Steam Deck vs. ONEXPLAYER Mini: Which Pocket PC Has the Best Specs?

With the official release of the Steam Deck just days away, the lucky few who pre-ordered Valve’s new laptop when it launched last summer should be receiving their consoles. Valve isn’t the only manufacturer making laptops, though.

The Chinese company One-Netbook already has a handheld ready for purchase in the ONEXPLAYER Mini. Both systems share similar functionality but vary significantly in their respective hardware. This article details which device has the best overall specs of each handheld for gaming on the go.

CPU

UNEXPLAYER

Picture by Intel

The ONEXPLAYER Mini is equipped with an 11th generation Intel i7-1195G7 processor. It has four cores and eight threads, with a base clock of 2.9 GHz and a maximum clock of 5 GHz. The performance of this processor won’t match desktop performance, but it’s powerful enough to run the latest games without bottlenecking issues.

steam bridge

Example of an equivalent AMD APU chip in the Steam Deck
Picture by AMD

The Steam Deck processor is a custom AMD APU that uses the Zen 2 architecture. APUs contain both a CPU and a graphics processing unit, suitable for mobile devices such as thin or ultra-thin laptops . However, the downside of APUs is the lack of dedicated processing from a discrete GPU.

Steam Deck’s processor runs with four cores and eight threads at a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz and a maximum of 3.5 GHz. A close equivalent to the APU is an AMD Ryzen 5 4680U, although it has two fewer cores. Based on the latter’s benchmarks from notebookcheck.net, it can be inferred that the former’s gaming performance will be similar.

Winner – ONEXPLAYER Mini

ONEXPLAYER takes the win with better overall performance based on available APU benchmarks. Its i7 Tiger Lake processor can reach higher clock speeds and perform more calculations per clock than the custom APU in the Steam Deck, giving it a slight performance advantage.

iGPU

UNEXPLAYER

ONEXPLAYER Intel Xe Graphics Card
Picture by Intel

Although Intel is launching its first wave of discrete GPUs in 2022, its older integrated GPUs still fall short of what AMD has done with its latest product generations. ONEXPLAYER Mini uses an Intel Xe 96, whose performance is closest to a GeForce MX450. While it can run 1080p graphics, average frame rates won’t hit more than 30fps.

steam bridge

RDNA 2 Custom Steam Deck, Zen 2 APU Chip
Image of Valve

Steam Deck uses an RDNA 2 architecture GPU with eight compute units at a base frequency of 1 GHz and a maximum of 1.6 GHz. Unlike Intel, AMD GPUs have advanced in recent years thanks to the new RDNA architecture, but it was only recently that RDNA 2 was added to its latest line of laptop graphics cards. Early benchmarks show that the Steam Deck can handle 1080p at 30fps or 60fps at 720p.

Winner – Steam Deck

While the CPU excels for the ONEXPLAYER Mini, the Steam Deck shines brighter with its GPU. RDNA 2 has proven to be a game changer for the performance of AMD-powered mobile devices. Intel Xe graphics cannot match them and for this reason Steam Deck wins in this category.

To display

ONEXPLAYER Mini

Image by One-Netbook via Amazon

The ONEXPLAYER Mini’s 7-inch IPS display has a native resolution of 1920 by 1200. The manufacturer doesn’t state the refresh rate, but the touchscreen is more than likely to have a minimum of 60Hz. When you consider the 100% sRGB color gamut at 323 PPI, this display is among the best available for a portable gaming machine.

steam bridge

Steam Deck Display
Screenshot via Valve

Like the ONEXPLAYER Mini, the Steam Deck also has a 7-inch IPS display that refreshes at 60Hz. However, its native resolution is 1200 by 800. It is important to note that lower resolution may provide better performance battery and game and Steam Deck screen is touchscreen enabled.

Winner – ONEXPLAYER Mini

One-Netbook’s decision to use a higher resolution display gives the ONEXPLAYER Mini the edge. However, using a higher resolution will eventually drain battery life faster, which will be covered later.

Storage room

ONEXPLAYER Mini

Example of ONEXPLAYER Mini SSD size.
Image via Toshiba

Interested parties can purchase the ONEXPLAYER Mini with 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB SSD storage. Higher storage options are more expensive, but each model will use the same specs. The ONEXPLAYER Mini does not have an expansion slot, but USB 4 Type C compatible external storage drives will work like on a traditional PC.

steam bridge

Steam Deck storage player.
Screenshot via Valve

Valve offers three storage options like One-Netbook. However, the cheapest model uses a 64GB eMMC (embedded media card), while the mid-priced 256GB model uses an M.2 SSD and the most expensive 512GB model uses an M.2 SSD. high speed. Each of the SSD models uses a 2230 M.2 respectively. Although there is no expansion slot for an additional M.2 SSD, ports are available on the laptop, its official docking station for external storage or high-speed SD cards.

Winner – ONEXPLAYER Mini

ONEXPLAYER Mini provides more space for downloading games and other applications to the Steam Deck. A maximum size of 2TB compared to 512GB is a clear win for One-Network’s laptop.

Battery life

ONEXPLAYER Mini

ONEXPLAYER Mini Battery
Picture via One-Netbook

The ONEXPLAYER Mini is powered by a 10,455 mAh battery. Battery life depends on system usage, such as for gaming laptops, but One-Netbook claims it can handle up to eight hours of video playback. However, if you are using the latest games, the battery will only last about two to three hours. The ONEXPLAYER Mini’s charging times are relatively fast: it can charge up to 50% in about 20 minutes or fully charge in an hour.

steam bridge

Valve put a 40 Wh battery in the Steam Deck, which is capable of two to eight hours of gameplay, according to Valve. These estimates are based on specific parameters, which means that different configurations can produce different rates of discharge. Laptop charging time can take about three hours, according to Gamespot.

Winner – Tie

It’s hard to pinpoint a winner for battery life because there are so many variables to consider. ONEXPLAYER Mini has faster recharge times, but some games will drain the battery quickly. The same applies to the Steam Deck. It seems to have longer cooldowns, but could handle longer gaming sessions since the ratings are based on game usage, not just video playback.

RAM

ONEXPLAYER Mini

For RAM, the ONEXPLAYER has 16 GB of LPDDR4x dual-channel memory. This mobile version of DDR4 offers less performance than its desktop counterpart, but it has a lower power consumption rate to compensate for this.

steam bridge

Valve used the faster and more efficient LPDDR5 in the Steam Deck. LPDDR5 offers faster data speed and lower power consumption over LPDDR4 and LPDDR4x. However, it cannot match the performance of DDR5. Like the ONEXPLAYER Mini, Steam Deck uses 16 GB of built-in RAM, which is not expandable.

Winner – Steam Deck

The Steam Deck wins here. LPDRR5 memory is better than LPDDR4x and gives Valve’s laptop the edge.

Operating system

ONEXPLAYER Mini

Windows 11 is automatically loaded on all new ONEXPLAYER laptops. The device can handle all standard desktop applications because it uses Windows. Linux based operating systems will also work on the ONEXPLAYER mini.

The ONEXPLAYER Mini can work as a standard PC like the Steam Deck. However, it doesn’t seem to share the same console-like integrations as SteamOS. However, it could mimic a Steam Deck-like experience through Steam’s Big Picture mode.

steam bridge

Rather than using Windows, Valve will ship its latest version of SteamOS 3.0 – a proprietary Linux-based operating system – with the Steam Deck. SteamOS is the same operating system used by the original Steam Engines, but updated after two years without one.

The main appeal of SteamOS is to convert a PC into a steam engine, essentially a dedicated gaming PC with a console-like interface. With 3.0, the Steam Deck can run games that use Windows through Proton Windows compatibility software. Additionally, the operating system has been designed for living room use, which makes docking the Steam Deck more appealing.

Winner – Steam Deck

SteamOS has a lot of potential to become what Valve originally intended for its Steam Engine via Steam Deck. However, it’s unclear whether SteamOS will become more viable in the future. Still, most PC gamers use Steam as their primary platform for downloading games, making native integration a winning addition to the Steam Deck.

Game controls and features

ONEXPLAYER Mini

Like the Switch and other portable gaming systems, the ONEXPLAYER mini has a set of face buttons and directional buttons for controls. Players can also use on-screen touch controls if they wish. The shifters are Japanese-made ALPS rockers that have an 18-degree tilt. Their design is a standard convex surface at a height of 7.5 millimeters.

Other game-specific features include rumble, touch bumpers, linear triggers, and a turbo boost function. Turbo increases system wattage to improve performance, although it may not work in all cases.

steam bridge

Docked Steam Deck
Photo via Valve

Valve’s laptop offers multiple control schemes for the gamer. In addition to convex thumbsticks, face buttons, and a d-pad, Steam Deck has two trackpads for more precise mouse movement. Gamers can use the trackpads or gamepads interchangeably without issue. Additionally, the system comes with a gyroscope which works well with high precision or immersive games.

Steam Deck is also able to act as a traditional game console using its official dock. It can pause a game by pressing the power button, and the system will remember where the player left off.

Winner – Steam Deck

Steam Deck takes the win in this category with a better suite of game-specific features than the ONEXPLAYER can match. The addition of the trackpads and gyroscope keeps it in line with the Switch as a portable gaming system and portable PC.


Overall winner – Steam Deck

Although the ONEXPLAYER has better processor, display, and storage options, there are caveats. Games will almost always rely more on the GPU. If the game doesn’t run well at higher resolutions, the high-fidelity display isn’t being utilized as it should be.

Using RDNA 2 in Steam Deck’s iGPU allows a wider range of games to run well for much less. For this reason, the Steam Deck has the best specs as a gaming PC.

About Jon Moses

Check Also

Anbernic’s portable gaming PC is coming in July

Anbernic is a Chinese company that makes handheld gaming devices, most of which are retro …