24 May 2021 3:20 PM +00:00

One Xplayer Review: A Gaming PC In Your Hands

PLEASE NOTE: This coverage is based on a prototype unit of the One XPlayer.

If you've been enjoying your Nintendo Switch's portability but wish it had a bit more power, then the One XPlayer may have answered your prayers before the Switch Pro has even been announced.

A handheld PC with a wealth of clever tech, it's quite the marvel - but who is it for, exactly?

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Gaming Slab-let

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The One XPlayer looks like the Nintendo Switch's older brother, in many ways. Sure, its black and orange colour may not suit everyone, but there's a lot to lvoe about its chunky design.

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For one, the huge 8.4-inch screen that dominates the front of the console offers a 358 PPI pixel density and a resolution of 2560 x 1600 - that's 2.5K in your hands.

Under the hood, its packing a Tiger Lake i7 Processor that tops out at 4.8GHz, with an integrated iRIS Xe Graphics 96EU (don't worry, we'll get onto FPS counts soon).

Each of the half-controllers on each side is modelled after Xbox pads, so you'll get the classic ABXY buttons, thumbsticks, and D-pad, while the bumper and triggers feel great, too.

On the back, the power button doubles up as a fingerprint sensor for faster logins, and storage comes in M.2 drives up to 2TB, making this a true portable powerhouse capable of taking plenty of games on the go.

When Is A Console Not A Console

Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects is that the One XPlayer runs Windows 10, which has its own boons and caveats.

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For one, you'll be able to jump into League of Legends, GTA Online, or Warzone on the go, since all launchers are compatible - whether you favour Steam, Epic, Battle.net or anything else.

That also means, though, that accessing some settings can be finicky when using the touchscreen. A keyboard attachment is coming, but we weren't able to test that out.

Still, you can connect your peripherals up with ease, since the One XPlayer offers two USB 4.0 Thunderbolt ports and a single USB 3.0 port, too. There's even a Switch-style kickstand to set the console down for extended periods, and you can connect it to an external display, too.

Speaking of ports, you can even charge it with a power bank.

Time To Play A Game

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Given all the power on display, we were impressed with how the One XPlayer handled some more graphically intensive games - especially when hitting the Turbo Button to eke out a little bit more power from the machine's integrated graphics chip.

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Games like Rainbow Six: Siege regularly hit 60 FPS, although we did have to knock the resolution and effects down to get there - and it's still not the best way to play if you want to be competitive.

Still, even Destiny 2 has its moments on the small, yet sharp display, while single-player games like The Witcher 3 and Immortals: Fenyx Rising stood shoulders above their Switch counterparts.

Naturally, some games will demand added peripherals like a mouse and keyboard, but the controllers feel perfectly comfortable for long play sessions, too.

One thing to be aware of is the system's cooling. It's impressive at keeping the system cool (as you'd hope), but it does tend to kick up some noise when it's running.

Value Proposition

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When we review hardware, we usually touch on value for money, but it's entirely subjective.

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Still, it's a key point when discussing the One XPlayer. It's available on IndieGogo at a starting price of $899, which prices it similarly to mid-level gaming laptops that come with an integrated keyboard and trackpad.

Your mileage may vary, but it's something to consider when wondering whether to drop the cash - especially given the retail price after the 'early bird' pricing is done is $1,159.

Verdict

The compatibility and the sheer number of PC games that can be taken on the go with the One XPlayer are extraordinary. It's not without its compromises, but as a feat of engineering, it's almost magical.

Still, with a high entry cost, it may not be for everyone.

4/5

Review unit provided by the manufacturer