Review: Smartron t.book Is the Affordable Surface Pro Alternative

The Smartron t.book is a capable, competent Windows 2-in-1 and is an affordable alternative to the Surface Pro.

Updated21 Jun 2016, 04:38 AM IST
Tech News
4 min read

Microsoft’s Surface series was finally made available for Indian consumers but at Rs 70,000, it’s as pricey as the Apple MacBook. You get other affordable 2-in-1(tablet-laptop) options but frankly, most of them are meant for basic activities like surfing the web and watching movies.

So, when Smartron came up with its t.book 2-in-1 we didn’t harbour much hope with for Microsoft’s me-too product. This one is priced at Rs 42,999 and for that kind of money, we expect more than just internet-browsing capabilities.

Smartron t.book comes with a hinge-display. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Smartron t.book comes with a hinge-display. (Photo: The Quint)
Snapshot

Pros:

  • Value for money
  • Bright & sharp 12.2-inch display
  • Competent performer
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Capable 2-in-1 option

Cons:

  • t.book on the heavier side
  • Have to carry bundled charger
  • Mediocre battery life

What’s Good?

The Smartron t.book has all the elements that one looks for in a decent Windows 2-in-1 PC. You get the best of a tablet & a portable PC with the t.book, without spending a fortune.

The 12.2-inch 2560x1440 pixels display is a reasonable size but is definitely smaller than the iPad Pro’s 12.9-inch. We’re happy with the display quality of the t.book, even though the screen is reflective. Texts and pictures look sharp, without any loss in detail.

Smartron t.book gets a 12.2-inch display. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Smartron t.book gets a 12.2-inch display. (Photo: The Quint)

The Intel Core M processor running on the t.book may be outdated, but once you start using the portable PC, those concerns go away. Not only can the t.book be used as a basic PC, but it also possible to use heavy-duty software like Photoshop on the system.

At this price, it is on par with most mid-range laptops that one can buy. It also helps that the t.book has a 4GB RAM, which ensures that there are no technical mishaps with the device.

Smartron t.book gets two USB 3.0 ports. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Smartron t.book gets two USB 3.0 ports. (Photo: The Quint)

The other good thing about the t.book is the bundled keyboard dock, which attaches itself to the 12.2-inch screen, works well. We didn’t find any major issues with the quality of the keyboard dock, and the feedback from the keys was to our liking.

Bundled keyboard dock with the t.book. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Bundled keyboard dock with the t.book. (Photo: The Quint)

Two USB 3.0 ports on the t.book was a happy surprise. In addition to that, there’s a micro-HDMI port and microSD slot to expand storage. The device is charged via USB Type C port (charger bundled).

What’s Bad?

The 12.2-inch display might be bright and sharp but we weren’t thrilled about the reflection. The built-in speakers merely fill up space and the less said about audio quality, the better.

The t.book is durable but its design and appeal were unimpressive. The hinge supporting the device does not offer us as much flexibility as we would like.

The not-so-appealing looks of the t.book (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
The not-so-appealing looks of the t.book (Photo: The Quint)

While t.book claims to offer a battery life of ten hours, what we actually got out of the battery didn’t quite match up. On an average, we managed to get around 5-6 hours out of the t.book. The Wi-Fi was on all the time; screen brightness was set to medium and we had about 8 tabs open on Google Chrome.

Built-in speakers of the t.book. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Built-in speakers of the t.book. (Photo: The Quint)

Also, we’d like Smartron to offer a lighter power adapter with the next version of the t.book (if there is to be one), just so that carrying the t.book 2-in-1 everywhere isn’t a painful exercise.

Why Buy It?

While it is true that the Smartron t.book doesn’t have a rival in the same price bracket right now, you must ensure that the device matches your specifications. Priced at Rs 42,999, you’ll get a compact device with an Intel Core M5 processor and the computer manages to offer users more than just a movie-watching experience.

The t.book is built with durability in mind, which is why it is heavy. However, it’s not heavy enough to hurt your back. We would have loved to get more life out of the t.book, but hopefully that shouldn’t come as hindrance for prospective buyers.

For us, the Smartron t.book has been a capable, competent Windows 2-in-1, and is an affordable alternative to the Surface Pro.

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Published: 21 Jun 2016, 02:37 AM IST

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