OneXPlayer Mini Takes On The Steam Deck With A New AMD Model

Although the Steam Deck became the hottest topic in PC gaming because of its Switch-like portable design, it was hardly the first to try its hand at a handheld console for PC gaming. The most recent wave of such computers started with the first GPD WIN in 2016 and the niche market has since been dominated by at least two Chinese brands. With the Steam Deck's launch and limited availability, the handheld PC market seems to have been re-ignited, with new models and designs that try to capitalize on gamers' newfound interest. 

The Steam Deck, however, also started a new sub-current within that market, with new variants of old models bearing AMD's processors instead of Intel's. That's exactly what One Netbook is attempting to offer with a new variant of its OneXPlayer Mini, potentially cashing in on the popularity of the Steam Deck with an AMD-powered handheld of its own.

As its name suggests, the OneXPlayer Mini is actually a slightly smaller variant of the original model that launched in 2021 to preempt Valve's Steam Deck. Though it does have the same 7-inch display, the OneXPlayer Mini supports a higher 1920x1200 resolution. The handheld also comes with faster PCIe NVMe storage right off the bat instead of slower eMMC technology. With 16GB of RAM and a variety of ports, the OneXPlayer Mini is truly more like a mini-laptop than a watered-down PC.

Like many of its peers and rivals in this space, the OneXPlayer initially launched with Intel processors only. Since the Steam Deck, however, there has been a steady trickle of AMD variants that may give Intel a run for its money. This new OneXPlayer Mini, in particular, is arriving with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U, which has eight cores and 16 threads, as well as Radeon Vega 8 graphics. For some, that alone makes this model a more worthwhile gaming computer.

A very different alternative to Steam Deck

It's almost too easy to compare the OneXPlayer Mini with the Steam Deck in terms of design and that AMD CPU, but as they say, the devil is in the details. The OneXPlayer Mini uses an off-the-shelf AMD Ryzen and ships with Windows out of the box, making it really more comparable to Windows laptops. In contrast, the Steam Deck uses a custom AMD SoC and runs the Linux-based Steam OS, so the company is better able to fine-tune its performance.

The biggest deal-breaker for many, however, will likely be the price. While the Steam Deck costs, at most, $649, the OneXPlayer Mini starts at $999, which is actually a discounted pre-sale price from the full $1,259. One can easily buy a more powerful gaming laptop at that rate, but the handheld form factor does have the advantage of portability. 

With delays and limits in the Steam Deck's availability, many PC gamers might be a bit tempted by these alternatives, especially when they come with Windows already pre-installed. Ironically, One Netbook is rumored to be considering developing its own Steam OS version in order to boost the popularity of its devices with Steam fans.