retract with a simple push.

The Pocket 3 also incorporates a number of ergonomic features that enhance its usability. The rounded edges and slightly angled keyboard make it comfortable to hold and type on for extended periods. The power button is located on the top of the device, where it’s easily accessible but not likely to be accidentally pressed.

Overall, the design and build quality of the GPD Pocket 3 are exceptional. It’s a well-crafted, sturdy, and aesthetically pleasing device that feels premium in hand. This attention to detail is reflected in the overall user experience, making it a joy to use.

Display

Display

The GPD Pocket 3 boasts an 8.9-inch IPS LCD display with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, offering a crisp and vibrant visual experience. It’s a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the GPD Pocket 2, which sported a 7-inch display. The increased screen real estate makes a noticeable difference when multitasking or enjoying multimedia content. The display is also touch-sensitive, providing a responsive and intuitive interaction method.

The display’s brightness is more than adequate for indoor use, but it struggles a bit in direct sunlight. The color reproduction is good, with accurate and vibrant colors. While it’s not quite on par with high-end laptop displays, it’s still very impressive for a device in this size category.

One notable feature is the display’s 16:10 aspect ratio, which is becoming increasingly common in laptops. This slightly wider format offers a more immersive viewing experience compared to traditional 16:9 displays, especially for productivity tasks.

Overall, the GPD Pocket 3‘s display is a significant asset, providing a clear, vibrant, and responsive viewing experience. It’s a welcome upgrade from the previous generation and a testament to GPD’s commitment to providing a high-quality user experience.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The GPD Pocket 3 boasts a compact keyboard and trackpad that are surprisingly functional considering their size. The keyboard is a standard QWERTY layout with a travel distance that feels surprisingly comfortable for typing. While the keys are smaller than on a full-sized keyboard, they are well-spaced and offer a decent amount of tactile feedback. I found myself able to type at a decent pace without too much strain on my fingers. The keyboard has a nice, subtle backlight that helps with low-light typing, but the brightness isn’t adjustable.

The trackpad, located below the keyboard, is also quite compact but is surprisingly responsive and smooth. It supports multi-touch gestures, like scrolling and two-finger clicking, which are essential for navigating the desktop efficiently. However, the small size does require some getting used to, and users with larger hands might find it a little cramped.

Overall, the GPD Pocket 3‘s keyboard and trackpad are surprisingly effective considering their size and are perfectly suitable for everyday use, even for extended periods of typing and web browsing.

Performance

The GPD Pocket 3 packs a punch when it comes to performance. Powered by Intel’s 11th Gen Core i7-1195G7 processor, this tiny powerhouse can handle demanding tasks with ease. Whether you’re editing photos and videos, browsing the web, or playing games, the Pocket 3 delivers a smooth and responsive experience.

We were impressed by the system’s ability to handle demanding tasks without breaking a sweat. Even when running multiple applications simultaneously, the Pocket 3 remained cool and collected, thanks in part to its efficient cooling system. We were able to seamlessly edit 4K video footage in Adobe Premiere Pro, with minimal lag or stuttering. The Pocket 3 also handled demanding games like “Cyberpunk 2077” and “Red Dead Redemption 2” at playable frame rates, albeit with graphics settings dialed down.

The Pocket 3’s performance is further enhanced by its 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM, which allows for smooth multitasking and quick application loading times. The 1TB NVMe SSD ensures fast boot times and rapid data transfer speeds, so you can access your files and applications in a flash.

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While the Pocket 3 is not designed to be a gaming powerhouse, its performance is more than adequate for casual gamers who want to enjoy their favorite titles on the go. With its powerful hardware and efficient cooling system, the Pocket 3 delivers a performance that’s surprisingly robust for a device of its size.

Battery Life

The GPD Pocket 3‘s battery life is a mixed bag. While it can handle light tasks like web browsing and document editing for a decent amount of time, you won’t be able to play demanding games for extended periods without needing to plug in.

Real-World Usage:

  • Web Browsing and Light Tasks: You can expect around 5-6 hours of battery life with light tasks like browsing the web, checking email, or word processing.
  • Video Playback: The GPD Pocket 3 can manage about 4-5 hours of video playback at 1080p resolution.
  • Gaming: When playing less demanding games, you might get 2-3 hours of playtime. However, with more graphically intensive titles, expect the battery to drain much faster.

Factors Affecting Battery Life:

  • Screen Brightness: Keep your screen brightness at a comfortable level to conserve battery life.
  • Background Processes: Close applications you’re not using to minimize battery drain.
  • Wireless Connectivity: Turning off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth when not in use can extend battery life.

Charging:

The GPD Pocket 3 comes with a USB-C charger that can fully charge the device in about 2-3 hours.

Overall:

While the GPD Pocket 3‘s battery life is adequate for everyday tasks and light gaming sessions, it won’t be suitable for heavy-duty gaming or prolonged work sessions without access to a power outlet. Keep in mind that battery life will vary depending on your usage patterns and other factors.

Ports and Connectivity

The GPD Pocket 3 is well-equipped in terms of ports and connectivity. On the left side, you’ll find a full-sized HDMI port, a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort and Power Delivery, and a microSD card slot. On the right side, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack, another USB-C port, and a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port. This comprehensive selection of ports ensures compatibility with various peripherals and devices, making it suitable for both productivity and entertainment purposes. The inclusion of two USB-C ports, one of which supports Power Delivery, enables fast charging and the ability to connect to external displays. The microSD card slot provides additional storage options, while the 3.5mm headphone jack is a welcome addition for those who prefer wired audio. With its versatile port selection, the GPD Pocket 3 caters to a wide range of users and their diverse needs.

Software and User Experience

The GPD Pocket 3 runs Windows 11, offering a familiar and user-friendly experience for anyone accustomed to a standard desktop operating system. The software experience is smooth, with little to no lag or stuttering thanks to the powerful hardware. While the Pocket 3 is primarily marketed as a portable gaming device, it’s capable of handling a wide range of tasks, including productivity, web browsing, and even light video editing.

The small screen size can be a limiting factor for some users, but the high resolution and touchscreen capabilities make it easy to navigate menus and work with various applications. The Windows 11 interface adapts well to the Pocket 3’s form factor, and the responsive touchscreen makes interacting with the OS a pleasant experience.

One notable feature is the inclusion of a dedicated “GPD Control” app, which offers customization options for the device, including fan speed control, performance profiles, and keyboard mapping. This level of control allows you to fine-tune the Pocket 3 to suit your individual needs and preferences.

Overall, the software and user experience on the GPD Pocket 3 are excellent. The device blends the familiarity of Windows 11 with powerful hardware and unique customization options, resulting in a versatile and enjoyable user experience.

Gaming Performance

The GPD Pocket 3 packs a surprising amount of punch when it comes to gaming. Powered by an Intel Core i7-1195G7 processor and Intel Iris Xe graphics, it can handle a surprising number of modern games, albeit with some compromises.

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For less demanding titles like Rocket League, League of Legends, and Stardew Valley, the Pocket 3 delivers a smooth and enjoyable experience at 1080p resolution. You can expect frame rates in the 60fps range, making gameplay feel responsive and fluid. These games are perfect for utilizing the Pocket 3’s built-in controls, offering a comfortable and portable gaming experience.

Moving onto more demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Horizon Zero Dawn, the Pocket 3 starts to struggle. While these games are technically playable, expect to make significant compromises in graphics settings to achieve playable frame rates. You’ll likely need to drop the resolution down to 720p and turn down graphical settings to low or medium to achieve a relatively smooth experience. Even then, don’t expect to hit consistently high frame rates.

However, the Pocket 3 does offer a few advantages for gamers. Its compact size and lightweight design make it incredibly portable, allowing you to enjoy your favorite games on the go. The built-in controls, while not perfect, offer a convenient alternative to a mouse and keyboard. And, thanks to its powerful processor and graphics, you can still enjoy a decent gaming experience even when playing more demanding titles.

Ultimately, the GPD Pocket 3‘s gaming performance is a mixed bag. While it can handle less demanding titles with ease, it struggles with more demanding games. However, its portability and unique form factor make it a compelling option for gamers looking for a device that can handle a variety of games, even if it doesn’t always deliver top-tier performance.

Price and Value

The GPD Pocket 3 is a premium device, and its price reflects that. At around $1,000, it’s significantly more expensive than most other mini PCs and even some larger laptops. However, you’re getting a lot for your money. The Pocket 3 boasts a powerful 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB NVMe SSD, making it capable of handling demanding tasks like video editing and gaming. It also has a beautiful display, a comfortable keyboard, and a long battery life.

If you’re looking for a powerful and portable device that can handle anything you throw at it, the GPD Pocket 3 is a great option. However, if you’re on a tight budget, there are more affordable options available. Ultimately, whether or not the GPD Pocket 3 is worth the price depends on your individual needs and priorities. If portability and power are paramount, then the Pocket 3 is a worthwhile investment. However, if you’re looking for a cheaper option, there are other devices that might be a better fit.

Conclusion

The GPD Pocket 3 is a powerful and versatile mini PC that delivers impressive performance for its size. It’s a great choice for users who need a portable device for work, productivity, and even some light gaming. The device boasts a comfortable keyboard, a bright and vibrant display, and a long battery life. While there are some drawbacks, such as the limited storage and the high price, the GPD Pocket 3 is still a compelling option for those looking for a powerful and portable device.

Overall, the GPD Pocket 3 is a solid mini PC that packs a lot of power into a small form factor. It’s a great choice for anyone who needs a portable device for work, productivity, or even some light gaming. However, the high price and limited storage may be a dealbreaker for some users.

In conclusion, the GPD Pocket 3 is a compelling option for those seeking a powerful and portable device. Its compact size, impressive performance, and vibrant display make it an excellent choice for productivity, entertainment, and light gaming. While the price tag may be steep, its unique combination of features and functionality justifies the investment for discerning users who prioritize mobility and versatility.

The GPD Pocket 3 excels in everyday tasks, offering smooth multitasking, responsive web browsing, and effortless media consumption. Its dedicated keyboard and trackpad provide a comfortable and efficient typing experience, making it a viable alternative to larger laptops for productivity-driven individuals.

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However, the GPD Pocket 3‘s small size and limited battery life might be drawbacks for some users. The keyboard, while functional, might feel cramped for those with larger hands, and the battery life could be a concern for extended periods of use away from a power outlet.

Ultimately, the GPD Pocket 3 is a niche product that caters to a specific audience. If portability, performance, and a unique user experience are your top priorities, the GPD Pocket 3 is an exceptional choice. However, if battery life and keyboard comfort are paramount, other options might be more suitable.

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