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HP Stream 8 with DataPass. Detailed first-look video

I’ve just bought a HP Stream 8 with 3G and the first video and first-impressions are ready for you. The video is below and if you’re interested in a truly mobile PC (that is a handheld PC with mobile internet) then you’ll need to watch this and think about this new class of sub-$200 3G-enabled Windows tablets. It’s an incredible deal when you think about it because it was only a few years ago when we were forced to pay many hundreds of dollars more for a 3G/4G-enabled PC. Manufacturers only had cellular options on business-class devices and those options were always $100 or more. The HP Stream 8 not only has 3G included but includes a small amount of data free every month. 200MB goes quickly on a PC but you can add more or put your own SIM card in and really start to enjoy the benefits of Connected Standby. Using a Skype-in number, this tablet could be a phone. Using a turn-by-turn navigation program, an always-online navigation unit. It’s a mobile hotspot, a great social networking tool and when Windows 10 launches there’ll be a whole new life injected into it. It comes with one year of Office365 Personal, 1TB of OneDrive (1 year uploading, always available) and 60 Skype call-out minutes per month.

Hp Stream 8

Hp Stream 8

I want to be clear up-front about the memory included in the HP Stream 8. 1GB is not what I would recommend for Windows 8 and I have previously said that I would never buy a cheap Windows tablet with 1GB. When you consider that Windows boots up with 700MB of RAM in use it’s not difficult to understand the problems caused when a few programs are started and memory is passed out to disk. Not only does performance suffer badly but the more desktop apps you regularly try to use, the bigger the Pagefile will be on your disk. With only 19GB free after boot-up there’s no room for big files to grow even bigger.

Having said that, if you view these 1GB Windows tablets as ‘RT’ tablets where the primary use is through Modern apps and where the desktop is only for one-off use then you can work well within the limits of 1GB RAM. There are plenty of apps to keep you busy and entertained in there and with Windows 10 coming soon there will be a lot more as Universal Apps get deployed to work across phone, tablet and desktop screens.

The HP Stream 8 is a well-built tablet with thin bezels and a reasonable screen in terms of color and black-levels. There’s a bit of light-bleed on the edges and the full brightness isn’t perfect. There’s no HDMI output but a MicroSD slot, Micro USB, headset and SIM-card slot are available. Some of those ports are hidden underneath the back which also exposes the battery (which isn’t really a user-replaceable part.)

Hp Stream 8 (14)

HP DataPass (Europe) Countries and costs.

The main question you probably have is about the 3G (not 4G on this German model) performance. Fogg mobile are the provider behind the roaming data offer and they’ve done deals with a number of carriers.  Here’s the list of countries included in the DataPass that comes with this tablet:

Great Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Holland, Hong Kong, Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Norway, Singapore, Malaysia, USA and Columbia. Some of those countries come online from the 1st Feb 2015.

You get 200MB of roaming data per month and you can also buy top-ups.  One-off top-ups for monthly usage are as follows (costs from Germany.)

+ 500 MB 9,90 € inkl. MwSt.
+ 1 GB 11,90 € inkl. MwSt.
+ 2 GB 20,90 € inkl. MwSt.
+ 15 GB 99,90 € inkl. MwSt.

11 Euros for 1GB of roaming data really isn’t that bad.

If you want a repeating monthly data boost, the costs are as follows

1 GB (Total 1,2 GB) 10,90 € inkl. MwSt.
2 GB (Total 2,2 GB) 19,90 € inkl. MwSt.
5 GB (Total 5,2 GB) 49,90 € inkl. MwSt.

These can be cancelled at any time and there is no contract to sign although some personal data must be given on registration.

The Huawaei 3G module is HSUPA+ capable which means a maximum of 22Mbps download speed. I saw 7Mbps down and 1Mbps up in a short test here at the office. Obviously performance is dependant on time and place. There’s no SMS or voice ability but Skype works with Connected Standby (and presumably a Skype-in number) to function as a phone that would last a full day on a charge.

Speedtest results

Hp Stream 8 (19)      Hp Stream 8 (26)

HP Stream 8 Unboxing and first-looks video.

In the video I take a look around the device, test a third-party SIM card, check disk usage, do some tests, talk about build quality and screen, test the speakers and a number of other things. It’s a long video but worth watching if you’re think about a low-cost 3G-enabled tabletPC.

DataPass Deal: HP Stream 8 with 3G, free data and Office 365 for €175

I’ve just ordered the HP Stream 8 5900ng 8-inch Windows tablet because of an amazing European 3G deal. The HP Stream 8 5900ng includes an unlocked 3G module and comes with 200MB of Europe-roaming data per month for 2 years. You can top-up on a regular or one-off basis. According to information on the HP Germany website, USA is included from the 1st Feb 2015. Is this the ultra-mobile PC deal of the year? My company just paid  €149 after entering an offer code and taking into account the sales-tax rebate. Office 365 is also included in the deal. Even without Office 365 this the best 3G-enabled ultra-mobile PC deal I’ve ever seen in Europe.

HP Stream 8HP Stream 8

I’m currently testing the HP Stream 11 X360 for notebookcheck.net and it has HP’s DataPass feature. The 3G card inside is an unlocked HP hs3110 HSPA+ Mobile Module which operates at a max 22Mbps download speed. (HSPA+, more details here.) After running a quick test with my own 3G data card and checking on some details I was surprised to find out how extensive the 3G offer is. For an HP DataPass product bought in Germany you get 200MB per month of data included. The same applies in the UK and I suspect in other DataPass countries in Europe. 200MB is not a huge amount but it’s enough for some fun and connectivity when on holiday. You can also add data packages either by regular monthly payments or by  one-off payment. There’s no contract involved here.

One-off payments charges are reasonable:

+ 500 MB 9,90 € inkl. MwSt.
+ 1 GB 11,90 € inkl. MwSt.
+ 2 GB 20,90 € inkl. MwSt.
+ 15 GB 99,90 € inkl. MwSt.

The charges are reasonable because of the roaming coverage you get so if you’re travelling around Europe a lot and usually end up paying for new SIM cards every year, this is the deal for you. Here is the small-print.

Can I use HP DataPass outside of my home country?

Yes. Your included data as well as any additional monthly plans and Top-Ups available for purchase gives you internet access to local rates in all HP DataPass countries: United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Austria, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Netherlands.

In the German website there’s a little more information about the countries included. USA, Singapore, Malaysia and Columbia are mentioned.

  1. Zu den HP DataPass Ländern zählen ab dem ab dem 01.08.2014 Großbritannien, Irland, Frankreich, Spanien, Italien, Schweiz, Österreich, Dänemark und Schweden, ab dem 01.10.2014 Deutschland ab dem 01.11.2014 Polen, die Niederlande, Hong Kong und ab dem 01.02.2015 Finnland, Belgien, Luxemburg, Portugal, Norwegen, Singapur, Malaysia, die USA und Kolumbien.

Translated it means you can roam in any one of the countries listed above and yes, USA is included from the 1st Feb. That’s a great deal.

HP Stream 8 rear

HP Stream 8 rear

Questions remain about the quality of the data service of course but I’m prepared to give it a test as Spain and UK are on the cards within the next months. USA, Holland and Belgium are also countries i’m likely to be visiting this year.

The HP Stream 8 is a 1GB RAM Windows 8 device and I’ve stated before that I would never buy one due to the limitations in the desktop. In this case I don’t see the HP Stream 8 as a Windows tablet, I see it as a MiFi-like device with some apps. I will use it exclusively with Windows 8 apps and look forward to a Windows 10 upgrade later this year. What I’m also interested in having is the year of Office 365 personal, year of OneDrive (1TB) and Skype credit that should be included. Again, this is a great deal.

The other advantage here is that no-one has done much testing on the Stream 8 yet so I have a chance to put a near-exclusive review out for you.

Ultra-Mobile PCs should have 3G built-in as standard by now but they don’t. 3G/LTE is usually an expensive option so to get all of this wrapped up into 175 Euro deal is amazing.

There’s no HDMI port, a small 14.5Wh battery and only 1GB of RAM but there’s a GPS on board and an IPS display. What more do you need on a wireless hotspot that can play Wordament on the go?

Update: HP Stream 8 with LTE in the USA. A similar  data-included  package is available in the USA version which offers LTE over T-Mobile.  There’s no roaming included in this offer and it appears that the unit is locked to T-Mobile. See the product page for latest US pricing and some videos.

How to buy the HP Stream 8 with 3G in UK and Germany.

In Germany, go to this HP shop page. The UK website page is here. There are two discount coupons available in Germany. HP15PNBITBA is the 15% savings code I got from notebookinfo.de  That code doesn’t work on the UK website. There’s a second code on the Germany website. HP20EWINTERS will give to 10% off. That code also doesn’t work on the UK website. If anyone finds a UK code, let us know in the comments. It should be possible, however, to change the language on the HP Stream 8 but I’ll check that when I get the Stream 8 tomorrow or Friday. Live session anyone?

For more information on the HP Stream 8 see the database page. For more information on 1GB RAM usage on Windows, see one of my reviews at Notebookcheck. To find out how to survive with 32GB of SSD storage, see this how-to article.

Tesco UK offers Acer ES1 / E11 laptop for £129

I’ll keep this quick because if you’re in the UK you might want to hurry on this one. The Acer E11 / ES1 11.6-inch fanless laptop is available for £129 right now. “While stocks last.”

Acer Aspire E11

I’ve added details of the offer to the product page. Head there now, read the specs. watch the videos and make your decision. The E11 is a good device (I have one myself) and it’s even possible to upgrade the RAM on it. There’s a Gigibit Ethernet port and it boots Linux. For anyone thinking about a low-cost home theater PC you might want to think about Openelec on this. It works well.

The big question here is “are Tesco making any money?” I suspect it’s a loss-leader but I’m seeing prices dropping by about 5% across this segment in the last 2 months.

£129 is $192 but the UK prices are post-VAT. The UK rate is 20% so the real product cost here is £103 / $156

If you have any questions about the E11 I’m now subscribed to the comments and will answer as quickly as possible.

HP Stream 11, ASUS X205, Acer E11 Compared

There are now three low-cost lightweight Windows 8 laptops on market that are getting good reviews and appear to be selling very well. Here’s a round-up of the HP Stream 11, ASUS X205 and Acer E11 laptops with pro’s and con’s. Each looks to be a good value purchase but there are important differences between them that will affect customer choices.

three116

Before I go into detail, read this.
For the tinkerers and linux fans the Acer E11 is the best. The HP Stream best out of the box for average user. The Asus’ X205 is the lightweight, long battery life option. All three are in our database and this link will take you to a comparison of the important specifications. Click-through to the full datasheets where you will find all the specifications, notes, more images, videos and links to reviews.

The HP Stream 11 looks to be the most popular of the three choices. It’s available in two bright colors and has, in my opinion, the best look and feel. It has a Linux-friendly 64-bit chipset and boot capability but no RAM or disk upgrade possibility. This is the only one of the three that comes with one year of Office 365 + One Drive with Skype bundle. The SD card fits flush, it has a better keyboard than the Acer E11, there’s a 100Mbps Ethernet port (the Acer E11 has gigabit Ethernet) and full-size HDMI port. Since I last checked in November the average rating has gone up from 4.2 to 4.3 on Amazon.com It has an amazing 659 reviews on Amazon.com although those reviews and rating include the 13-inch model and the 13-inch model with 4G so it’s difficult to tell how popular the 11.6-inch model is and how it is rated.

ASUS X205

The ASUS X205uses the Baytrail-T platform and has the longest battery life of the three (rated at 12 hours but users reporting up-to 10 hours) but it’s not a very Linux-friendly build and there’s no RAM upgrade capability. A MicroHDMI, microsSD slot and USB 2.0 ports mean that it’s the worst option for physical connectivity. The quad-core CPU will have the lowest single-threaded scores of the three but might perform better in some multi-tasking scenarios. The X205 is the only one of the three to have Connected Standby / InstantGo capability which means quick-start, low idle battery drain and the possibility to run Windows 8.1 apps in background when the device is in standby. (E.g. Skype, music streaming.) Disk encryption when used with Microsoft account. The ASUS X205 is the lightest, at 2.2 pounds / 1KG. Amazon rating: 4.2 out of 5 (252 reviews)

Acer E11-ES1

The Acer E11 ES1/111 has RAM upgrade possibility and is Linux-friendly once the WiFi card is swapped out. (The WiFi card included is generally unsupported. I dropped an Intel 7260 card in to fix that.) There is another version ($30 more) that has a hard drive which means a real SSD can be loaded because the eMMC SSD version doesn’t have the SATA header on the motherboard. It doesn’t come with free Office but, like the ASUS X205, comes with 100GB OneDrive for 2 years. There’s a Gigabit Ethernet port (means you can build a WiFi router if you want.) The touchpad is not the best quality (needs new drivers I think) although HP Stream users have also complained about a similar problem. Amazon rating: 3.8 out of 5. (157 reviews)

Compare specifications and go to full datasheets.

All three of these devices are great choices in this new $200 laptop segment but each has their unique features. As mentioned above, the HP Stream 11 is the winner for the average user with the ASUS X205 being the highly mobile choice. The Acer E11 better for tinkerers and Linux fans and with the wired Gigabit port make the best home theater PC with something like Openelec.

See the Baytrail-M platform running Openelec / XBMC here.

Just to be clear, I bought the Acer E11-111 (see my deep-dive) and have tested the HP Stream 11 (touch version.) I’ve also had hands-on with the third one – the ASUS EeeBook X205 but while I haven’t fully reviewed it yet. I’ve done a lot of research on it. Brad at Liliputing has just published a full review that’s worth reading.

Coming soon: Amazon Fire TV Stick + Windows 8.1 Miracast support.

The Amazon Fire TV stick was looking like the best Miracast option for Windows 8 PCs; A real no-brainer.  The problem is that it isn’t working. Owners are reporting that it’s showing up as a remote display on Windows 8.1 but no-one is reporting a successful connection. Does this mean it’s a no-go? Fortunately not because Amazon have recently indicated that Windows 8.1 support is coming soon.

Fire TV Miracast for Windows support coming soon

Fire TV Miracast for Windows support coming soon

It seems that a number of owners aren’t happy  with Amazon FireTV sticks they bought for Windows and Miracast use. I’m not happy either as in my eyes, Miracast support is Miracast support and not ‘a subset of Miracast devices support.’

Quite how long we’ll have to wait for Miracast on Windows 8.1 with Amazon FireTV sticks is another question but at least Amazon is on the case and have committed to doing something.  Keep your eyes on the product page, this forum thread and firmware updates.

Note that Miracast isn’t he same as WiDi although a WiDi compatible device works with a Miracast receiver. WiDi has more features than Miracast and is now up to version 5.1 with 4K support.  I’m not aware of any products that have it yet.

Top Ultra-Mobile PCs from CES 2015

ASUS Transformer Book T300 ChiCES 2015 turned out to be a surprisingly good show for ultra-mobile PC fans. Broadwell-U was officially launched, Intel announced that Cherry Trail was shipping and we saw two very interesting 9-inch 2-in-1 Windows PCs. There were more Core M-based PCs announced too.

Check out all the CES 2015 news on UMPCPortal here.

Before CES 2015 started I was ready to track three main keywords. Chromebook, Broadwell and Cherry Trail. While Cherry Trail got a few lines in a press release there weren’t enough details for even a brief post so we’ll have to  put that on hold until MWC in March. As for Chromebooks, a sector that is producing some great value lightweight laptops, there was just one announced. This 15.6-incher is not for UMPCPortal! Thankfully the Broadwell keyword delivered along with new entrants in the existing Core M and Baytrail-T camps.

ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi_backToshiba Encore 2 Write 8

The Nec Lavie is a product that I’ve seen in a several forms over the years but at CES 2015 we saw Lenovo and NEC coming together to bring the new Lavie Z ultrabooks to the USA. These 13-inch laptops start at under 800 grams ( 1.72 pounds) and include hi-resolution screens and the Broadwell-U processors for real ‘anything, anywhere’ action. There’s an issue though as the battery capacity starts at 29.6Wh which is not going to give you all-day power. They’re also very expensive!

Lenovo LaVie Z HZ550

Lenovo LaVie Z HZ550

There’s an all-day option with the updated, Broadwell-powered Dell XPS 13 ultrabook. Again you’re getting high-resolution screen options but in this case a solid 55Wh battery is probably going to mean that most people can leave a few hundred grams of power-adaptor at home or in the hotel. The XPS 13 has been around for a number of years and there’s a good reason for that – it’s a great Ultrabook. The new Broadwell-U Dell XPS 13 model starts with a Full HD screen, 1.2KG weight (2.8 pounds) and a Core i3 CPU at 2.1 Ghz. The launch price is just $799 !

Dell XPS 13 2015

Dell XPS 13 2015

Moving on to more compact solutions now and credit must got to Toshiba who introduced three devices that are interesting you ultra-mobile computing fans. The two Encore 2 Write models have a digitizer layer and use Wacom technology.  Digital artists are going to be interested as the 8-inch version starts at $349. The 10-inch version, which has a HDMI port, is just $399.  If the quality is high on these tablets, and it looks like it is, then they’re likely to be the best pen-enabled options in the low-cost ultra-mobile PC market when they become available.

Toshiba Click Mini is dockable.

Toshiba Click Mini is dockable.

The biggest surprise of the show for me was the Toshiba Click Mini. This 9-inch Baytrail-T tablet has a true docking keyboard that has an extra battery, a USB port and full-size SD card slot. The Full HD screen and 1KG (2.2 pounds) weight is perfect and the price is just 340 Euros. Unfortunately Toshiba USA said that they won’t be bringing this to the USA which is a huge, huge shame because this is looking like one of the best ultra mobile PCs of this generation. More information here.

Screenshot asus

ASUS announced three ASUS Chi products at CES and all three of them deserve our attention. A 12.5-inch Core M fanless, dockable 2-in-1 with a tablet weight of just 720 grams is what you’ll get in the ASUS Transformer Book  Chi. This is a real showcase product for Core M (it’s been teased since the day Core M was launched) and at just $699 this product, along with the Acer Switch 12, HP Envy 13 X2, Transformer T300FA and the Lenovo Yoga 3 11 create a new class of desktop-capable, fanless dockables.  The Chi T300 will also come in a high-end (Core M 5Y71, QHD display) version.

The second of the ASUS Chi products might sound familiar. The Transformer Book T100 has been one of the most successful X86-based dockable tablets so far. If the Transformer Book T100 Chi  improves on the T100 formula it could be a winner. There’s a Full HD display available on the redesigned version which will please a lot of people but may be a barrier to some using desktop software that doesn’t scale. There’s a high-end Baytrail-T CPU inside although that CPU already exists in current versions of the T100.  There are rumors of 64-bit Windows too which could mean easier Linux compatibility that’s not confirmed at this stage.  The USB 3.0 port is not something you’ll find on the old T100. Total weight is an impressive 1KG (2.2 pounds.) Pricing starts at $399.

We now need to talk about what I suspect will be the most popular ultra-mobile PC on this site – the 9-inch, full-HD Transformer Book T90 Chi. 8.9-inches is relatively untouched ground for Windows tablets but by using this screen size ASUS have combined a tablet with a keyboard and produced something that looks extremely attractive and usable. Like the T100 there’s only a Bluetooth keyboard here but the Z3775 CPU should provide best-in-class performance. A free year of Office 365 (and the Skype and OneDrive value that comes with it) and a starting price of  $299. The T90 Chi will go head-to-head with the Toshiba Click Mini which has a lower-powered processor. The T100 only has a Bluetooth keyboard though so there’s no battery, USB port or SD card reader on it. That might put the Toshiba Click Mini at #1 for some people. Keyboard testing is needed! I have some more thoughts on the T90 Chi here.

Lenovo Yoga 3 11 (Core M)  (2)

Lenovo Yoga 3 11 (Core M)

Finally there’s a new Yoga in town the Lenovo Yoga 3 11 runs Core M, weighs 1.1KG and costs $799. Lenovo have updated the screen with Full HD resolution and slightly improved the casing and hinge. I hesitate to get too excited about this new Yoga as there’s a relatively small battery inside and tablets that weight 1.1KG really don’t impress me unless they’ve got a digitizer, which the Yoga 3 11 doesn’t. I’m also not sold on the one-piece convertible concept as I don’t see the weight ever coming down much below 1KG.

See all the Core M-based laptops, 2-in-1’s and tablets here.

There are two devices here that I’m personally very interested in. The Dell XPS 13 is looking like an amazing 1.2KG Ultrabook and at $799 (without touch) I’m already sold on it being a productive desktop-laptop. The second device is the Toshiba Click Mini which would make a superb replacement to the old Acer W510 and Lenovo Miix 2 10 that I have here. The tablet-only weight of 2.2 pounds is impressive for something that has a battery life of 16 hours.

Are you interested in any of the newly announced products or are you all waiting for Cherry Trail?

Intel Core M Performance: Latitude 13 7000 gets deep-dive review.

The lab-rats at Notebookcheck have just published their full review of the Dell Latitude 7350. This 1.6KG 13-inch device isn’t ultra-mobile but we’ve put it our database as we’re implementing a strict 1.3KG minimum operating weight limit. This is a 2-in-1 detachable with a 13-inch fanless tablet that weighs just 860 grams. There’s also something important inside that we need to know about – the Core M 5Y10. It’s also a 2-in-1 which means you can use the tablet on its own. It weighs 860 grams (1.9 pounds) which is OK for a 13.3-inch Core-based fanless tablet.

Dell Latitude 13 7350. Core M 2-in-1

Dell Latitude 13 7350. Core M 2-in-1

The Dell Latitude 7350 is business-focused and priced at well over $1000 with entry-level specifications. There’s a split battery (30Wh in tablet, optional 20Wh in dock) and a large number of features and options including ExpressCharge, LTE, VPro and the like. Dell calls it an Ultrabook but with Core M inside, we’re not. Here’s why.

Core M, at best, when the gods of heat and cooling are on your side, performs as well as a Haswell-generation (2014) Core i5 but there’s a huge range of throttling that can kick-in when things warm up. A theoretical maximum clockrate of 2.0Ghz is impressive but the base clock is just 800Mhz.

Notebookcheck, a site I do reviews for, has a strict process when it comes to reviews so when I see their performance test results I take note. They’ve just published the full review for the Dell Latitude 7350 (Core M 5y10, 4GB RAM) and the limits of Core M are clear to see.

The Cinebench Single-Thread tests show that the CPU can maintain a clock of 2 GHz while the Multi-Thread tests are executed with 1.3 up to 1.4 GHz. This behavior is identical for mains as well as battery power. According to the benchmark results, the single-thread performance is between the ULV Core i3 and ULV Core i5 processors of the Haswell generation, but the Core M is beaten by Core i3 processors in multi-thread applications because it cannot utilize its maximum performance.

Have a look at the Sunspider, Cinebench and Peacekeeper scores on the Notebookcheck review and you’ll see sub-Ultrabook performance, at least where 2014 Ultrabooks are concerned. What the Dell Latitude 7350 does bring is 2012-era Ultrabook performance in a fanless design and that’s worth thinking about when it comes to tablets.

In terms of battery life the Dell Latitude XPS 13 does quite well on the 50Wh battery configuration when compared to Haswell-based devices but again note that under load, the Core M CPU won’t be getting as much done as a Core i5 Haswell-generation. The web-browsing performance is a good comparison to use though and here we see the 50Wh battery giving 522 minutes of battery life. Again, web page loads may not be as fast as on a Core i5 but the small delay is probably not going to concern most users.  The average power usage in the web browsing scenario is 5.7W which is slightly higher than I’ve seen on 10 and 11.6-inch Core-based laptops. Again the screen backlight takes more power for the same brightness on a larger screen compared to a smaller screen.

Core M 2-in-1 line up for Q4 215. (Click for more details.)

So what can we learn from this Core M product test? Firstly we have to bear in mind that this is a single reference point form a single device. Core M performance relies heavily on good thermal design and benchmarks will vary a lot across different testing scenarios. Even a few degrees increase in ambient temperature will affect results. Benchmarks themselves can heat up a device such that the following benchmark can be negatively affected and you can see that in the sequence of Cinebench tests done on the ASUS UX305 by Ultrabookreview.  In that review the Cinebench result varies from 140 down to 107 points. In the Notebookcheck review of the Dell Latitude 7350 the CPU score is 139 points. In a full review of the HP Envy X2 15 c000ng, another fanless Core M 5Y10 device, the max Cinebench R15 score is 167 points.  Incidentally the Core M 5Y70 (1.1Ghz base clock) as seen in the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro (which has a fan) is reaching over 170 points on this CPU-only test.

Core M is difficult to test but I believe that the results you see here are representative of a fanless Core M device and although performance isn’t as good as an Ultrabook, Core M is allowing lightweight fanless PCs in the 1KG-class with performance that we’ve never seen before. This brings ‘enough for everything’ and with the Lenovo Yoga 11, Acer Switch 12 and ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi coming with Core M at the $700 price point there’s value in the equation too.

All Core M mobile PCs in our database can be found on this page.

Dell Latitude 13 7350 review (81% review score) at Notebookcheck.net

Lenovo Yoga 3 11. Refined, again.

The 11-inch Yoga got a significant upgrade when Lenovo launched the Yoga 3 11 this week. It’s a fanless Core M based convertible that now has a Full HD screen, a redesigned casing and hinge, has a power connector that doubles-up as a third USB port and it weighs just 1.1KG (2.4 pounds.) The starting price is $799 which, as we all know, means is will probably sell for a street price of $750 or even $699 with promotions. There’s no backlit keyboard and the battery is relatively small but for a convertible ultralight the Yoga 3 11 has to be high on the list.

Lenovo Yoga 3 11 (Core M, 2015 model)

Lenovo Yoga 3 11 (Core M, 2015 model)

I’ve taken the time to go through some hands-on videos, Lenovo press releases and have tracked down all the specifications. The only detailed specifications missing are the SSD type and the Core M CPU type but I suspect we’re looking at an entry-level 5Y10 here and not one of the newer, more powerful versions. We’ll have to wait and see but the performance is largely going to depend on thermal ‘headroom ‘ anyway. If this tight design gets hot quickly, the Core M processor won’t perform well.

Lenovo Yoga 3 11 (Core M)  (9)

The entry-level model ($799, available in Q1 2015) comes with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD but there’s going to be an 8GB / 256GB SSD model that might even have a higher-specification CPU. Lenovo have highlighted the new keyboard bay materials (metal) and the refined hinge that allows a fully flat 180-degree mode. The new power connector also doubles up as a third USP port, there’s Waves audio processing on board (part of the new audio hardware subsystem) and of course the screen is now a useful full-HD 1920×1080 resolution.

Just added: See all the Yoga 3 11 specifications and videos in our database. All Core M laptops and 2-in-1’s are listed here.

The Lenovo Yoga 3 11 is small and light but not so light that it will be good as a casual tablet so don’t think about walking around the office for too long with this in tablet mode. There’s no digitizer layer either so that limits the usefulness a little but the stand mode is always welcome.

Lenovo Yoga 3 11 (Core M)  (5)Lenovo Yoga 3 11 (Core M)  (6)

So what do you think of the Lenovo Yoga 3 11? The Acer Switch 12 could be a competitor, the ASUS T300 Chi too. Which one would you choose?

See all the Yoga 3 11 specifications and hands-on videos in our database.

Lenovo Yoga 3 11 specification sheet (Lenovo PDF)

Toshiba Satellite Click Mini. Details and Size Comparison.

Things are hotting-up in the 8.9-inch Windows detachable sector with Toshiba announcing something that’s going to go head-to-head with the ASUS Transformer Book T90 Chi. The Toshiba Satellite Click Mini beats the T90 Chi on some specifications, but not on others.

Toshiba Satellite Click Mini

Toshiba Satellite Click Mini

At 1KG (2.2 pounds) exactly the Toshiba Satellite Click 2 with its docking keyboard isn’t as light as the T90 Chi but there’s a reason for that. The keyboard isn’t just a Bluetooth keyboard but a true docking keyboard with USB port, charging port and battery. Video playback battery life is quoted at 8hrs for the tablet and 16 hours with the dock. This looks like the perfect seat-back companion for international flights. Expect a little less on web browsing but 12+ hours should be possible if the Click Mini falls in line with what we’ve seen on this platform from other products.

A Toshiba Click Mini video playlist is embedded below. Full specifications, images, videos and more in our database.

A HDMI port (on the tablet) is very welcome as is the 1920×1080 IPS screen. A 5MP camera (autofocus) should be enough for an occasional social snaps and there’s a 2MP front cam for Skype. (60 Skype minutes per month is included with the free 1 year Office 365 / OneDrive package.)

Satellite_Click_Mini_25_with_screen Satellite_Click_Mini_07b_with_screen

In terms of storage you’ll only get a 32GB eMMC flash drive but the good news on the storage front is that there’s a microSD port (128GB-capable) on the tablet and a full-size SD card slot on the keyboard dock. Mobile photographers will love that.

The tablet is going to fee l a little on the heavy side compared to others in the 8-inch class (the Lenovo Miix 2 8 weighs only 350 grams) but the extra size means it’s about as dense as the others at.  Speaking of sizing, how does it compare. I’ve put together a composite image of three devices to scale in the image below.

8-inch, 8.9-inch, 10-inch comparison

8-inch, 8.9-inch, 10-inch comparison

The keyboard is 8.5mm deeper than the tablet but it’s the same width. Again, here’s a rough idea of the size for you. That’s a Microsoft Wedge and an Acer W510 (10-inch) keyboard there so beware, the keyboard is going to be very tight.

P1220184

Toshiba Satellite Click Mini specifications

 

  • Display: 8,9 inch WUXGA IPS-Display (1.920 x 1.200) 10 -point touch.
  • Windows 8.1 Update with Bing
  • Intel® Atom™ Z3735F Processor
  • 32 GB eMMC SSD
  • 2 GB DDR3L RAM
  • WiFi:802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Wireless Display
  • Tablet: 1x Micro-HDMI-out, 1 x Micro-USB, 1 x MicroSD, 1 x headset
  • Keyboard : 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x SD-Slot
  • Microsoft Office 365 Personal (1-year), Skype, Toshiba TruCapture
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Plus
  • Webcam: 5 MP Full-HD with Autofocus, 2 MP HD with integrated mic. (front)
  • Size: 235 x 161 x 9.8 mm (Tablet) / 235 x 170.6 x 19.9 mm (Laptop)
  • Weight: Tablet: 470 grams/ Laptop 999 grams
  • Color: Satin Gold or Perl White.

Availability is planned for Europe (Germany and UK are confirmed) first and the white version will be available in Q1 2015 with the gold version appearing in Q2. Pricing starts at a very impressive 299 Euro.

Although the ASUS T90 Chi looks nicer, is lighter and has a faster (theoretically) processor the Toshiba Click Mini has the battery, HDMI and SD card slots. As for the display resolution it depends on how good your eyes are. Full HD on such a small resolution could cause problems with some programs under Windows desktop, despite scaling capabilities.

Toshiba UK press release. Full Toshiba Satellite Click Mini image gallery.

 

Hat-tip: Liliputing

Intel Compute Stick – Quad-core Atom PC for $89. Details, Video.
Intel Compute Stick - Available Spring 2015

Intel Compute Stick – Available Spring 2015

This Atom Z3745-based HDMI dongle is ready to plug into your TV or monitor. It will be pre-installed with Windows 8.1 or Linux and has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of on-board storage, a standard USB port and a micro SD card slot for extra storage. A Micro-USB port is also on board for power supply. Basically it’s a Baytrail-T tablet without the screen, battery and speakers.

Pricing is $149 which is about the same as the cheapest Windows 8 tablet with HDMI. Of course if you don’t need that screen and don’t want the ‘bulk’ of an Intel NUC, this is a cleaner solution. A 1GB/8GB version with Linux is also planned at $89, which sounds like the perfect Openelec module to me!

Mobilegeeks got a brief hands-on at CES 2015.

Intel Compute Stick website.

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