So I having this Linx 10 inch Tablet for about half a day now, and I’d like to get a quick review out there since there seems to be so little information on these tablets.
I’ve been interested in the idea of an x86 tablet running a desktop OS for a while, but I haven’t seen any decent ones at a properly budget price point until now. The ability to run old-school games and Windows programs such as Steam is really useful to me in a tablet.
Despite the extreme lack of information on these tablets, I took the plunge and bought one, and so far I’m really happy with my purchase.
Linx 10 inch Tablet Review
(Intel Atom Quad Core Z3735F, 2Gb RAM, 32Gb storage, camera, WLAN, BT, Windows 8)
I’d just like to say before I go any further; coming from a 7″ tablet to an 8″, I must say the extra screen space is amazing, especially if you’re going to be using the desktop mode a lot–and I would explore you to pay the extra £10-20 for the 8-inch model over the 7-inch one.
Also, I did a little digging and it would seem that this tablet is a rebadge of the Malata SMB-D8012, but this isn’t very useful right now since information about that tablet is equally scarce. There was also a wireless network saved on the device when I received it, called “malata-WIFI”; confirming that the OEM is indeed Malata.
So, what do you get in the box besides the tablet? A standard 5 volt 2 amp charger, a Micro USB cable and some documentation. I would advise anyone to pick up a USB OTG cable so that you can use full-size USB devices with this tablet, such as external storage devices or keyboards.
The build quality seems solid overall:
The back cover does feel a little hollow and being £99, of course it’s not going to stack up to tablets like the Nexus 7 in terms of build quality.. But it doesn’t feel cheap and tacky or anything like that. I’ve had tablets of much worse build quality last quite a while when they’re looked after.
I’ve only had it for half a day, and I’m not entirely sure if Windows 8.1 on tablets is subject to the same kind of slowdown over time as desktop Windows installations, (one would assume it is) but it feels pretty snappy for a 1.8GHz Atom. Only 1GB of RAM is a bummer, but disabling Windows Defender (which, it seems can be quite the memory and CPU hog) and closing down programs that you’re not using helps a lot. So for anyone worrying about it only having 1GB of RAM: Yes, it’s a shame, but it’s still a perfectly fast enough device and you have to remember, it costs less than £100.
The screen resolution of 1280×800 isn’t amazing, but not at all bad and definitely more than adequate especially for Desktop mode. One thing that the description neglected to mention is the inclusion of a micro-HDMI port–which essentially means that all you need to use this as a full PC is a micro-HDMI cable, a display with HDMI input and a bluetooth keyboard & mouse!
Amazing for the money. The screen’s brightness is more than adequate for indoor use. Unfortunately at the time of writing this review, I am unable to test how it fares in bright sunlight for reasons of British weather. It is best to assume with budget tablets like this that bright sunlight is going to make the screen very hard to see, and I see no reason why this tablet would be any different.
There are two 2-megapixel cameras, one the front and one on the rear of the tablet. The front one is adequate for use as a webcam, but they’re pretty bad to be taking pictures with, and they work pretty poorly in low light conditions. Honestly though, who uses their tablet to take photos? Out of all the things on this tablet that the manufacturer could have skimped out on to stay at this price point, I’m glad it was the cameras.
Storage & WiFi:
This tablet comes with 32GB of built-in storage, which is excellent considering the price. It has about 18GB of free disk space out of the box. Running ATTO Disk Benchmark saw speeds of 77MB/s write and 178MB/s read, which is definitely overtaking Desktop HDDs on read speed. There is also a Micro-SD card slot.
The WiFi reception seems to be pretty good! My wireless modem is situate in the room underneath my bedroom, and while in my bedroom I was able to play Borderlands 2 fairly smoothly at 60FPS using Steam In-Home Streaming. I did get a couple of “bad connection” messages here and there but as soon as I get my hands on a WiFi range booster it should run flawlessly.
Keeping in mind that the specifications are about equal to a low-end netbook, it’s actually not that bad. Old-school games are of course going to run flawlessly since this tablet is much more powerful than the average PC from the mid-2000s, but as for newer games? I tried playing through The Stanley Parable, which is a game based on the Portal 2 version of the Source engine.
On the lowest settings at 1280×800, I got 25-50 FPS which is perfectly playable. As for more advanced games like Skyrim and Borderlands though, don’t even bother. You’re looking at 10-15fps and a rapidly depleting battery. How about browser games, you might ask? Most Flash games run playable but not flawlessly, with the odd stutter here and there.
The battery life:
How is it? Answer: Not terrible, but nothing to write home about either. 3 hours of mixed use saw the battery drain by 50%. Acceptable given the price point, but if you’re going to be out and about with it for a while you ought to bring a charger or battery bank with you. (Screen was at 40% brightness, WiFi on)
Web browsing performance?
Pretty fast until you have more than 2 tabs open, then there is some minor stuttering when scrolling through content heavy webpages. This can be attributed to the device’s low amount of RAM, which sits around the 90% usage mark when surfing the net. An adblocker can help with this a lot, along with all the Windows 8 performance tweaks that can be found on the net.
Really though you’re going to be hard pressed to find a single webpage that overloads this device. YouTube and all the major news sites work great. So it’s not blazingly fast, but from my experience with it, it’s been nowhere near irritatingly slow either. Pretty much what you’d expect for the money. This, in theory, should not be an issue with the 10″ model of this tablet, which has 2GB of RAM.
Conclusion & Recommend:
I would recommend this tablet if you keep in mind what it is. It’s not like Apple or Android tablets–it is essentially a keyboard-less netbook. If all you want is a cheap, easy to use tablet for light internet tasks, there are Android tablets that do it better, such as the Tesco Hudl 2. If you keep in mind Windows 8’s strengths and weaknesses compared to Android and iOS, and are looking for a really cheap tablet running it; look no further.
We gave the Linx 10 inch Tablet