When it was announced in 2021, OneXPlayer was a curious proposition. The device is like the lovechild of a PC and a Switch, giving you the opportunity to play AAA games on the go – without the need for streaming. And since the device runs Windows, you can even power up Office, tap away on an external keyboard and pretend you bought the thing for work.
Then Steam Deck stomped into the room and stole the thunder of every other handheld gaming PC, by virtue of being significantly less likely to give your bank account a heart attack. Now OneXPlayer is hitting back, with a somewhat miniaturised take on its handheld – albeit one still saddled with a maxi price tag.
X factor (of about 0.8)
That price tag, then. It starts at $1259, which nets you the OneXPlayer Mini with 512GB of storage – although that goes all the way up to $1599 for the 2TB version. Fortunately, the device offers a solid feature set to tempt you to part with your cash.
On the outside, swish design work offsets a moody black case with orange highlights. The handheld’s ergonomic curves are akin to those of a console gamepad, and the buttons and triggers are high-quality parts.
The handheld’s footprint and display are both roughly 80% of the size of the OneXPlayer’s equivalents – although the Mini is slightly thicker. While playing you’ll gawp at a 7in 1920×1200 323ppi IPS multitouch display (compared to the 8.4in display on the standard OneXPlayer) and listen to audio pumped out of two front-facing stereo speakers.
Connectivity comes by way of 2x USB-C, 1x USB-A and a headphone port. Dig into the guts of the device and you’ll discover it’s powered by an Intel Core i7-1185G7 and Intel Iris Xe graphics. There’s also a fast SSD, Wi-Fi 6/Bluetooth 5.0 support, and a PC-grade cooling fan to ensure the thing doesn’t melt when playing high-end games. Although the two hours of “full load game time” might put paid to that anyway.
The device’s creators ambitiously suggest it’s pocket-sized, although its dimensions are similar to a Switch’s but thicker. However, the sticking point is going to be the price. While the OneXPlayer Mini is 81g lighter than a Steam Deck and has a better layout for its controls, that you can buy Valve’s most expensive unit, a brand-new Switch and have ten bucks left over for a massive bag of Haribo makes OneXPlayer a tough sell – even if those orange stripes are snazzy.