Remember that tiny 7-inch laptop we collectively cooed over last year? Well, an updated model with slimmer bezels and a faster CPU is on the way.
The GPD Pocket 2 builds on the things the first-gen model got right, like it high-res screen, high-end build quality, and highly-portable form factor.
But there are also a few missed opportunities, too.
In this post we look at the GPD Pocket 2 specs, price, and its anticipated release date.
We also consider why the Chinese company behind the diminutive device has decided not to offer a Linux version this time around.
GPD Pocket 2: Specs, Price & Release Date
The original GPD Pocket launched on Indiegogo last year and was an instant hit.
A fully functional laptop the size of a paperback book, the device combined premium build quality with a competent specs sheet, decent screen, and the ability to run Linux.
The first-gen GPD Pocket featured a 7-inch touchscreen, an Intel Atom x7-Z8750 Cherry Trail processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage. OS wise the device shipped with either Windows 10 or Ubuntu 16.04 LTS preloaded. It was priced at $509.
So how does the new model compare?
GPD Pocket 2: Faster Processor, Faster Storage
Well, you’re still not going to get performance of a 17-inch laptop squashed inside a 7-Inch pocket PC, but the GPD Pocket 2 specs suggest that it won’t be a slouch.
The GPD Pocket 2 features the same 7-inch IPS touchscreen at 1920×1200 but upgrades the processor to the more powerful Intel Core m M3-7Y30 (Kaby Lake) SoC with integrated Intel graphics.
The amount of RAM in the base model has been halved to 4GB, but an 8GB option will be available.
Storage is provided by 128GB of eMMC 5.0, which offers faster read/write times than the old model. The storage can be expanded using the MicroSD card slot, or the 2x USB 3.0 Type-A ports and 1x USB Type-C port (also used for changing and video output).
|GPD Pocket 2 Specs|
|Display||7-inch (1920 x 1200) touchscreen|
|CPU||Intel Core M3-7Y30 (Kaby Lake)
Dual-core @ 1.0GHz (2.60GHz boost)
Intel HD Graphics 615
|RAM||4GB or 8GB RAM|
|Storage||128GB eMMC 5.0|
|Ports||2x USB 3.0
1x USB Type-C (charging/data/video)
MicroSD card slot
3mm headphone jack
|Size||8.5mm tall when closed|
Although the lack of HDMI out is annoying the USB Type-C port does support video. You can still connect an external monitor using a USB Type-C to HDMI adapter.
The battery is a touch smaller this time around at 6800mAh which, combined with the more powerful processor, could impact the expected battery life.
Improved Keyboard, but there’s a rub with the nub
The redesigned keyboard that makes better use of available space. A strip of (physical) function keys sit along the top of the keyboard and the power key has been repositioned.
And its designers realised that no-one likes a split spacebar!
Plans to make the GPD Pocket 2 touchscreen only — the new model drops the “nub” pointing device buried in the keyboard of last year’s model — didn’t go down well with fans of the device.
GPD has a compromise: an optical pointer will sit above the keyboard in the functions strip, complete with physical left and right buttons.
For added productivity (and because seemingly every laptop sold these days has to have one) the GPD Pocket 2 comes with a capacitive stylus.
GPD Pocket 2: Missed Opportunities
The GPD Pocket 2 is not fanless (though there is a ‘fan off’ button this time); there’s no backlit keyboard; RAM has been halved to just 4GB on the base model.
Although there won’t be a Linux version this time GPD say the SoC is Linux-friendly
There’s also no Linux version. I find this a little sad given that GPD made “coding on the go” part of their marketing campaign for the last model.
No reason has been given as to why there’s no Linux model, but one assumes that GPD is fearful of hitting the same delays it did with the first-gen Ubuntu model.
GPD has said that the Intel SoC is Linux-friendly, so it should be trivial for users to do their own install/dual-boot.
Overall, the GPD Pocket 2 looks to be slimmer, faster, and more usable than last year’s model.
While GPD isn’t offering a Linux model this time around (boo) the company say the Intel chip is Linux friendly, allowing for post-purchase Linux installs. I’m okay with that.
Finally, while the GPD Pocket 2 release date is not set yet, the device is expected to make its debut on crowdfunding site Indiegogo in late August or early September.
It’ll cost a little more than last year’s model with a rumoured price of $599.
Images: GPD Discord