The ONEXPLAYER is a handheld gaming computer with an 8.4 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel touchscreen display sandwiched between a pair of game controllers. It looks a bit like a large Nintendo Switch, but the controllers are not detachable and under the hood lies the beating heart of a full-fledged computer.

Powered by an Intel Tiger Lake processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics, the latest little computer from Chinese company One Netbook features 16GB of RAM, up to 2TB of PCIe NVMe storage, and a 59 Wh battery.

The little computer is set to go up for pre-order through a crowdfunding campaign that starts later this month, but the folks at One Netbook sent me a pre-release prototype to test ahead of the launch of that campaign.

I’ll have a detailed review soon, but for now here are some first impressions of the ONEXPLAYER.

Update: The Liliputing ONEXPLAYER handheld gaming PC review is now online.

It seems like 2021 may be the year of the handheld gaming PC. While this is a niche category that’s currently occupied by small companies that aren’t very well known in the West, there are a growing number of portable computers designed to let you hold your games in your hands.

When the ONEXPLAYER ships later this year, it will join other systems like the Intel-powered GPD Win 3 (with a 5.5 inch display and a slide-out keyboard) and the AYA Neo (with a 7 inch display and an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor, but no keyboard).

With an 8.4 inch display, the ONEXPLAYER is the largest of the bunch. You can pretty much fit the entire GPD Win 3 inside the display area of the ONEXPLAYER.

Top: One XPLayer / Bottom: GPD Win 3

Weighing about 1.81 pounds and measuring about 11.5″ x 5″ x 0.7″ (or closer to 1.3″ at the thickest point), the ONEXPLAYER is a bit on the chunky side for a device that’s meant to be held in your hands. But its size gives you plenty of screen space for games, videos, or other applications. The controllers are also large and comfortable to use with buttons, analog sticks, and a D-Pad that are all about the same size as what you’d find on an Xbox or PlayStation controller.

Trying to decide just how big that is? Here’s another point of comparison: The ONEXPLAYER’s 8.4 inch display is a little larger than the display of an Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet, while the ONEXPLAYER’s body is a little larger than a Fire HD 10 (or several of them stacked on top of each other). Since I happen to have one of each, I offer a size comparison.

Left to right: Amazon Fire HD 10 / ONEXPLAYER / Amazon Fire HD 8

While the ONEXPLAYER is certainly on the heavy side for a handheld device, it’s not something you’re likely to hold in one hand the way you would a phone or a tablet. It’s meant for a two-handed grip and as often as not, I end up resting the bottom on my lap or on a table when playing games, so the weight isn’t really much of a problem.

In a nutshell, this is a portable device in that it’s a battery powered gaming PC that you can take anywhere. But it’s not going to fit in your pants pocket.

There’s also a kickstand that you can use to stand up the system on a table, desk, or any other flat surface if you don’t feel like supporting its weight in your hands or if you’re using it to watch videos.

In addition to the front buttons, there are four shoulder buttons including left and right linear trigger inputs. And on the top of the computer you’ll find a series of ports including:

  • 2 x USB 4 (40 Gbps)
  • 1 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio
  • 1 x microSD card reader

On the back of the computer there’s a power button with a built-in fingerprint sensor as well as a  mute key on the left side and volume up and down keys on the right.

You may also notice the air intake vents on the back of the computer. Not only does the ONEXPLAYER feature a laptop-class 11th-gen Intel Core processor, but the chip has been configured to run at two different power levels: 20 watts or 28 watts. This means that even at the lower setting, you’re getting a bit more performance than you’ll see from most laptops with the same processor options. And performance kicks up a notch if you switch to the 28 watt TDP option.

But the computer generates a fair amount of heat, so it has an active cooling system that consists of dual fans which bring in air through the back of the ONEXPLAYER and blow it out through vents in the top of the machine. The design allows for decent airflow without your hands getting in the way of the intake or the exhaust. There are also two copper heat pipes over the CPU to help dissipate heat.

On the bottom of the computer there’s a set of pogo pins that can be used to attach an optional keyboard. One Netbook did not send me a keyboard for testing, but it’s easy to use any USB or Bluetooth keyboard with the device thanks to the included ports and wireless capabilities. And honestly, the ONEXPLAYER is pretty easy to use for its intended purpose even without a keyboard.

That’s because in addition to the game controllers, One Netbook equipped the handheld computer with a few extra buttons that help you perform basic functions without a keyboard.

Playing a game and want to return to the desktop? Rather than hitting Alt+Tab, you can just hit the orange button in the lower left corner to return to the desktop without closing your game.

Need to bring up an on-screen keyboard? There are two buttons in the lower right corner. Click the top one and it will open the Windows virtual keyboard from any application.

You can also long-press the keyboard button to enable mouse mode. This allows you to use the left analog stick to move a cursor across the screen, the A button to click, and the B button to right-click. I’ve found that this can come in handy for performing simple tasks if you don’t want to use the touchscreen or connect an external input device.

Below the keyboard button is a Turbo button. A single press switches the computer from a 20W TDP to a 28W TDP for an extra burst of power when you need it, which can come in handy for some games that may struggle at lower power levels.

One Netbook included LED indicator lights for both the keyboard and turbo buttons so you can tell at a glance when they’re active. This lets you save power when you don’t need turbo mode (it’s more energy hungry), and helps ensure that the game controllers work like… game controllers when you want them to (enabling mouse mode tricks the operating system into thinking you’ve unplugged the controllers and connected a mouse instead).

Some of the keys serve multiple functions when you combine keypresses.

  • Desktop + Keyboard = Open the Windows Task Manager
  • Desktop + Turbo = Save a screenshot

If you press and hold the Desktop + Volume up key during startup, you can also access a boot settings menu that allows you to boot from a USB device or enter the BIOS/UEFI settings.

From there you can use the D-Pad to navigate your options (like booting from a USB device or entering the UEFI/BIOS settings), and the Start button as an OK/select key.

I’ll have more notes on usability, gaming and general purpose performance, battery life, and Linux usage in my full review. For now, here’s the latest list of specs for the ONEXPLAYER:
Display8.4 inches
2560 x 1600 pixels
358 ppi
100 percent sRGB color gamut
10-point multitouch
ProcessorCore i5-1135G7
Core i7-1165G7
Core i7-1185G7
Dual channel
Ports2 x USB 4 (40 Gbps)
1 x USB 3.0 Type-A
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x microSD card reader
Game controllers2 x Analog sticks
1 x D-Pad
X, Y, A, B buttons
4 shoulder buttons (including 2 linear triggers)
Other buttonsVolume up
Volume down
Battery59 Wh
Charger65W (20V/3.25A) GaN USB-C charger
WirelessWiFi 6
Bluetooth 5
AudioStereo front-facing speakers
3.5mm audio jack
SecurityFingerprint reader in power button
OS Windows 10 Home
Dimensions280 x 128 x 25mm
11″ x 5″ x 1″
Weight825 grams
1.82 pounds
Price$819 – $1499 during crowdfunding
$1059 and up during retail

Here’s a breakdown of some pricing/configuration options that will be available for pre-order during crowdfunding:

Super Early BirdEarly BirdIGG priceRetail price
Standard Edition
i5-1135G7 / 16GB / 512GB
Pro Edition
i7-1165G7 / 16GB / 1TB
Ultimate Edition
i7-1185G7 / 16GB / 2TB

There may also be some other configurations available in the future, as One Netbook notes that the Pro and Ultimate Edition models will each be available with up to 2TB of storage.

The pre-release prototype One Netbook loaned me is an entry-level ONEXPLAYER Pro Edition with 512GB of storage. Unfortunately I’ve run into one problem during my testing so far – shortly after filming the unboxing and first look video you can find near the top of this article, the touchscreen stopped responding to touch.

One Netbook sent me touchscreen drivers, but that didn’t fix the issue. Neither did performing a system restore, so I’m thinking there might be a hardware problem with the device I’m testing. But there are two reasons I’m not too concerned about the touchscreen failing.

The first is that this is pre-release hardware. When I’m done testing it, I’ll return it to One Netbook to inspect so that they can try to figure out what went wrong and hopefully this won’t be an issue on the final version of hardware that ships to customers later this year.

The second reason is that, as I mentioned above, it’s actually quiet easy to use the ONEXPLAYER for its intended purpose without a touchscreen. Entering text using the on-screen keyboard and mouse mode can be a little tedious. But if you just need to do a quick internet search or enter a username or password, it’s fine. And mouse mode is more than sufficient for installing apps and games, dragging and dropping files, and generally navigating Windows or other operating systems.

Even if this thing never had a touchscreen in the first place, it’d be a pretty good gaming computer. But hopefully One Netbook will fix whatever issue caused the touchscreen on this unit to stop working. I’m told other demo units have not had this problem.

The ONEXPLAYER is up for pre-order through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

Update: Check out Liliputing’s ONEXPLAYER handheld gaming PC review for more details.

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26 replies on “First Look: ONEXPLAYER 8.4 inch handheld gaming PC with Intel Tiger Lake”

  1. Great first look—as always! Maybe for general computing, media playback and remote streaming, the higher resolution makes more sense? The display definitely is stunner. I could see someone streaming from their home battle station to this with Moonlight and NVIDIA GameStream. As for local gaming, the integrated graphics is going to be a huge limiting factor as is the heftiness. Then again, if you play older games, the integrated graphics, which are now on par with AMD’s integrated solutions, can play older, pre-2015 games at 4K just fine. Now, what we need? Graphene! Graphene batteries to finally hit devices, and where better than in niche devices like these handheld gaming PCs where people expect the radically different and the cutting edge. Then we won’t have to resort to extra large form factors and extra heavy weights to get extra large battery capacities.

  2. Looks awesome, and the 60wh battery should solve some of the TDP/battery life concerns people have with the Aya Neo and GPD Win 3.

    The 8″ screen and around 800grams weight is quite a lot to hold, but I think it’s something people will get used to. There’s definitely a male/ larger handed market that will adore the form factor, and this will be their dream-device.

    For me, the Aya Neo is the sweet spot for form factor and screen size, but I’d love to get my hands on this, too. That bigger screen might make for an even more immersive gaming experience, so it has my interest.

  3. Have I missed a page of this review?

    It is a gaming hand held and there doesn’t seem to be anything about how well it actually runs games?

    Pushing 2560 x 1600 pixels, this thing has no chance of hitting decent frame rates on recent or more taxing titles.

    I understand it is getting to the size where you would expect a decent tablet to have over 1080p.

    Think it fits the bill of hand held PC better than it’s competition, but let’s face it if you want a mobile PC your much better off with a Surface Pro or a laptop. Not something with triggers and thumb sticks.

    How/if it plays games games is what you want to know when reading about a hand held gaming pc, not keyboard shortcuts?

    Nobody is going to be doing any productivity work on this thing, and I don’t think many people will enjoy playing games on it either.

    Would have been nice if the person with the thing in his hand had shed a little more light on the gaming performance of a gaming device?

    1. Yep, you missed that this is not a review (the headline and the part where I said there would be more details about performance coming soon would probably have been a good hint that a full review is on the way).

    2. “Pushing 2560 x 1600 pixels, this thing has no chance of hitting decent frame rates on recent or more taxing titles.”

      It’s not intended to, but for older games and general computer usage, there are benefits to the higher resolution.

      “but let’s face it if you want a mobile PC your much better off with a Surface Pro or a laptop”

      How can you play a game like GTAV on a laptop while on a train, or a plane? You can, but it’s quite cumbersome. Devices like this and the Switch are easier to play games on the go.

      “Nobody is going to be doing any productivity work on this thing”

      How do you know? These kind of devices are relatively new, and are only currently being made by small Chinese companies, but as more mainstream companies, like Lenovo and Dell for example, start making them, they will see more market-penetration, form factor improvements, and people will start using them for productivity.

      Also, you can dock this to a monitor with peripherals attached and use it like a traditional desktop PC, then undock it and take it on the go, like a PC-Switch, basically; there’s a lot of use cases and versatillity to these devices.

    1. Wouldn’t that be a waste, what game do you think this thing is going to get 61fps pushing 2560 x 1600 pixels?

  4. I thought the AYA NEO and Win Max were already way too big. This thing’s huge. Hard pass.

    1. By that logic, you must also think the Switch is too big, since the Aya Neo is around the same size.

        1. I think the Aya is at the sweet spot. The Win 3’s screen is too small.

  5. I think 1.82 pounds is going to be a deal breaker for many. I cringe thinking about holding this brick for 3 hours straight — just bad ergonomics. The iPad mini hits the form factor sweet spot for me.

  6. Not liking these gaming handhelds that don’t have built-in physical keyboards. Passing on all of them. Too bad the Win 3 has a nearly useless pretend physical keyboard.

    I hope the Win 4 has a keyboard with physical keys and the OneGx1 line keeps going. I’m actually planning on getting the OneGx1 Pro LTE for this generation. Although, I’m keeping an eye on the Win 4 since I prefer a smaller overall device. This and the Win Max lines are just too large for handhelds to me.

    1. I plan on getting the OneGx1 Pro LTE as well when/if it’s available with Amazon Prime shipping (including “fulfilled” by Amazon).

      These candy bar handhelds don’t have a built-in keyboard and/or is just way too large. The OneGx1 is just barely not too big especially when you remove the controllers when not gaming. The Win Max is well within the too big category for me.

      It’d be nice if the next OneGx1 has a swivel screen like the A1. Hopefully, it’d be a robust swivel design.

      1. I’ve got the GX1 Pro and let me tell you: it’s almost perfect. The screen should rotate all the way back to form a tablet and the microsd card slot was removed prior to production. For travel this thing is a dream…you can play easily on a flight where elbow space is limited, thumb type when you have to knock out a quick email and there’s no table to set this down on, plug it into a TV and have a full console experience. Even battery life is awesome. I’ve only found 2 games it wouldn’t play.

      2. It’d be great if the next OneGx1 has a swivel screen without making it larger so they can keep the keyboard and good UMPC experience. I hope they keep the LTE option too.

  7. Lack of thunderbolt/eGPU support is pretty much inexcusable for a device at this price. They should have gone with an AMD APU instead.

    1. We do provide thunderbolt equivalent ports that supports eGPU and external monitor. Intel i7-1165 definitely performs better than AMD…

    2. One and GPD both have TB3 listed.

      Intel is the creator and licensee of TB and their newer 11th gen chips have TB baked in.

      Though what you’re saying about going with AMD is true about CPU performance, then it wouldn’t have had TB3, so which is more important to you? Almost no AMD mobile based computers support TB.

    1. It technically already is a mini Xbox console, since it’s a PC, so it gets access to all of Xbox’s exclusives, natively, and through xCloud.

      But yeah, would be cool if MS made an Xbox-branded Surface handheld gaming PC.

  8. Though I subscribed onexplayer IGG super early bird, then at what time is the super early bird? since the IGG starts at 9am PDT on 5/10/21? or how does this will play out? thanks!

  9. Really wish the Alienware UFO is in production. Want something with good support.

  10. This thing is huge. Although, the Alienware handheld prototype is about the same size and a lot of people got excited about it (not me) so this may sell well. PC gamers seem to be big spenders.

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