Handheld gaming computers are nothing new and there have been quite a few models from different companies, most of them hailing from China, for almost every generation of Intel processors. It isn’t until the 11th-gen Intel “Tiger Lake”, however, that the chip maker’s graphics technology could truly be considered worthy of gaming on its own. Unsurprisingly, there have also been new attempts at putting that Intel chip into more portable forms, and the ONEXPLAYER is not only the latest but also the biggest in that category.
One Netbook has long been making small portable computers but has so far focused on laptops or convertible tablets. The closest it got to a gaming PC handheld was the One GX1 that had removable controllers “inspired” by the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. With the ONEXPLAYER, however, it is jumping head-on into the gaming category, a category that rival GPD has been playing in far longer.
It’s no surprise, then, that the ONEXPLAYER shares the same basic design as the GPD WIN 3 and the AYA Neo with one key difference. While the latter two try to keep the screen size and resolution low, the ONEXPLAYER goes all out with an 8.4-inch IPS LCD screen capable of a 2560×1600 resolution. That, of course, means it will tax the CPU and battery a lot more but it’s something gamers in this niche market have been asking for anyway.
In terms of other hardware, backers can decide between a Core i5 or i7 processor, both of which come with 16GB of RAM, regardless, with storage options of 512GB or 1TB SSD. It packs a massive 59 Wh 15,300 mAh battery that you’ll probably burn through quickly when gaming with these specs. Unlike the GPD WIN 3, it doesn’t have a hidden built-in keyboard and you’ll have to pay extra for an admittedly creative keyboard accessory that turns the handheld into a mini laptop just like a Microsoft Surface.
The ONEXPLAYER is definitely not cheap with a starting price of $819 and you begin to wonder when it starts becoming too much for such a small, portable device. Add to the fact that it’s currently on Indiegogo and some might be immediately scared off by the risks involved. That said, the campaign has already been funded at 3,472%, proving there is indeed a market for this, no matter how extravagant it sounds.