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OneNetbook A1 review: Handheld designed for engineers

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Over the closing decade the everyday non-public pc has gotten so a lot thinner and lighter. But a handful of Chinese companies hang been taking a particular come to transportable computers by releasing a series of pocket-sized (or nearly pocket-sized) computers.

GPD bought things started with its Plot shut line of handheld gaming PCs and Pocket line of mini-laptops. But then rival One Netbook kicked things into uncommon equipment by collectively with a kitchen sink paunchy of aspects to its competing merchandise collectively with 360-diploma hinges and pen improve, cell data improve, and even detachable gaming controllers.

And now there’s the One Netbook A1, a mini-pc designed for engineers. It has a 7 creep, paunchy HD touchscreen present, pen improve, a backlit QWERTY keyboard correct (barely) exquisite enough for touch typing, and an old-college swivel hinge that lets you twist the show mask 180 degrees and fold it flat to remodel from mini-pc to mini-tablet modes.

But what in fact makes this shrimp pc uncommon are its ports: there are paunchy-sized Ethernet and USB ports on the support of the map, along side a micro HDMI port and an RS-232 serial port.

It’s available for pre-present from AliExpress and GeekBuying for $599 and up (or employ the coupons listed under the specs/pricing fragment to avoid losing $10). For the previous few weeks I’ve been attempting out a pre-manufacturing demo unit that One Netbook sent me for the applications of this preview.

Wait, did you advise serial port?

The general public will doubtlessly never need a pc with a serial port except they’re time traveling support just a few decades and desire to compose sure they’ll employ the printer they’d in the dwelling space of enterprise at the time.

In this present day and age some networking instruments and other headless programs (which come they’re no longer designed to work with a video show and keyboard) silent hang RS-232 connectors, allowing technicians to connect with a cable to video show performance or compose changes. And that’s the save a shrimp pc just like the One Netbook A1 might maybe will probably be found in to hand as a compact however versatile substitute to a paunchy-sized pc with a serial port.

I’m… no longer an IT expert. So I don’t even hang any equipment with a serial port lying spherical. But I’m able to silent delight in having a shrimp pc with paunchy-sized ports for must you’ll need them. It’s good so that you might maybe connect an Ethernet cable for a stable web connection must you’ll need it. The sector hasn’t fully transitioned to USB-C but, so it’s good to hang each and every Form-C and Form-A ports on any pc in the meanwhile.

One Netbook isn’t the principle firm to catch a handheld pc geared against IT experts. Closing Three hundred and sixty five days the GPD MicroPC hit the streets, additionally that contains paunchy-sized serial, Ethernet, and USB ports and a paunchy-sized HDMI port.

But GPD took a rather various include its handheld map, the utilization of a thumb-model keyboard that’s no longer in fact exquisite enough for touch-typing (and which doesn’t in fact present enough key traipse and tactile feedback for it). The map doesn’t hang a touchscreen. It doesn’t work as a tablet. And it has a relatively sluggish Intel Celeron N4100 Gemini Lake processor.

By comparability, the One Netbook A1 has a increased-performance Intel Core m3-8100Y processor, a convertible tablet-model compose, touch and pen improve, and a a lot bigger keyboard that makes this utility in fact feel more like a shrunken pc than an outsized BlackBerry.

One Netbook did deserve to compose some compromises with this come although. Battery lifestyles might maybe maybe be better. The hinge mechanism feels a chunk wonky. It’s a shrimp too exquisite to insist pocket-sized. And whereas it’s good so that you might maybe touch-form, I believe that map engineers the utilization of a shrimp pc like this in the sector might maybe in fact take care of to retain it in a single hand and kind with the other, at which point a thumb keyboard might maybe maybe be more appropriate.

Specs and compose

Exhibit 7 creep


1920 x 1200 pixel


IPS LCD


Pen improve (4096 stages of power)
CPU Intel Core m3-8100Y
GPU Intel UHD 615
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB or 512GB M.2 SSD
Ports
  • 1 x USB Form-C
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Form-A
  • 1 x micro HDMI
  • 1 x 3.5mm headset
  • 1 x RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x RS-232 Serial
  • 1 x microSD card reader
Battery 6,000 mAh
Charging 12V/3A (30W USB PD 2.0)
Wireless WiFi 5


Bluetooth 4.2
Keyboard Backlit, red
Dimensions 173mm x 135mm x 18mm (6.8″ x 5.3″ x 0.7″)
Weight 550 grams (1.2 kilos)
Pre-present mark 8GB/256GB for $599


8GB/512GB for $639
Retail mark (Nov 13) 8GB/256GB for $649


8GB/512GB for $689

Bellow: Liliputing readers can save $10 at GeekBuying by the utilization of the code GKBA1256GB when pre-ordering an 8GB/256 model or GKBA1512GB when pre-ordering the 8GB/512GB version. 

The demo unit One Netbook sent me is a pre-manufacturing model with a chunk various hardware than the firm will employ for the business version field to ship rapidly.

As an illustration, the model I’ve been attempting out aspects a seventh-gen Intel Core m7-7Y75 processor, whereas the retail version will hang an eighth-gen Core m3-8100Y chip as an substitute. And the firm says the hinge will probably be sturdier in the unit that ships to customers attributable to an “improved rotation shaft.”

In present to compose room for the paunchy-sized ports, One Netbook save USB-C, headphone, and microSD card ports on the perimeters of the pc, however every thing else is on the support.

Which come the firm couldn’t employ a 360-diploma hinge like these in general extinct for contemporary convertible tablet-model notebooks (and which One Netbook has extinct for most of its other mini-laptops to this point). As an substitute, you progress between pc and tablet modes by opening the show mask to a 90-diploma attitude, flipping it spherical horizontally, after which closing the lid support over the keyboard in assert that the show mask goes via up.

It’s an old fashioned compose that works… however which come that the show mask is most efficient linked to the pc at a single point rather then at two or more aspects. The live end result is that if I beat again hard enough when opening the lid, it sounds like I’ll maybe with out wretchedness ruin the show mask off.

If the show mask is pushed support a shrimp too a long way, the backside additionally scrapes the noxious of the pc after I rotate the show mask.

Again, One Netbook says the retail version will feature a sturdier hinge, however since I haven’t examined that version but, I cannot advise how a long way more stable this might be.

The QWERTY keyboard is such as these One Netbook has extinct on other mini-laptops with 7 creep shows. The keys are a shrimp shrimp, selection of shut collectively, and some are awkwardly positioned. However the more time I employ typing on computers the save the colon and apostrophe buttons are to the ideal of the gap bar as an substitute of to the ideal of the L key, the much less time I in fact deserve to employ attempting and pecking for steadily extinct keys.

For some motive One Netbook decided to embody a red backlight as an substitute of white, which seems like a uncommon substitute. But it no doubt’s good to no lower than hang the choice of illuminating the keys must you’re in a dimly lit atmosphere. Which that you can toggle the backlight on and off by conserving the Fn + Assign keys.

Which that you can additionally hit the Fn+ fan/touchpad key in the upper correct corner to swap between “Silent” and “Performance” modes, which adjusts the fan traipse.

On the demo unit One Netbook shipped me, the present brightness buttons seem like reversed – press brightness down and the show mask will get brighter, and vice versa. However the amount shortcuts work as expected.

Below the keyboard is an infrared touch sensor that serves rather then a trackpad. It’s no longer my favourite come to pass a cursor at some stage in the show mask, then all but again it will get the job done in a pinch must probabilities are you’ll maybe maybe maybe also’t connect a mouse or don’t salvage reaching as a lot as touch the show mask handy. There are additionally left and proper click buttons to the perimeters of the touch sensor.

Above the keyboard there’s a vitality button with a constructed-in fingerprint sensor, which appears to be like to make a relatively correct job of letting me swiftly login to the pc.

One thing the One netbook A1 would now not hang? A webcam. At a time when we’re all caught at dwelling videoconferencing, that seems like a prime oversight, however here’s a handheld pc designed for employ network engineers on the hotfoot… One Netbook doubtlessly figure they hang got a particular pc support at their desk that they’ll employ for video calls.

Performance

I’ve been attempting out a pre-manufacturing prototype for the closing few weeks, so whereas I’m going to fragment some benchmarks, you might maybe positively take care of them with a grain of salt. The One Netbook A1 prototype I’m attempting out would now not hang the same processor as the devices that can ship to customers.

But since I in fact hang examined other mini laptops that make hang an Intel Core m3-8100Y processor, I’m able to compose an knowledgeable wager that probabilities are you’ll maybe maybe maybe also fair scrutinize a chunk better CPU performance and a rather bigger bump in graphics performance. But these are silent minute computers designed for frequent computing responsibilities. They’re no longer gaming or workstation-class computers.

Both the Core i7-7Y75 and Core m3-8100Y chips are tremendously sooner than the Intel Celeron N4100 chip that powers GPD’s microPC although, so the One Netbook A1 must outperform the utility that will maybe maybe be its closest opponents. It additionally funds substantially more – probabilities are you’ll maybe maybe maybe also take care of up a MicroPC for spherical $400.

OK, so let’s scrutinize at these benchmarks:

Understand that, synthetic benchmarks hang boundaries. While they provide a come of working the same right test on a pair of machines to scrutinize how they evaluate… you most efficient be taught the come they evaluate at working these right responsibilities. And usually traipse isn’t essentially the most efficient thing that issues in phrases of the utilization of a pc.

So here are just a few other things to know about the utilization of the One Netbook A1.

  • It would take care of 4K video playback from YouTube when working Windows, however had project playing something increased than 1080p video (at 60 Hz) after I tried working Ubuntu 20.04 (scrutinize under for more primary aspects on working Linux).
  • The pc has a 33.1 Wh battery that lasted for correct under 5 hours in a battery bustle-down test that fascinating streaming 1080p video from YouTube over WiFi with the show mask brightness field to 50-percent. Which that you can fair catch longer battery lifestyles if the utilization of the map for gentle responsibilities with the wi-fi turned off and the at a dimmer setting. But under heavy load, don’t rely on the One Netbook A1 to bustle all day on battery vitality.

  • It has a CNC aluminum chassis and the body feels relatively sturdy. It’s correct the hinge that feels a chunk fragile, however One Netbook says that the model that ships to customers will deserve to hang a sturdier hinge.
  • The keyboard is in fact on the shrimp facet, however I used so that you might maybe hit 66 phrases per minute on a typing test with a shrimp assert. That’s under my frequent catch of 90+ on a paunchy-sized keyboard, however sooner than I’ll maybe form with a smartphone or a thumb keyboard just like the one extinct on the GPD MicroPC.

  • The speakers aren’t very loud, however they’re correct enough for paying consideration to video playback or VoIP calls. There’s additionally a headphone jack must you’ll need it.
  • One Netbook did now not embody a digicam on this model, however there might be a constructed-in microphone. So must you’re attempting for a minute Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet machine, this model is a enlighten-most efficient solution at most efficient.

  • The digital pen appears to be like to work as expected, however I in fact hang unpleasant handwriting and might maybe’t plan very smartly, so I didn’t test this widely.

  • Having a paunchy-sized Ethernet port comes in to hand must you’re the utilization of the map for network administration, however additionally must you correct desire a sooner, more legitimate connection than probabilities are you’ll maybe maybe maybe also in general catch over WiFi.

  • The 7 creep, 1920 x 1200 pixel present is most life like probably to head attempting with the present scaling field to 200 percent, which come that probabilities are you’ll maybe maybe maybe also fair hang an efficient show mask resolution closer to 960 x 600. That doesn’t give you a big series of room for viewing a pair of dwelling windows, so I on the total chanced on myself maximizing app dwelling windows and working one thing at a time. The map has enough horsepower to take care of some multitasking in the background. There’s correct no longer a wide range of show mask space for multi-window computing… except you connect an external present.
  • Given the other paunchy-sized ports on this pc, it’s a shrimp uncommon that there’s most efficient a micro HDMI port. But since I happen to hang a micro HDMI to HDMI cable, I used so that you might maybe substantiate that probabilities are you’ll maybe maybe maybe also output audio and video to a TV or video show  with none project.

How upgradeable is it?

A little bit of bit.

The RAM is soldered to the motherboard, and like most laptops (and mini-laptops), the processor cannot be upgraded. But probabilities are you’ll maybe maybe maybe also swap out the SSD.

Plot shut away the six shrimp screws conserving the backside quilt in space and you’ll salvage the SSD populating an M.2 2242 slot. One Netbook sells the A1 with a substitute of 256GB or 512GB of storage, then all but again it’s going to be relatively straightforward to upgrade to a increased-skill pressure.

I additionally seen an Intel AX200 WiFi 6 & Bluetooth 5.0 wi-fi card under the hood. That might maybe maybe doubtlessly be so a lot more challenging to replace, then all but again it’s a moderately respectable wi-fi card, so I scrutinize shrimp must replace it.

What about Linux?

I haven’t done broad attempting out, however I did boot from an Ubuntu 20.04 LTS live USB and seen that most things were working smartly out of the sector. But no longer every thing.

WiFi, keyboard shortcuts, and audio all labored smartly. As I talked about above, I used so that you might maybe stream 1080p60 video from YouTube with none misfortune, however playback bought uneven at 1440p and increased resolutions.

The bigger scenario is that the show mask orientation is a chunk wonky.

In present to boot from a flash pressure, I shut down the pc and pressed the Del key to catch into the UEFI/BIOS settings… and they were all sideways. As is on the total the case with mini-laptops that contains 7 creep shows, evidently One Netbook might maybe fair hang extinct a tablet present, so the map thinks that it would present the UEFI Settings in portrait mode… even must you’re the utilization of the utility in panorama like a pc.

Navigate to the Keep & Exit menu the utilization of the arrow keys and you’ll salvage a boot override fragment that lets you hang selected to boot from a USB flash pressure. So I inserted an Ubuntu live USB and did that… most efficient to catch dumped out to a GRUB bootloader menu that used to be additionally sideways.

The ideal news is that after I selected the Ubuntu choice and the working map loaded, the show mask orientation used to be because it can maybe maybe be field to panorama. I didn’t deserve to make something to compose that happen.

I used so that you might maybe employ the keyboard, optical touch sensor, and touchscreen to navigate with none project in pc mode.

Issues catch trickier must you swap to tablet mode or strive to employ the digital pen. While Ubuntu can detect touch and pen enter, someplace deep down it silent thinks it’s in portrait orientation… so must you touch your finger or the pen to the show mask, it registers as a scamper in various locations on the present. It’s probably that a driver replace or a configuration replace might maybe resolve this field, however out of the sector the pen is selection of useless in Ubuntu.

The opposite thing that’s selection of useless in Ubuntu is automatic show mask rotation. After I flip the show mask spherical and take care of up the pc, it acknowledges if I swap from panorama to portrait orientation. But Ubuntu continuously flips the present in assert that every thing is the other procedure up in portrait mode.

Again, of us who know there come spherical Linux present configuration settings better than I make might maybe maybe be succesful of resolve these complications. However the out-of-the-field journey is unhealthy must you intend to employ the One Netbook A1 as something as antagonistic to a frequent mini-pc.

Verdict

The One Netbook A1 is an uncommon shrimp pc designed to examine a extremely particular enviornment of interest: it’s a minute pc that might maybe additionally be extinct as a tablet that’s designed for network engineers and other IT experts who might maybe need a conveyable utility with paunchy-sized Serial and Ethernet ports.

I don’t in fact drop into that category. However the One netbook A1 is silent a challenging shrimp utility because it’s one amongst a relatively shrimp series of contemporary mini laptops with present the scale of a shrimp tablet show mask, a keyboard that probabilities are you’ll maybe maybe maybe also touch form on (when you catch extinct to it), and a convertible tablet-model compose that I notion had long gone out of model a decade in the past (with a 180-diploma swivel hinge rather then a 360-diploma “yoga” model hinge).

Like many devices from One Netbook, the A1’s battery lifestyles is terribly disappointing. However the prototype I examined supplies respectable general performance and it’s probably that the retail version will catch a chunk better in benchmarks attributable to its newer processor.

That talked about, the shrimp pc measures about 6.8″ x 5.3″ making it a shrimp too chunky to call pocket-sized. But at 1.2 kilos it weighs lower than half of as unparalleled as a same old 13.3 creep notebook, and it’s more uncomplicated to retain in a single hand whereas you’re working… plus most 13.3 creep laptops don’t hang Serial or Ethernet ports.

The One Netbook A1 additionally has a feature you obtained’t salvage on most bigger laptops: probabilities are you’ll maybe maybe maybe also attach an no longer mandatory wrist strap that can abet take care of the pc from falling to the bottom must you drop it whereas working.

So I believe there might be an target audience for this compose of utility. I’m correct no longer essentially a member of that target audience. If you’re, and you’ve bought $600 or more burning a entire on your pocket, then the One Netbook A1 is a rather bigger, a chunk more worthy, and a chunk more uncomplicated to employ for touch-typing substitute to the GPD MicroPC. It’s additionally more costly, with prices starting up at spherical $200 to $250 increased than the mark of a GPD MicroPC.

Within the period in-between, must you don’t need paunchy-sized Ethernet or Serial ports, then you definately might maybe maybe be at an advantage with the in the same procedure-priced One Mix 1S+ mini-pc. It has the same Core m3-8100Y processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and 7 creep touchscreen present, then all but again it has a 360-diploma hinge that can compose it a closer match for of us attempting for a convertible tablet-model mini-pc.

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