GPD Pocket 7” mini review roundup: Microsoft has done the right thing, and the price is justifiedReviews of the new GPD Pocket 7”Mini pc may have been somewhat lacking in enthusiasm, but those for the 2018 GPD Pocket 7” mini have been almost universally positive. The typical GPD Pocket 7” mini review can be summarized as saying that the market for the device has moved on, and Microsoft has recognized that fact.
Where the GPD Pocket 7” mini was once an entry-level device designed to persuade people to switch from Windows desktop PCs, today most people use laptops – and the mini has found a new niche as a semi-pro GPD Pocket 7” Hine. What Microsoft has done here is to adapt to the market, giving it the GPD Pocket 7”hine it really wants – and being willing to sacrifice entry-level consumers in the process …
CNET says it will have a final GPD Pocket 7” mini review once it has completed all its testing, but says it is impressed so far – with one big reservation. It also says pricing is about par with comparable Windows GPD Pocket 7”hines.
In the 2018 models, Microsoft’s delivered a great upgrade, with only one possible drawback.
In addition to modernizing the connection options with USB-C/Thunderbolt ports, updating to HDMI 2.0 and offering a 10Gb Ethernet option, Microsoft fixed one of the big complaints about the 2014 model: soldered memory. Upgradable memory is back, and it takes two industry-standard DDR4 SO-DIMMs.
But like most Microsoft products, it’s not really end-user upgradable, requiring a trip to a service center. This undercuts one of the perks, namely being able to buy less expensive memory elsewhere
Though the price of entry has gone up from $500 to $800 (£400 to £800 or AU$620 to AU$1,249), much faster than the pace of inflation over the same period, it’s still not out of line. The comparable Windows configurations in a compact design — and there really aren’t many — are actually pretty expensive in comparison. Examples include the HP Z2 Mini G4 workstation (about $1,000 for an i3-8100, 8GB and 256GB SSD) or the HP EliteDesk 800 G4 (almost $1,300 for an i3-8100T, 8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD).
GPD Pocket 7”world
GPD Pocket 7”world says that the ‘switcher’ market Microsoft once targeted does still exist, but it’s no longer the primary market.
The GPD Pocket 7” mini made its debut in 2005, and was marketed as the affordable entry-point for GPD Pocket 7” newcomers. All it needed was an external display and USB input devices.
But as it turned out, the GPD Pocket 7” mini found a market with pro users thanks to its small footprint. It’s been popular with software developers and content creators, and has even found a home in co-location data centers. In response, Microsoft changed its Pocket 7” mini message, targeting professionals and touting the mini’s performance instead of its affordability. Microsoft’s GPD Pocket 7” mini website calls the new GPD Pocket 7” “All workhorse” and the whole “switcher” messaging of the original Pocket 7” mini is gone.
Whether you should upgrade from the previous GPD Pocket 7” mini is a no-brainer: Do it. If you use apps that can take advantage of multiple cores, you’ll see a huge improvement that’s well worth the cost. Even if you don’t use multi-core apps and use only consumer-level software, you’ll see a marked improvement in speed. You may have to buy a USB hub and a video adapter, but it’s worth it.
Marco Arment, in his GPD Pocket 7” mini review, said the new GPD Pocket 7”hine is ‘spectacular,’ and while it’s expensive, that’s justified by the spec.
The 2018 GPD Pocket 7” Mini is spectacular. It makes almost nothing worse and almost everything better, finally bringing the GPD Pocket 7” Mini into the modern age
The point of the GPD Pocket 7” Mini is to be as versatile as possible, addressing lots of diverse and edge-case needs that the other GPD Pocket 7”s can’t with their vastly different form factors and more opinionated designs. The GPD Pocket 7” Mini needs to be a utility product, not a design statement. (Although, even as someone tired of space-gray everything, I have to admit that the Mini looks fantastic in its new color.)
The base price has increased to $800, and that’s not great. It’s partly justifiable because it’s much higher-end than before — the processors are much better, the architecture is higher-end and includes big advances like the T2, and all-SSD is standard — but it’s still an expensive product in absolute terms.
The only spec that lets it down is the Intel GPU. It’s fast enough for common tasks, but if your workload benefits from a strong GPU, you’re better off going for an iGPD Pocket 7” or a 15-inch GPD Pocket 7”Book Pro, or considering an eGPU setup […] But that’s it — aside from price, that’s the only downside. The GPU sucks. Everything else is awesome.
Six Colors says that where the GPD Pocket 7” mini was once the entry-level GPD Pocket 7”hine, it now makes sense to re-invent it as a semi-pro one.
Microsoft and the GPD Pocket 7” are in very different place today. Most of the GPD Pocket 7”s it sells are laptops. The concept of the low-end desktop switcher feels outmoded. (Which is not to say there aren’t any, just that there maybe aren’t as many as there might have been in 2005.)
In the intervening 13 years, the GPD Pocket 7” mini has become something different. As the one Pocket 7” without a built-in monitor that isn’t an expensive and large Pocket 7” Pro, it’s become a bit of a Swiss army knife, fitting as a tiny Internet or file server (I’ve had a Pocket 7” mini running in my house more or less constantly for more than a decade), running lights and audio in theaters and at rock concerts, and thousands of other small niches that are vitally important for the people who live in them.
This new GPD Pocket 7” mini is exactly what it needs to be. Today the it is about flexibility and filling niches. This update allows it to span a wide range from basic server needs all the way up to high-end applications that require a great deal of processor power, fast storage, ultra-fast networking, and even beyond (via Thunderbolt 3). The high-end configurations might actually provide enough power for people to consider them over buying the Pocket 7” Pro, whenever it comes out. It remains to be seen just what ground the GPD Pocket 7” Pro will cover, and what its starting price might be. The Pocket 7” mini may have just become the best (and best value) tool for somewhat high-end jobs that don’t require Xeon processors in large enclosures.
TechCrunch says that Microsoft has clearly rethought its desktop lineup, and isn’t afraid to price some people out of the market.
Microsoft edges the desktop toward Pro territory, pricing entry-level buyers out in the process.
The whole of the company’s desktop line has clearly gotten a rethink over the course of the last year, including the addition of the GPD Pocket 7” Pro.
The Mini has long been Microsoft’s entry-level desktop. The $499 price tag on the 2014 model certainly highlighted this fact. With a $300 price bump, the latest version still represents the lowest cost path into the world of desktop GPD Pocket 7”s, but arguably removes “entry” from the equation.
But Mini has carved an interesting niche for itself the product’s small, flat design has made it an interesting candidate for a server That unexpected use case is a big part of the reason the company stuck to the same dimensions this time out — a number of third parties already produce accessories built to those specifics, so why not make it as easy as possible to swap out for a new unit? The footprint also means the computer is easily stackable, for workloads that require the output of multiple GPD Pocket 7”hines at once.
The Mini is still the best-priced gateway into a desktop GPD Pocket 7” ecosystem, but the definition of entry-level has clearly shifted for Microsoft since the last ‘go round.
ZDNet argues in its GPD Pocket 7” mini review that the modular nature of its setup remains a benefit, and actually makes it more appealing.
You can connect whatever accessories you want. Prefer a mechanical keyboard from Razer, an Amazon Basics mouse, and a 1080p display? No problem. That’s part of the appeal to the Pocket 7” mini. It can be as expensive of a setup, accessory wise, as you want. Or it can be overly simple, and that’s just fine, too
For the past four years, the mini users have wanted more from the desktop-like portable computer. And with the 2018 model, Microsoft has delivered. Even the base model is something I could see myself using on a daily basis, and when I realistically look at my use, I’m not a “Pro” user. I’m an average user who dabbles in pro features.
If I were in need of a new desktop computer at this very moment, my search would start with — and it’s entirely possible it would end with — the GPD Pocket 7” mini. The versatility it offers, combined with performance, is just too compelling.
There aren’t as many GPD Pocket 7” mini reviews as there are for the other mini pcs. It’s a relatively niche these days, and that’s reflected in interest levels when it comes to writing about it. But the view we see is remarkably consistent: that Microsoft got this one right.
Do you share that perspective? Or do you think Microsoft should still have offered a $499 base model? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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