It’s been just over a year since One Netbook released their first compact computer, a 7 inch mini-laptop called the One Mix Yoga. Since then the company has released several other models including some with beefier specs and/or bigger screens and keyboards.
Now One Netbook is going back to basics with the One Mix 1S Yoga. It’s just about the same shape and size as the original One Mix Yoga. But it features a more powerful processor, a fingerprint sensor, and faster storage. It also drops one feature that helped the first-gen model stand out: the One Mix Yoga 1S does not have a backlit keyboard.
But with a starting price of about $440, it’s one of the most affordable mini-laptops around, as well as one of the smallest.
That said, you do get what you pay for — and if you want a truly great little computer that offers stellar battery life, strong performance for multitasking, gaming, or other resource-intensive tasks then… this is not that computer.
But you’re looking for a full-fledged Windows PC that costs less than $500, is small enough to fit in (some) pockets, capable of functioning as a laptop or tablet, and can handle basic computing tasks such as web browsing, document editing, media playback, and even some gaming, then the One Mix 1S Yoga might just fit the bill — assuming you’re comfortable using a little laptop with a 7 inch display and a pretty tiny keyboard.
One Netbook sent me a demo unit for purposes of this review, and it’s available for purchase from GeekBuying for $440 (Liliputing readers can save $10 by using the coupon code 3ZQUXJGU).
Overview & history
When the One Mix Yoga was first introduced, it was a pretty blatant ripoff of the GPD Pocket in terms of design. But while One Netbook borrowed the display and keyboard design, the company also added a few bonus features like a backlit keyboard, a convertible tablet-style design, optional support for a pressure-sensitive pen, and a backlit keyboard.
Unfortunately the One Mix Yoga also had a sluggish Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor and slow eMMC storage.
When I got a chance to review the little laptop I was impressed with the design and features and annoyed by just how slow the computer was.
Later in 2018, One Netbook released the One Mix 2 Yoga which resolved most of my issues. It had a faster processor, speedier storage, and… with a starting price of $660, it was about $200 more expensive than the slower model. The company also dropped the backlit keyboard from this model.
My favorite model to date is the One Mix 3 Yoga, released in mid-2019. It has a larger 8.4 inch display and the most comfortable keyboard I’ve used on a modern mini-laptop with a 9 inch or smaller display. And… it’s even pricier, selling for $760 and up.
But just days after introducing the One Mix 3, One Netbook unveiled a new 7 inch model called the One Mix 1S Yoga. It’s the same size as the company’s first 7 inch model, but instead of an Intel Atom chip it has an Intel Celeron 3965Y dual-core Kaby Lake processor. And instead of eMMC storage it has a PCIe NVMe SSD.
It’s basically a replacement for the original One Mix Yoga, and it has a similar price tag. The new model isn’t exactly a speed demon, but it’s much more responsive than its predecessor when it comes to real-world performance, and it scores significantly higher in benchmarks as well.
While One Netbook did drop the backlit keyboard in order to assist in cooling, the new model feels like an upgrade in every other significant way.
Keep in mind that I’m grading on a curve when it comes to usability — this is currently one of the only 7 inch laptops available for under $500. It’s not as fast as pricier models, and it’s certainly not as speedy as a typical laptop with a 13.3 inch or larger display. And some folks are going to find the laptop’s tiny display to be squint-worthy and the keyboard to be difficult to use.
But this isn’t meant to be a replacement for a 13.3 inch laptop. It’s more of a spiritual successor to the UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) form factor of yesteryear — a handheld device that just happens to be able to be a full-fledged computer. And if you’re willing to sacrifice some ease-of-use for mobility, it doesn’t get much more mobile than this… unless you decide to give up on a physical keyboard and desktop OS altogether and just use a phone or tablet.
- 7 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel touchscreen display w/optional pen support (Goodix pen)
- 1.5 GHz Intel Celeron 3965Y dual-core processor w/Intel HD 615 graphics
- 8GB of RAM
- 128GB PCIe NVMe solid state storage
- 1 x USB 3.0 Type-A
- 1 x USB Type-C
- Micro HDMI
- microSD card reader
- 3.5mm audio jack
- Mono speaker
- 25 Wh battery
- 802.11ac WiFi
- Bluetooth 4.2
- CNC Aluminum chassis
- 7.2″ x 4.3″ x 0.7″
- 1.1 pounds
There’s a part of me that just wants to tell you to re-read my review of the first-gen One Mix Yoga. There are only a few real design changes:
- There’s no micro USB port anymore. The new model uses the USB-C port for charging and/or data.
- The One Mix 1S Yoga keyboard isn’t backlit (but otherwise it’s exactly the same).
- There’s a fingerprint sensor between the Home and right-click buttons.
But assuming you don’t want to re-read an old review, here’s are some things you should know about the One Mix 1S Yoga.
It’s a tiny computer that looks like a little laptop when you lift the lid, and like a tablet when you push the screen all the way back. When you do that the keyboard shuts off so you don’t have to worry about accidental key presses — with the exception of the power button, which is in the upper right side of the keyboard.
Weighing about 1.2 pounds and measuring about 0.7 inches thick, the One Mix 1S Yoga is kind of chunky and heavy for a tablet with a 7 inch screen. But it’s super small and lightweight by traditional laptop standards.
It has CNC aluminum body, and the hinge is very stiff, so the display doesn’t wobble much as you type… but you’ll have to give it a pretty good push to switch between laptop and tablet modes.
All of the ports are along the right side of the little laptop, and there’s a status LED next to the USB-A port. It glows or flashes to let you know if the laptop is sleeping, powered on, or charging.
Since you have to press and hold the power button for a moment before the laptop turns on, it’d be nice if the status light was somewhere a little more visible — so you’d know when to stop pressing the power button. But at least there is a status light. Not all mini-laptops have them.
The bottom panel of the laptop features a vent for the air intake, and there’s another vent along the back of the laptop where hot air gets pushed out. If you hold the laptop in your hands in tablet mode you might feel a burst of hot air from time to time unless you shift your grip to avoid the vent.
Under the hood there’s a fan, a copper heat pipe, a 25 Wh battery, and a single mono speaker. None of the components are easily replaceable or upgradeable.
As a laptop, the best way to describe the One Mix 1S Yoga is… tiny.
The 7 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel display features 323 pixels per inch. Out of the box, the One Mix 1S Yoga has display scaling set to 200 percent, which gives you an effective screen resolution closer to 960 x 600. That makes text and graphics a lot easier to see than they would be at 100-percent scaling, but it doesn’t give you a lot of room to fit content on the display. I find 175-percent scaling to be a happy middle ground.
And then there’s the keyboard. There’s just no way to comfortably fit a standard-sized keyboard on a laptop this small, so companies like One Netbook and GPD have made some interesting choices.
The letter keys on the One Mix 1S Yoga are almost as large as those on a standard notebook, but the spaces between the keys are smaller. And there are a bunch of half-width or half-height keys.
The number keys? All half-height. So is the Del key, Tab key, and arrow keys. The set of keys above the numbers are also half-height. This includes the Esc, volume, brightness, bracket, plus, and minus keys and the power button.
Half-width keys include the Caps-Lock key (which is so close to the A key that they’re practically attached) and the comma, period and question mark keys (which also have virtually no space between them).
It takes a little while to get used to the placement and size of some of these keys — so while I can comfortably type short bits of text at up to 85 words per minute, I often have to look down at the keyboard to find infrequently used keys that are in unusual positions like the apostrophe (near the lower left corner) or the colon key (to the right of the space bar).
There’s also no palm rest, which can make extended typing a little uncomfortable, since there’s no good place to rest your hands as you type.
One Netbook also had no room for a touchpad, so the company opted for an optical touch sensor which is placed in the middle of a split keyboard. It’s… better than nothing, I guess.
You can swipe your finger across the sensor to move an on-screen cursor or tap it to register a left-click. But it’s not as precise as a touchpad or Lenovo TrackPoint-style nub, and it doesn’t support multi-touch gestures. So I often find it easier to just reach up and tap the touchscreen or connect a mouse if and when that’s an option.
Overall the number one reason to use the One Mix 1S Yoga is its compact size. And the number one reason not to use it is also probably its compact size — some folks are just going to find this little laptop to small to use as… well, a laptop.
That said, it is a fully-functional PC that ships with Windows 10 and which should offer at least basic support for other operating systems (such as some GNU/Linux distributions — I’ll be offering Linux performance notes in an upcoming article).
Update 7/22/2019: Here’s that article:
It’s not much bigger than a smartphone, but instead of running mobile versions of apps like Office or Photoshop (or LibreOffice and GIMP for open source fans), you can run the full desktop versions of those applications. They might not be as easy to navigate on a small screen as they are on a big one, and they may not run as fast as they would on a more powerful PC, but they’ll run.
I wouldn’t want to use a computer this small as my primary work machine. But I did take it to a coffee shop recently to do some work, and I managed to research and write an article for Liliputing using nothing but the One Mix 1S Yoga and a wireless mouse.
Want a sense of how the One Mix 1S Yoga compares to a “normal” laptop? I also brought my HP Spectre x360 13.3 inch convertible with me to the coffee shop. At half an inch thick and 2.8 pounds, it’s pretty small by traditional laptop standards, but it’s a monster compared to the One Mix 1S:
If you’re doing one thing at a time, the One Mix 1S Yoga feels… a lot like any other laptop. But it does start to feel a little sluggish if you ask it to run too many tasks at the same time — opening multiple browser tabs while editing images slowed things down a little bit.
But that’s not too surprising when you consider that the computer is powered by an Intel Celeron 3965Y processor, which is a 7th-gen Intel “Kaby Lake” Y-series dual-core chip that has a top speed of 1.5 GHz, lacks support for hyperthreading, and tends to run at around 4W to 5W under heavy load.
Many other mini laptops on the market today have more powerful Intel Amber Lake-Y chips that feature higher clock speeds and support for turbo boost and hyperthreading.
You’ll see a significant performance gap in benchmarks like PCMark, GeekBench, PassMark and Cinebench, which look at CPU performance and/or general purpose computing. The One Mix 1S Yoga scores much higher its Intel Atom-powered predecessor, but cannot match models with Amber Lake or faster processors.
But… the Celeron 3965Y has an Intel HD 615 GPU that’s almost as powerful as the version in those Amber Lake chips. So it’s actually a pretty good little device for HD video playback and it’s surprisingly competitive with higher-priced mini PCs when it comes to some gaming benchmarks like 3DMark Sky Diver, Time Spy, or Fire Strike.
I didn’t test gaming performance extensively, but I did spend about a half hour playing Torchlight with no problems at all.
Just don’t expect to have marathon gaming sessions on the go unless you bring along a charger or a power bank.
I ran a few different battery life tests. Your results may vary depending on how you use the laptop,, but here’s what I saw:
- 4 hours – Netflix streaming with screen brightness at 50-percent
- 3-4 hours – Heavy web browsing/researching & writing articles for Liliputing
The battery drain accelerated a bit when I was playing Torchlight. So I wouldn’t be surprised if you could eke out a little more run time by disabling WiFi, dimming the screen and playing videos… or kill your battery a bit more quickly by running more resource-hungry games.
Fortunately the One Mix 1S Yoga comes with a rather compact charger that looks more like a phone charger than a laptop power brick. It’s a 30W adapter that works with a braided USB-C cable that comes with the little laptop.
And if you need more juice on the go, you may be able to connect a USB-C power bank as long as it supports USB Power Delivery.
Thanks to the computer’s 360-degree hinge and touchscreen display, you can also use the One Mix 1S Yoga as a tablet for reading, playing games, watching videos, or whatever else it is you use a tablet for.
While there aren’t as many good tablet apps for Windows 10 as there are for Android or iOS, it is handy to be able to flip the screen back part-way or all-the-way to turn the One Mix 1S Yoga into a portable video player or eReader, for instance.
You can prop it up in tent or stand mode and watch cooking videos in the kitchen, or home repair videos while working on household projects. I made liberal use of the 360-degree hinge during a recent flight, where I was able to watch a couple of episodes of Stranger Things I had downloaded from Netflix for viewing on the airplane.
The One Mix 1S Yoga did get a little warm during my in-flight screening. But I think that was due to a combination of factors. Not only was it playing video for 90 minute straight, which could have helped generate some heat, but it was also receiving a blast of sunshine through the airplane window which may have helped warm up the computer’s aluminum chassis.
In handheld/tablet mode, you can also use the optional pressure-sensitive pen to take handwritten notes, draw pictures, or interact with Windows by using the pen like a mouse. You can hover it over the screen to move a cursor, tap it to click, or tap while holding a button to right-click.
I didn’t test the pen extensively because I have pretty horrible handwriting and very little drawing ability. But folks who are looking for this functionality can add a pen to their purchase for a $10 premium.
Note that it uses a Goodix pen and is incompatible with Wacom pens or pens that use the Microsoft Pen Protocol. That means the pen that came with my One Mix 3 Yoga review unit won’t work with the One Mix 1s Yova, and vice versa.
The One Mix 1s Yoga is basically the mini-laptop I wish the original One Mix Yoga had been. It’s small, versatile, relatively affordable, and offers good-enough performance for many day-to-day tasks.
While it would be nice if One Netbook had been able to keep the backlit keyboard feature around, that would have probably led to the laptop running a bit hotter. And while there are other mini-laptops with higher-performance processors, they all cost substantially more.
That said, the One Mix 1S Yoga still falls into a weird niche.
At $440 it may be one of the cheapest Windows 10 mini-laptops, but you could also spend that kind of money and get 13-15 inch laptop with much better performance, an Apple iPad, or a pretty good Android tablet. And for many folks, one of those other devices might really be a better option.
You’ll get more mobile-friendly apps with an iPad or Android tablet, a better keyboard experience with a full-sized laptop, and there’s a chance you’ll get longer battery life from either option.
But if One Mix 1S Yoga is more of a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none device. Unlike an iPad it has a built-in keyboard. And unlike most laptops, it’s a 1.2 pound device that’s small enough to fit in a pocket (albeit not super comfortably).
If you have a few hundred bucks more to spare and you’re willing to settle for a model that’s almost small enough to fit in your pocket, I’d recommend the One Mix 3 Yoga instead. It offers better performance, has a much better keyboard, and supports active pens that use the Microsoft Pen protocol (like a Surface Pen).
If you care about thin-and-light, but want a big screen, you might want to consider something more like the Acer Swift 7 — a premium 2 pound fanless laptop with a 14 inch touchscreen display. In fact, I recently published a comparison of the Acer Swift 7 with the mini-laptops of 2019 if you want to see how they all stack up against one another.
Or if you’re looking for a tablet-first device that you can also use as a laptop, you might be better off with an iPad Pro or a Microsoft Surface device.
But overall, there’s something kind of charming about 7 inch mini-laptops, and right now the One Mix 1S Yoga is one of the cheapest options in that space if you’re willing to trade a bit of performance for a lower price tag.
The One Mix 1S Yoga is available from GeekBuying for $440 without a pen, or $450 with a pen, and Liliputing readers can save $10 with the coupon code 3ZQUXJGU.
One thing to keep in mind before pulling out your wallet though is that One Netbook is a Chinese company selling its goods internationally through online stores like GeekBuying that ship Chinese devices to customers around the globe.
You often don’t get the same level of support and customer service from these companies that you would from PC makers and retailers with more experience working in the US and Europe. So there’s a little more risk involved — while the demo unit I received was in perfect working order, I have heard complaints in the past of customers who have had trouble processing refunds, returns, or repairs. So proceed with caution.