ONEXPLAYER Mini review: A handheld gaming PC that’s actually portable
It would be wrong to say that the Nintendo Switch was the first big-screen handheld console, but there’s no denying that the sheer popularity of the system has prompted many more companies to create their own handheld gaming devices, often based on Android or Windows. Among the many devices trying to capitalize on the success of the Switch, we got the ONE XPLAYER last year, and now, the company is back with a more compact version, aptly called ONE XPLAYER Mini, and we’re here to review it. This is a smaller model that’s much closer to the actual size of the Nintendo Switch, while still offering a full PC experience and solid performance. Not just a response to the Switch, it’s also trying to preemptively fight the Steam Deck, which is the first big-name effort of this kind that will actually come to market.
For a while, many of these handheld consoles were from relatively niche companies like GPD, but last year, it became clear just how much interest this concept has. Valve announced the Steam Deck last summer, and most recently, Qualcomm showed off the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 platform. Granted, that’s not a consumer device yet, but the intent is there. The ONE XPLAYER is still one of those more niche devices, but it’s set up to compete with the Steam Deck, featuring similarly powerful specs and size.
To me, the important question is whether or not it succeeds in doing that, because it’s clear that more people will be attracted to the reputation of the Steam brand. One-Netbook, the company behind the ONE XPLAYER Mini, has to prove that this is in fact a better option. Does it manage to do that? Read on to find out.