Chinese PC maker Topton has been producing small desktop computers for years, but now the company is getting into the small laptop business.

The new Topton L4 is a mini-laptop with a 7 inch touchscreen display, an aluminum body, and one of the most affordable price tags for a product in this category. It sells for $299 and up from AliExpress, although it’s probably worth paying a little more for additional storage since the cheapest version has just 32GB.

Of course, Topton made some sacrifices to keep the price low – the computer has a fairly slow processor and a low-resolution display by 2021 standards. But it also has a decent selection of ports and an M.2 2280 slot for solid state storage. It also has an interesting design and a few features that are rare on mini-laptops this small.

The little computer measures 185mm x 141mm x 20mm, (7.28″ x 5.55″ x 0.79″) and weighs 650 grams (1.43 pounds). While its compact size means there’s not enough room for a full-sized keyboard and touchpad, the computer has a 6-row keyboard and a Lenovo TrackPoint-like pointing stick that you can use to move an on-screen cursor, as well as left and right click buttons below the split space bar.

Since there’s no center key, I’m not sure you can use this system for scrolling, but you can always reach up and touch the display to scroll or swipe.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a trackpad substitute on a 7 inch mini-laptop, but other companies like One Netbook have tended to use optical touch sensors rather than pressure-sensing pointing sticks like the one the Topton L4 seems to have.

Another thing that’s uncommon in 7 inch laptops? A webcam. But the Topton L4 has one on the left side of the screen, which could make this computer useable for Zoom calls or other video conferencing applications.

That said, here’s the bad news. The Topton L4 has just a 1024 x 600 pixel display and it’s powered by an Intel Celeron J3455 processor, which is a 10-watt, quad-core processor based on Intel’s Apollo Lake architecture. First released in 2016, it trails newer chips like the 6-watt Celeron N4100 and 10-watt Celeron J4105 Gemini Lake processors in benchmarks, but it is still faster than a newer dual-core chip like the Celeron J4005 in multi-core performance, so that’s something.

Topton says the system also supports an optional pen, but since the display cannot fold back 360 degrees for use in tablet mode, I’m not sure how useful this feature will be in day-to-day use.

Here’s a run-down of the key specs for the Topton L4:

Topton L4 Specs
Display7 inch, 1024 x 600
Capacitive touchscreen
Pen input (2048 levels of pressure sensitivity)
ProcessorIntel Celeron J3455
RAM8GB
Storage32GB to 1TB M.2 2280 SATA SSD
Ports1 x USB 3.0 Type-A
1 x USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x mini HDMI
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x microSD card reader
1 x DC power input
Webcam2MP
InputQWERTY keyboard w/18.5mm key pitch
Pointing stick
Touchscreen
WirelessWiFi 5
Bluetooth 4.0
Battery3,000 mAh
38 Wh
MaterialsAluminum chassis
CoolingActive cooling
Copper heat pipe
Cooling fan
Dimensions85mm x 141mm x 20mm
7.28″ x 5.55″ x 0.79
Weight650 grams
1.43 pounds

The Topton L4 is available from Topton’s AliExpress Store, as well as from at least one third party seller. Here are some currently available pricing/configuration options:

Also keep in mind that while the RAM does not appear to be user replaceable, since the computer uses an M.2 2280 SSD, you may be able to upgrade the storage on your own.

 

 

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  1. I always enjoy looking at AliExpress. They always have so many odd things for sale. What caught my eye this time was a 7 inch Win 10 tablet for less than $60! Granted, it only had 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage, plus an ancient Atom Z3735 processor and the same 1024×600 resolution as this Topton, but $60 for a Win anything is unheard of.

    I wonder, will Win 10 run on only 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage? It runs fairly well for basic things on my old Yoga Tab 2 with twice the RAM and storage. I wonder if JingOS will run on this tablet?

    If it had more RAM and storage, plus a higher resolution, I’d be more temped.

    1. I own an iBall i701. It is possibly the worst windows tablet one can get. I just wanted to point out that Z3735G (as opposed to F) has only 1 GB RAM. It has the worst screen too 1024×600. But lo and behold if you use it via HDMI projection, your head will start spinning.

  2. I like the trackpoint. Odd that they’re using a barrel plug for charging/power instead of USB Type-C nowadays.

    Seems decent for the price. The overall design seems like it’s not just a rebrand/copy of GPD Pocket/One Netbook One Mix UMPCs.

  3. There’s no way I’d consider buying a Windows 10 device with a vertical resolution of 600px. This is going to be unusable with some software, and painfully difficult to even use a web browser.

    I’ve used Windows 10 on a 1280×720 device with a similar screen size, and it was awful. Lots of software have windows that are designed for a minimum of 768 vertical pixels, so sometimes you’ll be stuck in an options/settings window that you can’t press the Okay/Cancel buttons because they run off the edge of the screen.

    Also, at 720 vertical resolution, web browsers leave very little visible area for the actual page. It’s quite difficult to use. 600 pixels sounds downright useless.

    By my standards, I couldn’t agree to use Windows with less than 1440×900, but I’d strongly insist on 1920×1080 at a minimum.

    1. There are theoretically possible workarounds to things like that. I have this TV set that has a 1280X768 grid of pixels, but a computer you connect it to will see it has an available resolution of 1920X1080. The TV has to do a bit of post processing to get there.
      Of course that’s not exactly desirable since everything looks slightly blurrier, but it’d alleviate the UI elements slipping off the screen problem a bit. And there’s no guarantees this thing has it, so it’s probably best to not bet on it.

      1. Unfortunately none of the solutions I found were acceptable. I tried configuring a custom resolution in the Intel Graphics Control Panel (a larger resolution than the panel supported), but it resulted in text being unreadable.

        And unfortunately, Windows 10 doesn’t offer a DPI scaling setting to go below 100%, so there’s no Windows features (that I’m aware of) to shrink the size of UI elements or windows themselves.

    2. Agreed… 1024×600 a non-starter.

      Reminds me of the EeePC 700/701 from a dozen or so years ago… Asus sold a ton of them primarily because of the novelty – and they were fun toys. But after that initial novelty wore off, I well remember the frustration of trying to work with the 800×480 display. 1024×600 would have been acceptable circa 2010 but not today when mini-laptops are no longer a novelty. I’d rather pay $100 to $200 more for something with better usability.

  4. As a first mini laptop from the company, it’s fine. The inclusion of M.2 slot mean it can at least boot quickly and perform trivial activities fairly well. The fact that they didn’t have it start at 4GB ram is a plus. On the other hand, the low resolution screen and previous gen CPU make it less attractive. I’ll be looking forward to their next mini laptop.

    1. Yes, why the hell did one netbook always insist on the inferior optical nub. I thought it was a size limitation, but this suggest that there no principled reason excluding a regular trackpoint-like pointer. Though this might be thicker than onenetbook’s typical offerings, maybe that is all least a partial explanation. The only other aspect that the optical thing could do that a trackpoint can’t I think?) was act as a mouse click on tap.

      1. As someone who has used Thinkpads (and their trackpoints) for 25 years, I have to say that, while I love their trackpoints, I think the optical pointers are even better. They’re more manoeuvrable and you never have the drift issue. Sony used one in their Vaio Duo 11 and it was excellent, as is the one in the OneMix Yoga.