Hardware review: AOKZOE A1

hardware

I kickstarted the AOKZOE A1 when I was utterly convinced that I would never get a Steam Deck.

Joke’s on me; the Deck arrived before the A1.

I primarily use this system as my sole Win11 machine, so it does a lot of light desktop work. It is also my “travel” laptop; when I’m travelling I take this and not my Steam Deck. Everything is tunable, but it draws way more power than a Deck and generally lasts about the same amount of time even with the larger battery.

The bundled OS is pretty close to stock Win11 and contains very little bloat. The A1 sidebar app that shows up when you press the turbo button is servicable, and themable. I went from the obnoxious gamer green UI to something more muted and transparent.

One annoying thing about the “community” is you have to join the AOKZOE Discord to find out the latest software updates, etc. Since AOKZOE is primarily a Chinese company, and a young one at that, much of the information about the device is locked away in Chinese-language web sites and you need the Discord to find and filter out the important parts.

I cannot say enough good things about the display. Blows the Deck out of the water.

TL;DR: The hardware is amazing, the support not so much. The screen and the gaming power are the big draws.

The A1 has been supplanted by the A1 Pro at this point, so you should be able to find A1s much cheaper now.