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OESF Portables Forum _ GPD Pocket - hardware _ GPD Pocket Reviews

Posted by: TheWalt Jun 20 2017, 04:21 AM

Ok quick opening post for the GPD Pocket reviews.

I got mine yesterday and am very impressed with build quality. Went with the windows version, I hear the linux models are delayed due to kernel support. Havne't had any power or fan issues as some reported.

Only had time to run windows updates but plan on doing more this week and can post results / answer questions here.

Anyone else who gets theirs feel free to reply in this thread with thoughts as well.

Posted by: Varti Jun 20 2017, 04:28 AM

Congrats on your new arrival.

I'm curious about the keyboard usability: how comfortable is it to use it, and how fast can you type on it compared to a Zaurus? Is there any missing key in the layout?

Varti

Posted by: ArchiMark Jun 25 2017, 10:48 AM

Got mine too......

So far, great!

Keyboard is pretty good so far, but like all mini laptops, you need to get used to it.

It''s probably one of the best one I've used.

Posted by: Varti Jun 25 2017, 11:49 PM

Great, looking forward for reviews and impressions, I hope that Linux support won't take too long to be released.

Varti

Posted by: Varti Jun 30 2017, 04:10 AM

If you can't wait to get official Linux support, here's a page with a list of scripts and tweaks for Debian, Ubuntu and Linux Mint on the Pocket:

https://github.com/stockmind/gpd-pocket-ubuntu-respin

Varti

Posted by: njefferies Jul 3 2017, 01:36 AM

Having now gone to the effort on tuning the Windows install with with ThrottleStop, NTLite and Spybot-anti-beacon I am loathe to blow it away to try Ubuntu (would rather have openSuse anyway but Kubuntu is servicable). Am seriously considering getting another one for that! With LibreOffice, RawTherapee, Firefox and NextCloud client running on Windows I have no immediate incentive to switch to Linux...although running some server stuff on the Pocket would be neat if a good hack for more internal storage were to materialise.

Everything seems to be working well and with ThrottleStop setting the package power limit to 2W (with a burst to 5W) rather than the 5W and 15W that it shipped with then I can get 8-10 hours battery life with normal desktop usage (mail, editing office docs, bit of browsing, NextCloud syncing in background). However, 2W is not enough for full HD YouTube playback (3W is fine) - but I can't actually really see the difference between 1080P and 720P on the display at any reasonable viewing distance so I'm not overly bothered.

Posted by: Varti Jul 3 2017, 06:40 AM

You mentioned that you are using an image processing program (RawTherapee)... I'm just curious to know: how feasible is image editing on the Pocket's small 7" screen? Can it be used just for basic retouches, or it is useful for more complex editing?

Varti

Posted by: njefferies Jul 4 2017, 12:46 AM

I use it for raw processing and overall image corrections so no retouching. To be honest I haven't found trackpoints or capacitative touchscreens really precise enough but a bluetooth mouse works fine. Screen size isn't a problem - after the U810 and Zaurus it's pretty large - mouse wheel zoom makes it pretty quick to get precision when you need it.

Posted by: speculatrix Aug 1 2017, 05:18 AM

https://techtablets.com/2017/08/first-impressions-tiny-gpd-pocket-7-inch-windows-10-laptop/

"build quality both inside and out is very good. A massive step up from the plasticky GPD Win I looked at that, in the end, that was sent back to China due to keyboard issues

...

First impressions:

The Windows 10 key is printed inside the box, maybe for Ubuntu builds so later people can install Windows 10 if they want?
The build is really good, huge improvement from the GPD Win
The RAM is clocked to only 1066Mhz and cannot be increased to the maximum supported 1600Mhz as the bios is locked out and only with basic options.
RAM is in dual channel at least so that’s something positive
The wireless chipset is a Broadcom AC one, the Wifi range seems very poor due to the metal build and antenna location. This is looking like the biggest complaint so far.
No MicroSD card slot or Webcam, I feel GPD should have added them or at least a 720p front webcam
The keyboard is going to take some time to get used to, so far I struggle to write a sentence without major typos. The spacebar key is the hardest to get adjusted to.
There is a tiny copper heat pipe, fins and cooling fan in the Z8750. So far no thermal throttling. But I will have to try some games on it and see if it will heat up enough to throttle or the fan does the job.
Fan noise is barely noticeable.
The internals and layout look very decent.
The screen and keyboard have no flex, it’s rigid and strong. Including the screen hinge.
So far I’m impressed with the build quality, but my biggest concern is wireless range and performance. I’ll be testing this soon and to see if it will throttle at all which the GPD Win did, eventually.

Posted by: speculatrix Aug 1 2017, 05:21 AM

it should be possible to dual boot with linux. there's lots of guides so I won't go into details, but briefly:

* use windows disk manager to shrink Windows disk usage
* strongly suggest install easyUEFI http://www.easyuefi.com/
* also suggest installing rEFInd http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/installing.html
* install ubuntu from an installer with a recent kernel, e.g. this: https://plus.google.com/communities/117853703024346186936
** find the ISO for installing at https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/folders/0B9C1WK1FQhjfcXNrbzN6djQzajg

Posted by: Varti Aug 3 2017, 05:01 AM

QUOTE(speculatrix @ Aug 1 2017, 03:21 PM) *
First impressions:
(...)

Thanks for the link. AFAIR Windows 10's licence is free for these kind of small devices, so it is an added bonus for the Ubuntu versions, as you mentioned. Pity about the Wifi problem, I guess the only solution would be to disable the internal module and use an external USB one.

Performance wise, I believe it should be roughly on a par with the Win, isn't it?

P.s. time to update your signature I guess smile.gif

Varti

Posted by: ArchiMark Aug 3 2017, 06:43 AM

No problem with WiFi on my Pocket....

All is good....

Build quality is very good on the WIN, but not metal casing like Pocket.

Performance of Pocket is about the same as WIN.

Posted by: speculatrix Aug 6 2017, 04:37 AM

QUOTE(Varti @ Aug 3 2017, 02:01 PM) *
AFAIR Windows 10's licence is free for these kind of small devices


I think the free MS licences are limited to devices crippled with only 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and possibly the number of cores. In the original netbook days, I think they limited the screen resolution to 1366x768 too.

This might explain why there can be a big jump in price between the low spec and high spec devices - if the manufacturer is honest and only installs the free licence on low spec devices that is. I suspect the less honest ones get round it by installing and activating with only 2GB enabled, then "upgrade".

Posted by: Varti Aug 16 2017, 06:44 AM

Simone Margaritelli, another Zaurus fan, has written his (positive) impressions on the Pocket running Linux, with some hints on how to install the OS and use devices like USB antennas, the Ubertooth One (an open source 2.4 GHz wireless development platform for Bluetooth experimentation) and various SDR interfaces (radio systems implemented in software instead of hardware).

https://www.evilsocket.net/2017/08/15/gpd-pocket-7-impressions-gnulinux-installation-and-offensive-setup/

Varti

Posted by: speculatrix Aug 16 2017, 08:40 AM

that's a great find. I hope Simone is on this forum!

Posted by: Varti Aug 16 2017, 11:41 AM

QUOTE(speculatrix @ Aug 16 2017, 06:40 PM) *
that's a great find. I hope Simone is on this forum!

He is, he goes by the nick "evilsocket", though he has not logged in since 2008:

https://www.oesf.org/forum/index.php?showuser=20954

Varti

Posted by: speculatrix Aug 16 2017, 12:49 PM

I added a comment to his blog post with a link to the GPD forums here, and he responded. Maybe he'll come by and say hello!

Posted by: Joe Rice-Jones Sep 5 2017, 12:12 PM

Got mine a couple weeks ago from GPD and did a review of it, really impressed by it so far. Currently using it with GPD's supplied Ubuntu kernel and will be doing a second review of that side of things

https://medium.com/if-you-can-think-it-you-can-print-it/the-gpd-pocket-77509d8bc9a1

Posted by: speculatrix Sep 5 2017, 12:16 PM

also, does it suspend and resume well when running linux?

clarification about battery life. in the review it says the 12 hours isn't achievable, but 8 or 9 is with light use. Is that with screen set to mid brightness and constantly on, or letting the screen blank regularly?

Posted by: Varti Sep 7 2017, 12:48 AM

QUOTE(Joe Rice-Jones @ Sep 5 2017, 10:12 PM) *
Got mine a couple weeks ago from GPD and did a review of it, really impressed by it so far. Currently using it with GPD's supplied Ubuntu kernel and will be doing a second review of that side of things

https://medium.com/if-you-can-think-it-you-can-print-it/the-gpd-pocket-77509d8bc9a1

Hi and welcome here!

Thanks for your review. I have read about the problems with the wifi, it was suspected that it was due to the metal encasing, good to hear that it actually was a software issue.

Looking forward for your Ubuntu review.

Varti

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