GPD is a name familiar to anyone who likes to tinker with small gaming machines. After making a name for itself on emulation-friendly devices like the Android-powered GPD XD, the Shenzen-based company has moved on to Windows-based designs like the GPD Pocket mini-laptop or its Steam Deck competitor, the GPD Win 4. However, the company’s latest design is a horse in a different color. A small external GPU capable of powering the graphics of any laptop or Windows-based portable device.
GPD calls it the G1, and like most other hardware, it starts with a crowdfunding campaign. (Normally we don’t tackle crowdfunding projects, but GPD has proven its ability to deliver with dozens of devices.) The device hides a laptop GPU, the AMD Radeon RX 7600M XT, inside a sleek aluminum housing. The GPD G1 uses a dedicated eGPU port called Oculink, a PCI-based standard supported by GPD’s mini-game units and some of its competitors. But crucially, it also supports USB4 and Thunderbolt 4 (backward compatible with Thunderbolt 3), making it compatible with most laptops currently on the market.
The G1 also functions as a more conventional portable dock, including HDMI 2.1 ports, dual DisplayPorts, triple USB 3.2 Type A ports, and a full-size SD card reader. Semi-proprietary laptop power cables are a bit disappointing, but it’s a small price to pay for a small, useful little device. Device both Oculink and Thunderbolt 4 (similar to GPD’s WinMax2) can maximize the device’s throughput for external devices and GPU-based video. At less than 9 inches wide and less than 1.2 inches thick, it fits easily into a laptop bag or travel bag. The 240 watt internal power supply requires active cooling.
The mobile GPU inside the G1 means it’s not upgradable like the desktop-style eGPU. It’s similar to the Asus ROG XG Mobile with the latest RTX 4090 mobile card built in, giving it even more power. (GPD says the RG 7600M XT can meet or beat the desktop RTX 3070.) But there are two key differences. For one, Asus eGPUs only work on a handful of Asus gaming laptops and tablets thanks to proprietary connectivity. Second, the GPD G1 will probably be significantly cheaper than Asus’ $2,000 starting point.
how much exactly? GPD doesn’t speak yet. However, Liliputing reports on early rumors of a mobile dock locking in for around $700, with a pre-order discount through an Indiegogo campaign currently in preview.