Onda Xiaoma 21

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Hands-On First Impressions Of The Onda Xiaoma 21

Hands-On First Impressions Of The Onda Xiaoma 21

The Onda Xiaoma 21 is very much like the Civiltop Air or Tbook Air it’s known as I reviewed. Celeron N3450, 4GB LPDDR3 RAM, wireless AC. A 12.5″ 1080p screen, a really bright anti-glare IPS with decent calibration out of the box. it weighs only 1.09 kilos and 12.8mm thin, making it super lightweight and portable. But this one has more ports, but sadly it’s still missing one important one. For some reason, I thought not only did it have, 2 x USB 3.0’s, MicroHDMI, but also a 3.5mm headphone jack. Nope! No 3.5mm, it’s handled via the USB Type-C port which is audio out and in, plus charging only. And Onda doesn’t even include an adaptor in the box.

Wait a minute! Where’s my 3.5mm audio port Onda!

Performance seems great for an Apollo lake. Either power limits, bios tweaks or fast RAM results in much better iGPU performance and all the others. My Half-Life 2 Lost Coast benchmark resulted in 69.17 FPS average default settings 1080p. Yet the Jumper EZBook 3 Pro, gets only 42.44 FPS with the same settings and it even has 2GB of RAM more. Quite puzzling. The Civiltop Air (It’s also the same laptop) has similar results of around 70 FPS.

But if I run Geekbench 4, the results are the more or less the same. 1380 single core and 4000 multi-core. So only the Intel 500 HD GPU is benefiting from whatever settings or RAM tweaks Onda have used. Which is why I think it’s RAM related or the power limit. As seen in the Core M’s if the power limit is increased the GPU can hold much higher clock speeds without clocking itself down. RAM speed and if configured dual band and not single also offers similar performance differences on the integrated graphics.

First impressions & After 3 days:

  • Like the Civiltop Air the build is great, all metal. Well finished.
  • The laptop has an access port for the SSD, this is a great move and more should do this.
  • Wireless AC speeds are great and range seems good. (Dual antennas)
  • The speakers aren’t very loud at all. When charging they cut out as the type-c port is outputting the audio. At this stage, I haven’t found no way to charge and listen to music or even use the internal speakers at the same time. So quite a design flaw!
  • The USB 3.0 ports are in fact one USB 2.0 on the left and USB 3.0 on the right. Both power external hard drives, but the right port sometimes disconnects which is annoying.
  • The keyboard is good to type on, the touchpad is decent and fingerprint unlocking works well.
  • Thermals are great as seen in the unboxing video, there is a nice large heatsink and it does the job well. Gaming after 1 hour, temps were 74 degrees C max. Very good!
  • The 10,000 mAh battery offers great battery life, in my testing at 25% brightness (Still bright for indoors) internet use wifi always on.  I was able to get over 8 hours of use on a single charge. An excellent result.
  • Linux runs on the laptop. Wifi, sound, touchpad, and brightness all working.
  • The power button away from the keyboard is a great move. Not where others have it where the DEL key normally is.
  • The MicroSD slot is via a USB 2.0 hub, and card stick out by about 2mm. Easy to insert or remove but could click out in a bag.

The laptop can be picked up for $239 at Geekbuying here with coupon ONDAXM21 My full review will be coming soon.

Chinese tablet news, hands on videos and reviews of the latest Chinese tablets. I don't review or cover just anything, only tablets I think are good enough and worth the attention.

20 Comments

  1. Really impressed with the tiny size and weight of this laptop! Build seems good and the screen is lovely and bright.

    However, the EMMC is faulty on mine. The laptop will often not see it in the BIOS and therefore not boot. I have instead fitted a cheap SSD from AliExpress which works perfectly (and quickly!) and have disabled the SATA port for the EMMC in the BIOS. Installed Windows 10 from a USB stick and copied the drivers folder over from the EMMC before disabling it…no worries at all.

    One disappointing thing…the SSD hatch screw had been tightened too much at the factory. I tried to unscrew it but the screw was of such poor quality, it stripped! Ended up having to remove the entire bottom of the case to fit the SSD!

    Laptop works fairly briskly for most tasks, although I use an ad blocker plugin with Chrome to deal with particularly as heavy sites which can really slow it down.

    Impressed so far (for the money), but I have a Jumper Easybook 3 Pro V4 on order too, and only one will stay…

  2. Some of the spec sheets for the Xioma 21 indicate the ram can be expanded to 8gb. Is there a spare ram slot hiding somewhere? The main logic board seems to have some kind of cover, is there a slot under there by any chance?

  3. By the sounds of it then its a good one, you just have a duff one, the type C does works for charging and audio. Price is around £300.
    All it lacks is a type C/3.5mm adapter, and the speakers are not great(a problem with laptops generally).
    I would argue that given the weight saving over the ezbook 3 pro(300g), and a better battery life, the Onda is the best bet for carry round. Sound like a winner, just need to get a silver one!!

    • $300, not £300!!

    • Yes if the port on mine wasn’t faulty or wired wrong when it comes to audio its a great laptop for sure. Came very close! It still gets a good out of 10 scores from me.

  4. Hi Chris, i’ve heard some rumors that the onda 21 can charge and have audi.
    any confirms on that?

  5. Hello.

    “USB Type-C port which is audio out and in, plus charging only. ”

    Is is really? Not working for data?

  6. The days of the 3.5 mm jack are numbered, we’re all supposed to go to Bluetooth.
    Which raises the question, does this thing support the AptX codec?

  7. Any idea when your onda obook 11 pro full review would come online Chris?

  8. They bump up the price to $300 then knock $30 off, you then need to add $40 for postage..

    • That’s rubbish, not sure why the postage is so expensive. On the Tbook4 I just ordered I didn’t have to pay extra.

  9. The link shows the price of 279 $, not 239 $.

    • Oh if you use the coupon I found it should take $30 off the price. It worked for me, maybe it expired now?

      • Yes, they have increased the price now. Tbao tbook 4 has lower price but will have to wait for your unboxing video to have an idea about its quality.

        • Yes, like I always say. Best wait for my unboxing video first to see if there are any issues or problems, for example, the USB ports don’t power hard drives or bad dull screen and really bad speakers etc.

  10. Looks like a nice light 1kg machine and linux support is great. The color is horrible.

    • Yes, the color is bad, I’m tired of the champaign gold the Chinese love so much. The lack of 3.5mm and then audio when charging is a major.

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