About a week ago, I posted the first-look for the GPD Windows 10 GamePad Tablet PC, showing photos, specs, and I gave initial thoughts. See that HERE. You’ll want to go back and references the photos for sure as I describe some of the nuances of this mini-PC.
Since then, I’ve had the chance to use the gamepad PC and formulate my thoughts, but also get the thoughts from my kids. Ultimately, this type of PC is a bit too small for someone who has worked staring at a PC screen for the last 30 years and so I had to enlist my gamer kids to put it through the proper paces.
That said, my personal feelings are mostly about the form factor. The PC is the size of and it’s amazing to me, even in the times we live in, that it’s possible to have full PC components shoved into the size of a Nintendo Gameboy. In fact, the PC itself can switch between DPad, Mouse, and Xbox controller mode with the flip of a switch. So, unless you’re inside a game, the mouse mode turns the controller joysticks and trigger buttons into a pretty responsive mouse on the Windows 10 screen.
This PC is strictly for mobile gaming – specifically for games that work with Windows 10. Microsoft has promised games that can work across its Windows 10 and Xbox platform, and while that list of games is small right now, this PC brings it all together in a workable way. I was able to load up Minecraft and a couple racing games. Of course, I’m not the gamer I once was, but I was still able to have a pretty fantastic gaming experience.
The PC comes with a Steam installer icon pre-loaded. This was what drew my kids in immediately, as they are all Steam fans. But, even for them the screen was a bit too small in some cases and for some games. However, the PC has an HDMI out port and the kids quickly hooked it up to a large TV in the living room to enhance the experience. They’d use the TV as the monitor but still use the PC as the controller and it worked extremely well.
My daughter was hugely impressed that even the graphics could drive enough so she could play Skyrim for PC. Her HP can’t laptop even accomplish that.
One of the things I have to stress here is that this is a full-blown PC. You can hook it up through HDMI, connect a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, and you’re off and working – but still have mobile capability when you disconnect. It’s actually a better type of Continuum that Microsoft ever provided with its Windows 10 Mobile platform (is that even still a thing?). It sports a full keyboard (though the keys are miniscule) and also a responsive touchscreen.
Bottom Line: For those of us without younger eyes, this is a tough sell unless you want the ability to have the exact same experience across sitting at a desk or on the road. But, this is truly intended to be a gaming system. My kids love it, but also find that the experience is much better when connected to a larger screen. It’s a full-featured PC that runs Windows 10 and as Microsoft continues to blur the line between the Windows and Xbox platforms, this might eventually be a great gaming system. Those already deep in to Steam games will find a lot to love about having everything at their fingertips.
You can find this PC at Gearbest for around $350: GPD WIN GamePad Tablet PC
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