Well, I’ve got the Voyo VBook V3 convertible ultrabook for a review. I just got it from Gearbest in order to review it (Thanks Gearbest). It’s not a gaming laptop almost at all, but I guess they just wanted to spread the word. So, here we are. It will be short and with not a lot of tests, mostly my impressions. Maybe in the future I’ll include more on non-gaming laptops.
- Intel Atom Z5-8300 CPU, 4C/4T, 1.44-1.88GHZ, 2W SDP
- Intel HD Graphics graphics core, 200-500MHZ
- 4GB DDR3L, soldered
- 1080p IPS touchscreen, Chi Mei N116HSE (link)
- Keyboard, non-backlit
- 1xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 2.0, HDMI, SIM, Memory slot
- 1.2kg according to the product page. NBC measured 1.66kg
Now, a cons/pros summary.
- Very pleasant orange surface. I think it’s very nice
- The Intel Z5-8300 is pretty powerful for general use scenarios
- The 1080p IPS display is not bad at all and reflections weren’t that bad (actually, I barely noticed them)
- Dedicate volume buttons
- The touchscreen works well and combined with the convertibility, it is comfortable in some cases, like watching TV/movies, browsing and such
- Fanless. Though it means higher temps, it’s really quiet
- Keyboard, although far from being praised, still has some quality in it – resistence and feedback are not bad at all. If you’re in the right angle, typing experience could be nice. Many higher priced laptops’ keyboards are not as good
- SIM card
- build quality is not high. The body is not too firm and will yield and “twist” under lite pressure or holding with one hand. Plastic noises can be heard when pressing it.
- Built in SSD is really slow for an SSD
- No M.2/Sata storage upgrade options (though you can add more via the card reader slot)
- Speakers are not powerful enough, maximal volume is low. It could be a problem for watching TV and stuff like that.
- Sound quality is not that good – lacking and boxy (though not that bad either)
- Touchpad : right button is problematic, can barely click, but it’s rather smooth, but its behavior is problematic as even gentle touch with the palm will result in cursor havok. You’ll have to keep your hands in the right angle all the time
- Keyboard: annoying keys and a little stiff, some missed clicks, short travel depth, Pressure points are problematic – you’ll have to hit the keys in the right angle. Surface will yield a bit under pressure. But I’ve seen worse
- CPU : Although quite powerful for everyday use, the system got locked on 4.8GHZ from time to time and only a restart would fix that. Not TDP/temperature related
- Heats up a bit. Case: around the power connection,where the small motherboard is located.
- Power button location is annoying. You’ll find yourself clicking it from time to time just by holding the laptop
- No RAM upgrade option
- A little big for a tablet, though many others are like that
- Wifi performance is not good. Although I didn’t test it toroughly, speedtest showed around 18Mb/s download speed, third compared to a macbook air I had.
- Maybe it’s just me, but bios/driver updates are a problem. That’s what I got to at most
- Battery performance isn’t very good and charging takes rather a long time
Well, I had no intention going full reviewer mode for this ultrabook, so this review is pretty short. My conclusion is that I have very mixed feelings about the VBook V3 – it feels like with a little more thought, it could hit the spot. It has good CPU, looks (in my opinion), nice screen and it’s fanless. Price isn’t too high either. However, it lacks in many aspects where it should be a lot better, as a multimedia consumption machine – speakers are a real problems in a laptop that will be used for watching stuff a lot, touchpad is annoying, and overall performance is problematic due to CPU clocks going down for some reason. No storage upgrade options and the included solution is a slow 64GB eMMC flash (though you can use external storage).
Additional drawbacks are the build quality and rather short battery running times (though the battery is small too). I would say that the unclear state of driver/bios/firmware support is also a problem, because you’d expect some kind of bios update, and in English and other languages.
Even for its low price of $220-$250, it’s hard to recommend, because the user will be annoyed too much. There a little more refined convertibles out there for a little more, with better support.
My suggestion to Gearbest/Voyo is to refine their offers a bit, at least for the US/Europian markets where, I believe, people will pay another $50 for improved speakers, better Wifi, a little bigger battery and better touchpad. An M.2 slot shouldn’t be a problem either. A better build quality would be great. And work on the driver/bios support page – people don’t want to download some kind of software in a language they can’t read and that requires them to register and log in.