Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Sparc TechBook S1 In Depth Review



Box:
A pretty simple box. Only a thin clear front plastic cover and bubble wrap protects the laptop. Unlike mall branded laptops with full on corrugated cardboard box and foam on all sides. But it was delivered damaged free naman.



Specs:

  • It's Intel Atom Z8350 processor with Intel HD Graphics is faster than Atom Z3735 series processor on the more expensive 10-incher Cherry Mobile Cubix CubeBook or 2015 Acer Switch 10 laptops. Local laptops with the same processor cost 10,000 pesos and up. The latest Acer branded laptops with Z83xx series processor costs 24,000 and up.
  • 1366 x 768 resolution TN display
  • 2GB RAM, 32GB storage expandable by SD card (64GB max)
  • 1 full size USB 2.0
  • 1 full size USB 3.0
  • 1 mini HDMI port
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 0.3MP front camera
  • Large multitouch touchpad
  • Full size keys, non-illuminated 
  • Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
  • Price: 4,999 - cheaper than your cellphone!





First boot:
It took 2 hours in blue screen with spinning dots before the login screen appeared. Then another hour of busy cursor after logging in as Admin where you can’t do anything but wiggle the cursor from time to time. Nabato after 1 hour at nag long press na sa power button for forced shutdown. The succeeding Windows boot took less than 30 seconds na consistently. Fast boot.



Available user space:
17.8 GB free before any software install.
Can install 64GB SD card max and configure Windows to use it for future installs and file saves. Of course this depends if the app for install supports storage selection.

Power supply:
Power brick is small, parang pang cellphone. Cord length is short. Di ka makalayo sa outlet compared to those extra long cables ng conventional laptops.
Trickle charging lang if plugged in while turned ON. To expedite charging you need to turn it off.
Battery life is 8 hours. Longer if wifi and bluetooth off.



Screen:
Comes with a screen protector with side 1 already attached. Just peel off side 2 plastic.
Screen brightness good and sufficient even when outdoors. No dead pixels.
Horizontal viewing angles are good. Vertical viewing angle is confined which is expected of TN panels. It's not IPS so expect what TN panels offer. Very good for its price and size.
Illumination flickers sometime. Sana wag mag black out later.



Audio:
Speaker volume is audible but tinny. Zero mids and lows. Headphone jack works.
2 noise cancelling microphones are sensitive enough for Cortana to hear me and respond when I give her tasks.

Bluetooth:
Zippy connection to BT speakers. Clean output.

USB ports:
1 full size USB 2.0 and 1 full size USB 3.0. The USB ports are upside down compared to “normal” laptops. Ingat connecting your USB thingy baka pwersahin nyo pag di pumasok. Just flip it over.

HDMI port:
Mini HDMI port works well with TV, projectors and extended monitors.

Wireless display connection:
Can wirelessly connect to a SmartTV with wireless display or Miracast support. Just press windows+P then select connect to a wireless display. Works great. No wires.

Thermals:
No noisy fan. No hot spots while in use. Warm lang. Di makakaluto ng itlog.

LCD back panel illuminated logo:
Looks cool when dark. When against the light (example, morning sun) and you have a black wallpaper, the logo outline is visible from the front. Lipat ka na nag ng pwesto.

Weight:
Magaan. Sarap dalhin.



Dimensions:
Similar to 1st generation Macbook Air in thickness. Looks cool. Bagay itabi sa iPhone.

Program loading and response:
Fast response for MS Office 2016 applications, iTunes and email apps. Light gaming ok. Very usable for school/office work, web browsing, social media, YouTube, downloading and playing movies and music.

Live USB:
Can boot to Linux and other live OS.

External HDD:
OK. Can read/write.



Windows update:
Stucked in version Windows 10 version 1511. Has errors upgrading to Windows 10 version 1703. Tried it twice with no luck. This version does not have Microsoft support na. Will keep trying na lang.



For 4,999 pesos less voucher discount, it’s a very good deal indeed. Cheaper than your cellphone. Same performance as well branded smaller 10” windows laptop with the same processor and memory config. But those cost 11,000 pesos to 25,000 pesos.