One of the strangest notebooks ever to have graced our test bench
The A1 by One Netbook is a surprising addition to the current laptop ecosystem due to some daring design and engineering options too many to be listed on this section. Some choices are controversial although and its value will make just a few potential buyers balk.
- Unexpected RS232 port
- Touchscreen display
- Immaculate construction
- Fingerprint sensor
- Micro HDMI connector
- Core M3 not the best choice
- Unimpressive battery life
- No webcam
- Full HD totally superfluous
- Backlit keyboard on by default
- Noisy fan
- Redundant rope hole
The previous few years have seen the return of some old trends: classic vinyl and retro video games, for example. We will now add netbooks to that listing, as a result of a budget and compact kind issue from the 2010s is making a comeback due to challenger brands trying to service niche markets.
One-Netbook is one such brand; its A1 pocket book targets a very niche viewers with a really particular set of options. For instance, in contrast to competing models, it has a rotatable screen that protects the keyboard higher (in comparison with the design of say, the Bmax Y13 Pro).
But that’s not all, it is the one laptop we all know of that gives an RS232 port, useful for plugging in all kinds of units that system administrators, IT technicians and others use. Read on to find out extra.
Pricing and availability
The A1 exists in a myriad of configurations; the one that we received is powered by an Intel Core M3 8100Y with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. It is on sale at popular Chinese online retailer Banggood for $669.99 (use the exclusive code BGb167fd at checkout); a 256GB version costing $40 less.
The A1 reminds us of another laptop we reviewed some time again, the Chuwi Minibook, additionally a small convertible with an identical price tag and have list.
It presents itself as a fairly small slab of anthracite brushed aluminum metallic with four rubber feet on the perforated base that also contains a pair of additional holes so as to add a VESA mount.
At solely 173 x 136 x 19mm for a weight of 550g, it is the lightest laptop we’ve examined up to now. Its screen is attached to the physique with one rotatable 7-inch touchscreen show that helps as much as 2048 pressure levels and can be utilized with an elective stylus.
The ability button is located on the highest of the keyboard and doubles as a fingerprint scanner, one thing that we wholeheartedly embrace. One other trend that we wouldn’t although is eradicating the webcam altogether. As to your touchpad, properly, there’s none due to the house restrictions.
Somehow although, engineers have managed to cram a fairly good infrared contact sensor and a pair of buttons into a tight space. And guess what? It works fairly well.
Ports include a 3.5mm audio connector on the proper, an RS232 port, a micro HDMI connector, two USB 3.0 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet port on the again and a USB-C port (for charging) and a microSD card slot on the left.
The seller went into details to elucidate why a native RS-232 serial port is much better than a USB to RS-232 serial port.
Here are the full specs of the One Netbook A1 configuration despatched for review:
CPU: Intel Core m3-8100y
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
RAM: 8GB DDR3
Screen: 7-inch FHD resolution
Ports: 1 x USB C, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x microHDMI, microSD card reader, audio jack, RS-232 serial port, Gigabit Ethernet
Connectivity: Intel Wireless-AC 7265, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5
Size: 173x136x19 mm (H x W x D)
The One-Netbook A1 is powered by an Intel Core m3-8100Y, a dual-core processor that has 4 threads and a 5W TDP. It means that the processor is very energy efficient and shouldn’t dissipate quite a lot of heat. That stated, the laptop computer does have a fan which will get noisy under load. The Intel UHD Graphics 615 that acts because the graphics sidekick is a capable but in the end restricted part; don’t count on something aside from very mild workloads though it could drive a 4K monitor, making it ultimate for productivity applications.
The processor works alongside 8GB RAM, the slower, older LPDDR3 sort and a 512GB PCIe NVMe stable state drive from an unknown source. Wireless connectivity is handled by an Intel Wi-fi-AC 7265 community adapter which supplies each Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 5. The onboard battery is a smallish 22.2WHr mannequin that is powered by a small adaptor that delivers as much as 45W of power. Thumbs up for utilizing a removable USB-C cable which implies that you will be able to make use of an emergency energy bank to cost it.
Approach the One Netbook A1 with an open mind. This is not your standard laptop however relatively a strong sidekick for a system administrator (hint: the RS232 port). Its versatility and kind issue means that there’s probably just a few different use cases we haven’t considered particularly in an industrial/enterprise setup: suppose alongside the traces of ATM (Automatic Teller Machine), PLC controllers, and many others.
Here’s how the One Netbook A1 carried out in our suite of benchmark tests:
Passmark CPU: 3728
CPU-Z: 298 (single-thread); 783 (multi-thread)
Geekbench: 863 (single-core); 1506 (multi-core); 3456 (compute)
CrystalDiskMark: 649MBps (read); 423MBps (write)
Cinebench CPU: 537
Atto: 799MBps (read, 256mb); 841MBps (write, 256mb)
AJA: 720MBps (read); 688MBps (write)
Windows Expertise Index: 4.8
Slicing to the chase, the A1 excels at single-thread functions however there’s solely a lot a dual-core processor can obtain particularly with a really low energy consumption; it’s going to spar with probably the most powerful Celeron, losing some, successful some. Notice that the laptop computer is noisy under load due to the active heatsink fan that works harder than expected.
The storage subsystem is ample, reaching higher-than-SATA numbers however lacking the oomph to permit this succesful extremely transportable to hit increased scores. The total HD touchscreen IPS show is shiny and a little bit of a fingerprint magnet. It is sufficiently vibrant to be used exterior however don’t attempt to put it to use beneath direct sunlight. The hinge works a treat and is an ideal match for a small screen whereas defending the keyboard.
When it came to battery life, the A1 proved to be a little bit of a shock clocking in a good 4h27 minutes in our YouTube video playback battery check. That was not expected given the small battery however we are going to take it.
It can be a challenge to charge a product that targets a niche market. Clearly, there will probably be fringe customers to whom the One-Netbook A1 will appeal huge time however for many of us, the sell will probably be a laborious and cringe worthy one. Sure, it is small however for a lot of the disadvantages far outweigh the pros.
We might have preferred another processor; the M3 is nonetheless costly and may carry out on par with an Intel Celeron J4125 CPU (based on CPUBenchmark, a preferred benchmark). The latter consumes extra power but the value distinction ought to greater than offset it, allowing, for instance, One-Netbook to swap the micro HDMI port for a more versatile USB-C connector and throw in a free Kind-C to HDMI cable.
We also imagine that a full HD resolution on such a small display is a little bit of a waste. 1440x 900 pixels would have labored fairly properly, bumping the battery life a tad and lightening the GPU’s load by decreasing the variety of pixels displayed by around 40%.
It is not a nasty product though – one that for now stays without competition – and the eye to element that the seller has put in constructing this tiny engineering powerhouse is a testament to its designers.