GPD Pocket 3 Adds A Modular Port To The Mini Laptop Idea

For quite a few years now, there has been a niche market filled with laptops and convertibles no larger than 8 inches in display size. It's not a large enough market to go mainstream, but it's still enough to keep some companies in business. Thanks to advancements in manufacturing and hardware, these small laptops have become almost as powerful as many mid-range notebooks, and almost at the same price, too. GPD, however, is trying to take it to the next level by giving the Pocket 3 something most of its kind lacks: a choice of ports.

Size has always been both the strength and the weakness of these mini-laptops. The diminutive size allows them to be extremely portable and usable in places where even the smallest 11-inch laptop might be inconvenient. At the same time, however, users have had to compromise with typing comfort and the number of ports available to them.

Some rather creative designs have tried to address the keyboard problem, though still with some compromises, and now the GPD Pocket 3 is trying to take a stab at the latter. While it does still have a fixed set of ports, like a full-sized HDMI, Thunderbolt 4 (or USB-C), and even a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, it also has a modular system for switching between other options. At the moment, that's limited to choosing between an additional USB-A port, an RS-232 port, or a KVM switch.

Unlike the earliest mini-laptop models, the GPD Pocket 3 actually packs quite a punch with an Intel Core i7-1195G7 and 16GB of RAM. That kind of hardware would have been inconceivable years ago on a laptop as small as this, but that's how far things have come. The 8-inch display still maxes out at 1920x1080, which is perfectly fine for its size, and can spin around to fold down into a tablet, complete with support for an active stylus with 4096 levels of pressure.

Admittedly, the modular port idea might not appeal too much to some consumers if there aren't that many choices for ports anyway. The modules that GPD does have available seem to be targeted more at engineers or advanced computer users that still have a need for what some might consider as legacy ports. Hopefully, there will be more choices in the near future, especially if the idea really kicks off.

The GPD Pocket 3 is available on Indiegogo with a starting price of $999 for the laptop alone, or $1,079 including the modules. There is, however, also a cheaper $650 configuration ($730 with modules), but that comes at a rather heavy price of downgrading to an Intel Pentium Silver N6000 and 8GB of RAM only. There might be enough time to make a decision, but there are only 500 units of each category available during this campaign period.