Cheap Atom Powered 2 in 1s - Do They Make Sense?

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by IvanV, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. IvanV

    IvanV HH Assassin Guild Member

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    I've been seeing these netbook-tablet hybrids for some time and there is quite a variety in the 200-400€ range. A typical representative of the group has a 10", 1280x800 or 1366x768 screen, an Atom CPU (such as X5-8300), 2GB RAM and 64GB SSD (with microSD slot) and looks like a regular laptop when its keyboard is attached.

    I played with one of these (HP Pavilion X2 10) and I was pleasantly surprised. It didn't feel poorly built (everywhere they say that 12" is metallic and 12" is all plastic, but I'd swear that it was made of metal?!), it latches onto the dock both easily and securely (btw, it can face both sides), the battery supposedly goes on forever and even when I fired up Word, the screen looked surprisingly suitable, considering its size and resolution (possibly thanks to Windows 10 scaling the display? If that's the case, it did a really good job.). Also, this particular model was rather stable when used as a laptop, despite the relative bulkiness of the screen portion (which houses the mobo, CPU, battery, etc).

    pavilion-x2-block06_5670088472f62_1.jpg

    But still, the question is whether they can be really useful with 2GB RAM and an Atom CPU?

    The machine generally seemed smooth, but, for example, the scroll bar in Edge would be unresponsive while the page was being loaded and rendered (although it seemed to react better to touchscreen input than to touchpad/keyboard, something which is supposedly a general issue with this entire class of 2 in 1 devices; here, I didn't notice any lag in most cases, but, apparently, when CPU was busy, the dock, that is keyboard and touchpad, seemed to have a harder time delivering the input; still, I only had a few minutes with it, so it could be a fluke).

    As for RAM, I don't mean to use it as a server, but still, if it's going to pretend to be a laptop, I'd like to be able to have an email client, a word processor or a spreadsheet and a browser with several tabs open at the same time without the performance being compromised.

    So what's your take on these devices? In particular, does anyone have any first hand experience with them?
     
  2. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    All new machines always seem to feel "fairly" good with such a lack of available physical ram, while i personally draw the line at 2GB for running anything by todays standards... i would much rather see 4GB... and i'm rather disappointed that ANYTHING today, even a midrange phone comes with anything less than 3GB or rather 4GB today.

    The best netbook i've ever laid my hands on still has to be the Samsung Book 9 series though, but you're paying a premimum.

    Right now on the markets at least in canada, everything is either $450-500 or less.... otherwise it seems to skip right straight up to over $1000 for the next decent runner up. My personal and considering the machines i've worked on, professional experience with all the 500 dollar and below products is that they are complete and utter trash... they aren't worth the year that they "might" survive, and if they do survive... they are among the slowest piles of crap on the market, slower than machines i was building in 2005/2006.

    I've become quite displeased with my options and haven't sold a laptop (new) in over a year due to the lack of selection, shitty choice of components, or just poor quality design even if they are made of metal, i've seen far too many that are DESIGNED to fail within a short time, and if they last longer than expected, the customer is extremely lucky.
     
  3. IvanV

    IvanV HH Assassin Guild Member

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    Yeah, I took a look at Amazon to see user ratings, and a lot of these machines have 2.5/5 stars. For example, some of the Lenovo Miix models (either 2 or 200) seem particularly prone to failure; a lot of user reviews cited power button problems and other issues and many that were initially positive got updated to say that the device failed after just over a year.

    I'm not looking for serious performance, merely the ability to consume multimedia content (internet, music, occasional film) and run office applications comfortably, and preferably simultaneously, but that's all. But I'd have to agree that anything Atom powered seems underwhelming and I'm really not sold on 2GB (heck, with my browsing habits, I can fill up more with just the browser).

    The HP I was looking at almost had me open my wallet, though. It really felt nice, no heat, no flex, no noise, surprisingly nice screen... The 12" model seems like a real winner, with a slightly larger, 1080p screen and 4 gigs of RAM, but I couldn't find it (or any similar machine) anywhere in Serbia. The thing is that I probably wouldn't be able to justify the expense either. I've got a great work ultrabook, ASUS zenbook UX302L, that I can use pretty freely, but I'd like a portable that I can call my own.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  4. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    There is a reason i was exclusively selling for entry level stuff... machines that use an intel i3 dual core with HT.... 4GB minimum.... Intel HD Graphics, and preferably realtek HD Audio, fully avoiding the nvidia/ATI/AMD discrete graphics addition because that always ALWAYS fucks something up... And i'd always swap the primary drive for a SSD... was 120GB but now 250 is fairly reasonable price wise.

    I miss Asus's EEE PC netbooks..... while the atom cpus back in the day were sufficient.. the dual core variations are basically required to do anything today... and it's tough... more modern versions would be more than capable of doing the same task, but like i said, i don't know happened, but basically it's all junk out there... they focused on super slim and no durability or longevity. The only product i've been happy with is the samsung book series which is grossly expensive but at least they work beautifully. The rest are all transformer tablet/netbook combo units that suck for either use. I've personally AVOID HP.... i've yet to have a model that isn't a pile of crap.

    I'm really disapointed in the market options... and all i get spat in my face when i ask questions or insist on specific requirements being met.... they tell me "get with the times... this is just the way it's going to be... so suck it up" which is pure bullshit. The mass populace needs to get their fucking heads out of their asses and stop succumbing to and just buying what were are given "welp i need something i guess i'll buy it" is totally unnacceptable.
     
  5. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    I would get one immediately, if they supported Windows XP, but they don't.
     
  6. Calliers

    Calliers HH's MC Staff Member

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    I once owned an Atom powered netbook and I would never touch another, not even with a very long stick.
     
  7. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    Single core atom.... no.. i wouldn't touch... the poor little dual core atoms are still pretty relevant.. but are just now showing their age considerably... The N475 i've got here is still cranking out the best it can.

    Quad core atoms are fairly robust... but don't ever expect a netbook or low power model to push more than 3 years without showing considerably signs of age.
     
  8. Calliers

    Calliers HH's MC Staff Member

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    Generally if something doesn't have at least a Core i5 in it, I don't even bother.
     

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