GPD Win Max 2 is stealing the spotlight of the Steam deck as gamers look for handheld devices that can run their favorite triple-A titles. The ultra-tiny gaming laptop already has an edge over the Valve console: You don’t have to pay $5 to hop on a waiting list to buy it.
“How much does GPD Win Max 2 cost?” You may wonder that. There is a limited edition model for $899, while the regular base variant costs $999. If you max out the specs, you’ll have to shell out $1,299. Conversely, the Steam Deck starts at $399 while the max-out model costs $649.00. So what does this mighty mite of a gaming laptop have to offer on Steam’s deck? Let’s find out.
Is GPD Win Max 2 better than Steam Deck?
If you’re wondering whether you should snag the GPD Win Max 2 or the Steam Deck, it all depends on what you’re looking for. The Win Max 2 isn’t necessarily marketed as a handheld console — GPD says it’s a laptop that doubles as a gaming machine. In fact, Win Max 2 has two magnetic covers that can hide its embedded controllers, so you can secretly play while you’re at the office.
If you’re looking for a hybrid device that streamlines your productivity while still letting you play games on your off days, the GPD Win Max 2 could be a good fit. After all, a proper laptop needs ports and the Win Max 2 has a good mix of them, including HDMI 2.1, USB Type-C and USB Type-A ports. Its screen is stylus-compatible, which may appeal to casual artists. However, if you want a comfortable, handheld console that you can play for hours at a time, the Steam Deck is your best bet.
I can’t speak for the Steam deck’s performance (we’re still waiting for our unit so we can test it), but I can discuss its design since I got a chance to play Cyberpunk 2077 on the 256GB model ($529). Compared to the Steam Deck GPD Win Max 2 it has thicker bezels and a smaller display. The Steam Deck has a 7-inch, 1280 x 800-pixel LCD touchscreen. The GPD Win Max 2, on the other hand, comes with a 10.1-inch panel with ultra-thin bezels, meaning it has more screen real estate than its Valve counterpart.
Steam Deck is absolutely divine in my hands. Thumbs are sturdy, but flexible. Controls are placed where the thumb would naturally be, and I never felt like buttons – or small touchpads – were out of reach.
The graphics on Steam Deck are OK (the device runs on a custom AMD Zen 2 “Van Gogh” APU). They didn’t blow me away, but I didn’t expect them to either. GPD Win Max 2 offers two integrated graphics options: Intel Iris Xe graphics and AMD Radeon 680M GPU. Can they render triple-A graphics better? I’m not convinced, but we’ll have to put it to the test in our lab before passing a final verdict on its gaming prowess.
My biggest concern with the GPD Win Max 2 is that the keyboard is potentially in the way. Interestingly, however, GPD points out that Win Max 2’s deck is slightly narrower than Steam’s deck. The latter is 11.7 inches wide while the former is 8.9 inches wide.
As mentioned, once we get the Steam Deck and GPD Win Max 2 in our lab, we’ll test these bad boys and put them through a brutal head-to-head to determine which handheld gaming device reigns supreme in terms of graphics, gaming performance. A little more.
As of this writing, GPD is crowdfunding Win Max 2 production on Indiegogo to raise $20,000. Given that the original GPD WIN Max raised around $3 million in 2020, we don’t think they’ll have any trouble clearing that hurdle.