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The first mini-laptop with an Intel Alder Lake-N processor is now available from AliExpress for about $350 and up.
The little computer has an 8 inch IPS LCD display with support for pen and touch input, a convertible design that lets you use it like a tablet, 12GB of LPDDR5 memory, 128GB to 512GB of storage, and an Intel Processor N100 chip that should be able to handle light computing reasonably well.
Intel’s Alder Lake-N chips are basically what you get if you take 12th-gen Intel Core U-series processors and strip out the Performance CPU cores, leaving only Efficiency cores. The N100 is designed for entry-level devices, and the 6 watt chip features 4 single-threaded CPU cores with support for speeds up to 3.4 GHz and Intel UHD integrated graphics with 24 execution units and support for frequencies up to 750 MHz.
While it’s not going to offer the same level performance you’d get from a Core i3 or faster chip, it should be significantly faster than Intel’s older Celeron and Pentium chips based on Atom architecture that had previously been common in this type of entry-level hardware.
The mini-laptop has a design that reminds me of the One Netbook A1 and A1 Pro or GPD Pocket 3, but with a few key changes. Like those systems, this little laptop has a swivel-style hinge that lets you twist the screen 180 degrees and then fold it down over the keyboard for use in tablet mode.
But the One Netbook and GPD models are aimed at IT professionals and include a bunch of ports on the back (including a serial connector on the A1 and a modular port section on the Pocket 3). The newer mini-laptop has just a single Ethernet port on the back… although the product description also mentions an optional KVM module which makes me either think that this thing is a knockoff GPD Pocket 3, or somebody copied and pasted that from GPD’s product description.
Product listing on AliExpress are light on some details (there’s no mention of the display resolution, for example), but here’s what we do know about the N100 mini-laptop’s specs:
- 8 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display
- Support for a pressure-sensitive pen with 1024 levels of sensitivity
- up to 6 hours of local video playback time
- 30W USB-PD charging with a 15V/2A power adapter
- WiFi 6 support
- Bluetooth support
- Stereo speakers
- 2MP webcam (1600 x 1200 pixels, 77 degree field of view)
- IR camera
- TPM 2.0 security
- 1 x HDMI port
- 1 x USB Type-C port
- 1 x USB 3.0 Type-A port
- 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
- 1 x Ethernet jack
- 1 x power jack
- Windows 10 / 11 supported (ships with Windows 10)
Overall it looks like a pretty interesting little computer on paper. But I’d suggest proceeding with caution before purchasing one. First, because I’ve never heard of the companies selling (YSJMNPC Official Store and YSJ-MiniPc Store), and second, because the product images and descriptions might not be entirely accurate.
According to the product page, the mini-laptop measures 198 x 138 x 19.7mm (7.8″ x 5.4″ x 0.8″), weighs 780 grams (1.7 pounds), and has an aluminum chassis.
So while rendered pictures in AliExpress product listings make the laptop look thinner than the One Netbook A1 or GPD Pocket 3, it’s actually a bit larger than the A1, (which measures 173 x 136 x 19mm) and significantly heavier (the A1 is just 550 grams).
I suspect the folks responsible for creating the images in the AliExpress product page exercised a little creativity to make this mini-laptop look thinner than it actually is. The Ethernet jack, for one thing, certainly looks like it’s been squashed.
In fact, there are a few other signs that the new mini-laptop is a GPD Pocket 3 clone: it’s almost exactly the same size (the Pocket 3 is 198 x 137 x 20mm) and seems to have a similar 2MP webcam with a 77 degree field of view. The GPD Pocket 3 is a bit lighter though, at 725 grams (1.6 pounds).
I also suspect that N100 mini laptop’s battery specs are inaccurate. The product page says it’s powered by a 3,200 mAh battery, but the One Netbook A1 has a 6,000 mAh battery while the GPD Pocket 3 has a 10,000 mAh battery. While it’s certainly possible that this new model has a smaller battery, it probably wouldn’t offer 6 hours of battery life and it wouldn’t result in a computer that’s heavier than the other two.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if the keyboard and optical touch sensor (where you’d normally find a touchpad on a larger laptop) take a little getting used to. Like most laptops with small screens, the folks behind this model had to make some compromises in order to fit as many keys as possible in a small space.
That includes splitting the space bar into two keys, putting the colon and quotation mark buttons in the bottom row, and making many keys half-height or half-width. The F11 and F12 keys are also in the row above the rest of the Fn keys.
Still, it’s nice to see that there’s still life in the mini-laptop space.
Thanks to Nate Hoffelder from Gadgetonomie for letting me know about this new Alder Lake-N mini-laptop!
nice, but why no intel make similar dev?
“no mention of the display resolution” — then it must be abysmal.
Why doesn’t someone make a mini laptop with a dedicated graphic card?
There’s very little space in the machine, which limits not only even putting a separate GPU in there, but also the battery and heat dissipation. A separate GPU is likely to take quite a bit of power and generate more heat than a tiny fan can deal with. Some of the higher-end models include processors with much more powerful integrated graphics, but that’s likely as close as you will get.
That hinge worries me…
It says it has 1 x power jack. So it comes with a generic power supply ?
“30W USB-PD charging with a 15V/2A power adapter”
The USB C is capable of charging the laptop. Is the adapter included ? If so is the adapter fixed to 15V ? or is it a genuine PD adapter ?
Looks interesting. Although One Netbook and GPD are currently the only non-name brands I’d buy from right now. Even then, it’s still hit or miss with them.
Hopefully this company makes a name for itself in the UMPC space to provide some confidence for hesitant buyers.
If you’re willing to buy a laptop from GPD “fool me thrice” Technology, you should be willing to buy a laptop just about anybody.
Jeez. Have you actually bought a GPD device? Maybe one?
You keep saying the same things on every GPD related article for years now.
Haha. Yeah, I’ve been seeing this guy talking trash about GPD here for so long now.
Really doesn’t seem like he bought a GPD device in recent years (if at all and just based it all on what he’s read on the Internet, hahahaha).
I’ve owned 3 GPD products over the years.
The GPD Q9, which was dead-on-arrival.
The GPD XD, which suffered a broken hinge within 2 months of owning. GPD later fixed the design, but offered me nothing in terms of warranty.
The GPD Pocket, which came with a faulty RAM chip, and it routinely corrupts files.
Each time I was convinced that GPD’s quality had improved, but I was burned each time.
So it’s been many years since you’ve had a GPD device. Looks like you have pretty outdated info/experience at this point.
Even if their quality has improved, I still won’t buy them until their warranty and support improves.
For $350, what a steal. The most obvious is the processor. That N100 looks plenty powerful for daily duties. It is on par with an Intel Core i7-8565U in Geekbench 5. There are used Core i7-8565U laptops on eBay that go for around this price these days. They don’t have 8″ portability, clamshell design, or MPP 2.0 penabled support. Even 12GB of RAM sounds like too good to be true. 8GB can be cramped these days but 12GB is just enough for everything. If only Microsoft had released a Surface Mini like this.
Ethernet port makes 0 sense on this… So probably from a company that has no idea
Besides “up to 6h video playback” sounds atrocious, 4h in real conditions?
Got burned buying chuwis in the past, they were quite cheap yes, but lasted about a year… Sl not cheap at all if you do the maths on a longer timeframe, e-waste
That looks very nice for the price. I hope it’s real.
BTW, AliExpress currently has coupon that brings the price down to $305. You can also upgrade from 128GB of storage to 256GB for only $9.
I hope you buy one and show us what’s really going on!