Kogan has announced a low-cost 360° convertible notebook at A$399 (pre-orders only).
Price will always influence sales decisions but as is often said, “Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten.”
With that mantra in mind, GadgetGuy has had a close look at the specifications to see what if any compromises you may have to make for a “Never mind the quality, feel the width” a.k.a. cheap purchase.
While we have not received the notebook for review, there are a few no-name Chinese ODM’s offering very similar configurations (and there is a strong likelihood that Kogan has sourced from one of these) so we can comment on them.
Kogan claims, “Powered by 64GB flash storage, 4GB RAM and the impressive Intel Celeron Processor N3450, the Kogan Atlas 13.3” C300 Convertible Notebook guarantees spectacular performance for even the most demanding tasks.”
Processor: Intel Celeron Processor N3450
This is a four core, 1.1GHz (turbo mode 2.2GHz), Apollo Lake (technically 5th generation), 14nm processor first seen in mid-2016. It has a small 2 x 1MB L2 cache and was designed for lower cost mobile devices. According to my sources, it is the cheapest mobile processor still in production that will run Windows 10.
This runs a lot hotter than later 7th gen 12nm and 8th gen 10nm processors. Burst mode (2.2GHz) is heat dependent, and a decent cooling fan is recommended.
Passmark rates it at 1824, about half the speed of 5th generation Core i3 (we are now up to the 8th generation Core Processors).
It has 4GB of shared, 1600, DDR3 ram with somewhere between 1-2GB available for program execution after Windows 10 has loaded. While Windows 10 will run in 4GB, far slower swap memory using the eMMC storage is used when RAM is full.
It has 64GB of eMMC (embedded Multi Media Card – a low-cost flash memory-based drive). About 20GB is taken up by Windows 10, Office 365 takes 3GB, and you need a few more GB for memory swap space and temporary files. It will fill quickly.
eMMC is very slow – a typical 64GB card will achieve between 10-20MB/s data transfer so it will be slow to boot and for disk intensive tasks.
There is a microSD card slot – Kogan sells a 128GB card for $85, but you can find these elsewhere from $57.00.
There is an internal SATA3 2280 M.2 slot which can be expanded by up to 512GB SSD but remember that this will cost over $300 (the 64GB eMMC must remain as the Windows boot drive so the SSD will not give any system performance boost).
Kogan claims the M.2 slot will take 512GB but the ODMs say the total storage cannot exceed 512GB, e.g. including the 64GB eMMC and any microSD card.