The One Netbook OneGx1 is a little laptop computer with a 7 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel touchscreen display and the design of a gaming laptop. The little computer has a backlit keyboard with support for RGB lighting effects, dual fans with a large (and familiar looking) exhaust vent on the back, and an LED light ring that lights up the back.
One Netbook designed the OneGX1 to work with a set of optional game controllers that can clip onto the sides of the computer so you can hold it in your hands while you play.
But the best reason to buy the OneGX1 may not be for its gaming chops. It’s also one of the only 7 inch computers to feature a QWERTY keyboard, an Intel processor, and optional support for 4G LTE or 5G cellular networks.
The One Netbook OneGx1 is available for pre-order from Banggood and GeekBuying for $840 and up and it should begin shipping to customers in August. But there are a few things to keep in mind before pulling out your wallet.
The first is that the starting price is for a WiFi-only model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of PCIe NVMe storage. If you want cellular connectivity or more memory, storage, you’ll have to pay extra. The detachable game controllers also cost extra.
Buy from GeekBuying
|OneGx1 (8GB+256GB) WiFi||$930|
|OneGx1 (8GB+25GB) 4G LTE||$1000|
|OneGx1 (16+512) WiFi||$1,119|
|OneGx1 (16+512) 4G LTE||$1,180)|
|OneGx1 (8GB+256GB) 5G||$1,265|
|OneGx1 (16+512) 5G||$1,450|
Buy from Banggood
|OneGx1 (8+256) WiFi||$840|
|OneGx1 (8+256) 4G LTE||$934|
|OneGx1 (16+512) WiFi||$1,018|
|OneGx1 (16+512) 4G LTE||$1,094|
|OneGx1 (8GB+256) 5G||$1,140|
|OneGx1 (16+512) 5G||$1,318|
The second thing to keep in mind is that while the OneGx1 has the design of a gaming laptop, it doesn’t exactly have the processing power of one.
When One Netbook first announced plans to build a gaming laptop, the company promised to deliver a model with a 11th-gen Intel Core “Tiger Lake” processor and Intel Xe graphics. But those chips aren’t available yet. So rather than wait, the company opted to release a version with a 10th-gen Intel Core i5-10210Y “Amber Lake” processor.
That’s a 7 watt, quad-core chip with Intel UHD graphics featuring 24 execution units.
In my initial tests, the processor is powerful enough for most basic computing tasks — I’m writing this article on a OneGx1 prototype connected to an external display with close to 20 browser tabs open in Google Chrome, Spotify streaming music in the background, and Irfanview and GIMP running to help me edit photos. The system has processing power to spare.
But fire up resource-intensive games, and the OneGX1 can hit a bit of a brick wall.
The system has no problem running lightweight games such as Pikuniku, Celeste, or Night in the Woods. Some 3D games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent can also run at close to 60 frames per second.
When I tried playing Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, though, the game could only run at around 5 to 7 frames per second (at the lowest graphics settings, and with the screen resolution set to 1280 x 720 pixels). The same game could run at between 20 and 30 frames per second on the GPD Win Max handheld gaming PC, which has a 25 watt Intel Intel Core i5-1035G7 processor.
One Netbook hasn’t given up on its Tiger Lake model though. Later this year the company plans to release a OneGX1 Pro model that will feature the same design, but support for Intel Xe graphics with 96 execution units, which should help bridge the performance gap between this little laptop and the competition.
The company sent me a pre-production prototype to test, and I’ll have a detailed preview/review soon. For now, I wanted to share some initial impressions about this unusual little laptop.
|Display||7 inch, 1920 x 1200 IPS|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-10210Y|
|GPU||Intel UHD 617 (24 EU)|
|RAM||8GB or 16GB LPDDR3|
|Storage||256GB or 512GB M.2 SSD|
|Wireless||WiFi 6, Bluetooth 4.2 + optional 4G LTE and/or 5G (M.2 card)|
|Ports||USB Type-C, USB 3.0 Type-A, micro HDMI, 3.5mm audio, microSD|
|Battery||46.2Wh, 12,000 mAh|
|Game controllers||Detachable, wireless (optional)|
|Cooling||Dual fans + dual copper heat sinks|
|Body||Aluminum body with plastic rear|
|Dimensions||173mm x 136mm x 21mm (6.8″ x 5.4″ x 0.8″)|
|Weight||640 grams (1.4 pounds)|
|Price||$840 and up|
Design and features
The OneGx1 is small by laptop standards, but it’s a bit large compared with other recent mini-laptops featuring similar display sizes. You can thank the big exhaust fans on the back for that.
One Netbook’s little computer measures about 6.8″ x 5.4″ x 0.8″ and weighs about 1.4 pounds. Most of the compute’s case is made from aluminum, but the black section on the back is plastic. The OneGx1 is a bit too chunky to easily fit in your pants pocket, but it won’t take up a lot of space in a backpack or handbag.
Here’s how the OneGx1 compares with a Peakago 7 inch mini-laptop, which is about the same size as a One Netbook One Mix 1S Yoga or GPD Pocket 2:
For another data point, both of these little laptops have screens that are the same size as the one Amazon uses for its entry-level Fire tablet. I don’t happen to have one of those handy, but here’s a photo of the OneGx1 next to a slightly-larger Amazon Fire HD 8:
The detachable game controllers are designed to clip into grooves on the bottom of the laptop. Just click the controller into place, then slide upward and it will be held in place firmly enough to let you hold the PC in the air by gripping just the two controllers — although you may detect a bit of wobbliness unless you place your hands on your lap or a flat surface like a table to prevent shaking.
One Netbook sent me a set of controllers for testing, and while I’m not a serious gamer, I spent a few weeks using them occasionally and found them to be fairly comfortable to use… but a little tricky to pair with the laptop.
That’s because despite connecting physically to the sides of the laptop, these are Bluetooth controllers that are designed to support three modes:
- Xbox 360 controller mode
- PC/PS3 controller mode
- L-HID and R-HID individual controller mode
The first mode is the one that worked best for me most of the time, allowing me to play several different platformers and casual games including Yooka-Laylee, Pikuniku, Celeste, and Night in the Woods. The OneGx1 doesn’t really have the graphics horsepower to handle more graphically intense games like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and I couldn’t get the computer to recognize the controllers when I tried running Batman: Arkham Asylum.
I didn’t find any games that recognized the controllers in the second mode.
And the third mode, which lets you use each controller as a separate, limited-button gamepad, seems like it could be useful for multiplayer games… if you can find any games that work with the limited button set, or if you want to take the time to create custom button mappings.
Basically it seems like One Netbook wanted to offer a set of Nintendo Switch Joy-con style controllers even though PC games aren’t necessarily designed to work with those style of controllers.
Anyway, the Xbox 360 mode seems to work well enough. But you may have to reconnect when powering up the controllers from time to time, because I often went to fire up a game only to find that the right controller wasn’t detected.
You can read more about my experience in the OneGx1 review update focused on game controllers, or check out my video overview below. But in a nutshell, it’s nice to have the optionof attaching them. But if you’re looking for a handheld gaming machine you’re probably better off going with a GPD Win Max or waiting for the OneGx1 Pro with an Intel Tiger Lake-Y processor and Intel Xe graphics.
In order to leave room for the controllers, One Netbook kept the side ports to a minimum — there’s a micro HDMI port on the right side, and a SIM card/microSD card slot on the left, but all the other ports are on the back of the computer.
That’s where you’ll find two USB-C ports (both can be used for charging or data, but only the one on the left can be used for video output), a USB 3.0 Type-A port, and a headset jack.
One Netbook ships the little laptop with a 45W USB-C power adapter that looks like a rather chunky smartphone charger.
You can also charge the laptop from a USB power bank, as long as it supports USB power delivery. I had no problem using a 45W ZeroLemon battery pack with the OneGx1.
If you remove the screws on the bottom of the laptop and peek inside, you’ll see that there are two fans that bring air in through a vent on the bottom of the system and blow it out through vents on the left and right sides of those ports.
If there’s a way to upgrade or replace the memory or storage, it’s hiding under components that I’m not comfortable removing. But I wouldn’t be surprised if both components are soldered to the motherboard.
While we’re inside, we can also get a look at the 4G LTE modem included in the prototype One Netbook sent. It’s a Quectel LTE-A EM06-A modem with support for most North American wireless carriers. This module does look replaceable.
One of the first things I did after logging into this computer was to insert a Google Fi data-only SIM card. After rebooting, Windows automatically connected to the network (although the operating system reports the connection as T-Mobile, because Google Fi is an MVNO that piggybacks on T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular networks).
I haven’t had time to extensively test the 4G performance, but honestly, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this worked at all. When One Netbook first announced that the OneGx1 would support cellular networks, I assumed this would be a Chinese-network-only situation. But the company tells me that customers who opt for a 4G or 5G modem will be able to get the version that’s best suited to their geographic region.
Oh, and the SIM card tray also has a space for a microSD card.
Returning to the back of the laptop, there’s a ring surrounding the vents that glows blue when you press the Fn+Tab keys to light it up. It looks kind of neat, but it’s ultimately rather pointless. So it’s good to know you can disable it if you’re worried about the battery drain by just hitting Fn+ Tab again.
While most of One Netbook’s other mini-laptops feature 360-degree hinges, allowing you to flip the screen all the way and use the computers in tablet mode, the OneGx1 does not… which makes sense, because that big rear section would get in the way.
Instead, the screen opens to around a 120 or 130 degree angle at most. It is a touchscreen display, so you can reach up to interact with it. And I cannot say if this is unique to my prototype unit or if it’ll be true for retail versions, but the OneGx1 supports automatic screen rotation. Flip the device 90 degrees and Windows will shift the display orientation by 90 degrees. This is kind of pointless in a device that doesn’t support tablet, tent, or stand modes… and if you plan to hold this in your hands and game, you’ll probably want to disable automatic screen rotation. But it suggests that One Netbook included a gyroscope for some reason.
Anyway, the touchscreen is handy, because the optical touch sensor below the keyboard is rather annoying to use. It’s in the spot where you’d typically find a trackpad on a larger laptop. But since there’s no room for a touchpad, you get a little square that you can drag your finger across instead. There are left and right buttons to the sides. But it’s really easier to use the touchscreen most of the time, or to connect an external mouse or other pointing device.
The keyboard is… a bit of a mixed bag. As is often the case on mini-laptops, there’s just not enough room for a full-sized, standard keyboard layout. So One Netbook made some compromises. Some keys are smaller than others. And some characters aren’t where you’d normally expect to find them.
For example, it took me a while to find the question mark, slash, and backslash keys (they’re above the 7 and 8 keys). The apostrophe, quotation mark, colon, and semicolon keys are to the right of the keyboard… which is where I’m starting to get used to finding them on mini-laptops, so I don’t waste as much time hunting for them when I need them as I used to.
One Netbook did manage to avoid some of the problematic key placements I’ve seen on other mini notebooks. While many other notebooks with 9 inch or smaller screens have a Tab key above the Q key (and a Q that’s all the way on the left edge of t he keyboard), the OneGX1 puts the Tab above the Q, where it should be.
I wouldn’t say typing on the OneGx1 is fun. The keys are smaller and closer together than they would be on most larger laptops. And the keyboard is a little on the squishy side — press down firmly, and the entire keyboard sort of sinks a bit.
But at least most of the keys are where you’d expect to find them.
When I took a quick online typing test, I was able to hammer out between 60 and 75 words per minute, which is slower than my typical speed with a full-sized keyboard, but a lot faster than I can usually write using a phone or other small-screen devices.
I also tried holding the OneGx1 between two hands and typing with my thumbs. That was much slower and less pleasant, since I had could only use two fingers (or thumbs) at a time, and had to stretch them uncomfortably far across the screen. I was also unable to really touch type when using my thumbs, and had to constantly look down at the keyboard.
You may have an easier time if you’re already comfortable typing on a thumb keyboard like the ones found on older BlackBerry smartphones or other handheld computers like the GPD Win 2 or GPD MicroPC. But I think the keys are a little too large and spaced too far apart from one another to make thumb typing comfortable on most mini-laptops with 7 inch displays.
The keyboard is backlit and features support for RGB lighting effects. You can toggle the backlight on or off by hitting Fn+Space, and you can cycle through different lighting effects by hitting Fn+Enter to have a gradient across the keyboard, choose to have the colors change in a wave, or set a solid color.
Pressing Fn+Back in solid color mode lets you switch the color for all keys. And you can also use Fn plus the W, A, S, and D keys to change the colors of specific zones of the keyboard.
All of which is further evidence that this is very much a laptop designed for gamers… even though it doesn’t really have the processing power of a machine that you’d normally use for playing bleeding edge games.
While the computer’s 7 watt processor isn’t exactly a speed demon, it’s a 1 GHz quad-core chip capable of hitting peak turbo speeds as high as 4GHz, and it seems to be able to offer decent sustained performance.
That 7 watt TDP is also more of a starting point than anything — depending on what I’m asking the computer to do, the chip runs at anywhere from 2 watts to 15 watts.
When running under heavy load, the fans can get rather noisy (not as noisy as the GPD Win Max fans, but still loud enough to be noticeable in a room without a lot of other sounds to block it out). But you can adjust the fan speed and CPU performance with the push of a button… well, two buttons.
Hold either the Fn key and the Insert key or the Fn+touch sensor toggle key (in the upper right corner of the keyboard to switch modes. One Netbook offers three power/fan modes:
- Performance Mode – Fn+ touchpad (power button LED light turns yellow)
- Normal Mode – Fn + Insert (power button turns blue)
- Mute Mode – Fn + Insert (a second time, and the power button turns lighter blue)
The fan doesn’t turn off completely even in mute mode. But it spins much more quietly, and the you’ll get less power out of the processor, which could affect performance when playing games or performing other resource-intensive tasks.
Speaking of games, as I mentioned above, I’ve already taken a few for a spin, but I haven’t played any game for more than a few minutes. I can already say that if you want to play games that require a high-performance GPU, then you’re going to want to hold out for the OneGx Pro or look for a different gaming laptop. But many casual games with 2D or simpler 3D graphics run very well, making this a decent option for handheld gaming if you’re more into indie titles than AAA games.
The Core i5-1020Y processor certainly isn’t the worst option for a gaming PC. As I said, Amnesia: The Dark Descent can run at up to 60 frames per second on this machine. When I tried running the same game on the Chuwi LarkBox mini desktop computer with an Intel Celeron J4115 processor, it struggled to hit 20 frames per second. While the Celeron J4115 is a 10 watt, quad-core processor, it’s based on Intel’s less powerful Atom architecture and lacks support for hyperthreading, among other things.
The OneGx1 is also perfectly capable of handling web browsing, document editing, 1080p (or higher) video playback, or any number of other non-gaming tasks. While I wouldn’t expect anyone to choose a 7 inch laptop with a 7 watt processor for graphic design, video editing, music making, audio editing, or CAD design, it could theoretically do most of those things… particularly if you connect an external display, keyboard and mouse. It just won’t do them quite as quickly as a more powerful system.
But, as a full-time blogger, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at just how well the OneGx1 can handle my basic workday needs. The screen is a little small for getting serious work done, but I’ve carried the little laptop around the house and opened it up to jot quick emails, look things up on the web, or play a little game.
You can also adjust the display scaling from the default 200 percent all the way down to 100 percent if you want to fit more content on the 1920 x 1200 pixel display at once… and if you have stellar vision. I do not, and found anything below 175 percent scaling to be a bit tough to read.
When I carried the machine up to my office and used a USB-C hub to connect 25 inch display, 2.1 channel speaker system, and connected a Bluetooth mouse, I could barely tell that I wasn’t using my usual work machine, a Dell Vostro 7590 laptop with a 45 watt, Intel Core i7-9750H hexa-core processor and 16GB of RAM… because let’s be honest, it’s overkill for most of the web work I do.
I suspect the OneGx1’s speedy PCIe NVMe storage and 16GB of RAM probably don’t hurt. But I also suspect that the processor would start to struggle if I were to use it for video editing or podcast production (I may be a full-time blogger, but I produce and edit podcasts as a side gig, and some of the software I use can be a real resource hog).
Benchmarks aren’t always indicative of real-world performance, which is why I prefer to run them after spending some time with a computer to get a feel for how responsive it is. But now that I’ve run a bunch of tests, I’ve got some data points for comparing the OneGx1 with a bunch of other small computers, including the GPD Win Max and GPD Win 2 handheld gaming PCs, the One Mix 2S Yoga, and the Dell XPS 13 9300 13 inch thin and light laptop.
Unsurprisingly, the OneGx1, which has a 7 watt Intel Amber Lake quad-core processor, scores closer to the GPD Win 2 and One Mix 2S Yoga (with 5 watt Amber Lake dual-core chips) than it does to the GPD Win Max or Dell XPS 13 (which have 25 watt and 15 watt quad-core Ice Lake chips).
You can find more details in Liliputing’s OneGx1 benchmark article:
The OneGx1 has a 46.2 Wh battery and a 7 watt processor. That makes for a device that can offer pretty long battery life… under some conditions.
For example, the little computer lasted for 9 hours and 20 minutes when I set it up to stream YouTube video continuously. That’s with a 1080p video streaming over WiFi with the screen brightness set to about 50-percent.
You might be able to squeeze out a little extra time if you turned off the wireless capabilities and played a local video. But you’ll get a lot less run time when using the little laptop in other ways.
For example, I set up the OneGx1 to run the Heaven gaming benchmark continuously and the battery died after 2 hours and 38 minutes.
Based on those observations, I feel pretty comfortable saying that you might get up to 3 hours or so of battery life while gaming, up to 9 hours while watching videos, and something in between (probably around 4-6 hours) for mixed use such as document editing, web browsing, and other activities.
Notes on Linux
Booting from a USB flash drive is as simple as plugging in a drive with the operating system o of your choice, restarting the computer, hitting the Esc key to get into the BIOS menu, and then changing the boot device priority.
So I loaded up Ubuntu 20.04 and took it for a spin. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most hardware worked perfectly out of the box. WiFi, Bluetooth, and 4G LTE? Check, check, and check.
Even the keyboard shortcuts for adjusting RGB keyboard lighting effects and performance modes worked. But not everything ran smoothly.
The first time I booted into Ubuntu, I was booted with tiny text and graphics… and the screen was sideways. The operating system thought the screen was positioned in portrait mode rather than landscape.
I was able to adjust the tiny text by opening the Ubuntu display settings and adjusting the fractional scaling options. And I rotated the display by opening a terminal window and typing xrandr -o right. But that change doesn’t survive a reboot, and sometimes opening a game or other full-screen application that adjusts displays settings causes the screen to rotate (either when you first open the app or when you exit it).
So you may need to spend a little more time tweaking the display settings to deal with those issues.
Ubuntu reports that there’s support for hardware-accelerated graphics, and I was able to stream 4K video from YouTube (with a little buffering). But when I tried playing a game that was able to run at 60 frames per second under Windows, it crawled along at 20 frames per second with Ubuntu. I can’t say for certain if that’s due to a graphics driver issue or problems with the Linux port of the game. But I do feel comfortable saying that some things run better with Windows than Linux… at least for a Linux novice like me.
You can find more details in our Linux on the OneGx1 article, or check out our video:
Where to pre-order
The One Netbook OneGx1 is available for pre-order starting June 29th and it should begin shipping in August.
At launch, there are two online stores where customers outside of China can pre-order the OneGx1:
But keep in mind that One Netbook, Banggood, and GeekBuying are all Chinese companies that offer limited customer service and support outside of their home country. So I always advise proceeding with caution when placing orders for this type of device — repairs, returns, and other support services can sometimes be frustrating.
I’m not ready to pass judgment on the OneGx1 just yet. It’s an unusual little device that has the look and feel of a compact gaming computer but the performance of a mainstream laptop. But it’s also one of the only devices in this category to support for cellular networks, which is a feature that I know some potential customers have been waiting for.
Thanks to One Netbook for supplying us with this pre-release prototype for testing.