Smartron, a Hyderabad-based IT company founded by Mr. Mahesh Lingareddy, released its first ever Windows tablet in the market which is a premium device (not the cheap plastic one). It’s made of aluminum, and the design is blocky, which is great because I prefer sharp edges than round. Let’s test out this tablet and see how it performs under stress.
Looking at the Smartron tbook for the first time reminded me of the “Microsoft Surface” because of the chunky build and the soft keyboard. The Smartron tbook comes in gray color with an orange touch at the back; the orange color is from the brand logo color. The Smartron theme color reflects on the brand’s recently released smartphone “t-phone” too.
It’s a little hard to work on this tablet while holding it in hands. It’s not only because of the weight of the tablet but also because it gets heated on the left side where you need to hold it (if you are right-handed). The touch reactive start key is placed on the right bezel which is a brilliant idea because this makes usable even if you are using this tablet as a laptop.
The wide bezel runs across the screen gives an effect of a much bigger laptop. The bezel also holds two powerful speakers (one watt each) and the 2 MP camera along with a LED to show camera status. There’s nothing more exciting on bezel except for those two pin hole opening which is the two noise cancellation microphone.
For connectivity, Smartron did a really good job by adding a right amount of connectivity ports on the edges. Starting from the top; there is volume rocker keys and power key, the right edge comes with a 3.5 mm audio port and the bottom edge has a groove with a connector for the soft keyboard. The left edge holds an SD card reader, two USB 3.0 ports, micro HDMI port to extend display, the USB 3.0 port for connectivity and charging purpose and the LED to show the charging status.
Soft Keyboard gives a velvet feel on the outside, and the leather feels on the keyboard’s palm rest. The chiclet keyboard’s function keys are Windows 10 dedicated with brightness control, action center, Cortana and task view which are very helpful for Windows 10. The key spacing on the keyboard makes it easier to type on it for long hours.
The trackpad on the keyboard is smaller which accidently triggers the minimize window gesture while using it and zooming on pictures or any website using this touchpad is a hard nut to crack. The left, and right edge gesture brings up task view and action center which is also helpful while using the tablet as a laptop to multitask efficiently between different applications. Keyboard and trackpad performed well, only the trackpad is a little too sensitive for gestures but less sensitive for zoom gesture and it doesn’t come with caps lock indicator LED.
The display is bright and sharp with WQXGA resolution (2560 X 1600), and IPS technology and supports multi-touch up to ten fingers. The screen is protected with fingerprint resistant oleophobic coating to protect it from fingerprint but still catch smudges while using it as a tablet. The resolution is higher than other laptops with this price range and because of this higher resolution, it’s hard to work on some software like Adobe Photoshop. The menu bar and the toolbar is too tiny to work on, even with a mouse.
The display is crisp, and although the screen is 12.2 inches, the viewing angles are great. Playing 4K videos on tbook looks stunning with full brightness and the two speakers makes the movie experience even better. The display washes off while using it outside because of the glare on the screen. The tbook’s display is also best for basic designing using Adobe Photoshop or any other 3D modeling apps.
The camera in this tablet is 5 MP on the back and 2 MP on the front, the rear camera is capable of shooting full HD videos at 30 frames per second and front shoots HD videos with 30 fps. The quality of the pictures taken from the rear camera are acceptable but the pictures from the front camera are grainy even with the right amount of light.
Smartron should have added the 5 MP sensor on the front and 2 MP (or no camera at all) on the back because I don’t think that you want to carry this big and heavy device outside to click some pictures.
Smartron added two apps; Cloudtron and Hubtron where you need to log in using the Smartron login ID which is a good IoT play from the company. Smartron is providing these apps so you can sync your data across various Smartron products using this app only. Apart from these, Smartron is also providing the remote access to customer service representative so they can help you out with any minor software issues.
Smartron tbook also comes with a light sensor which adjusts the brightness according to the surrounding light conditions. Even the sensing and adjusting the display is a little slower but still Smartron did a good job by adding a light sensor. The screen is way too glary which creates difficulty while using this tablet outside.
Dual Speakers are the best one which I have ever seen on any Windows tablet ever. These two stereo speakers are one watt each with surround sound. These speakers are loud enough to watch a movie with friends. Smartron tbook sports two noise cancellation microphone so you can Skype with friends with no need of headphones or external mic.
Smartron tbook comes with Windows 10 Home/Pro with MS Office 2016 30-day trial. Windows 10 is optimized for both side of the computing; laptop and tablet. I’ve seen other Windows tablets which detect removing the keyboard and switch to tablet mode for easier multitasking but tbook lacks that feature, and we have to switch the tablet to tablet mode manually. You can install lots of games and apps available on the tablet from the Windows Store including the mobile version of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- Display: 12.2 inches WQXGA (2560 X 1600)
- Dimensions: 308.5 X 9.5 X 206.5 mm
- Processor: 64 Bit Intel Core M with 4 MB cache and 2 GHz Turbo frequency
- Memory: 4 GB LPDDR3 at 1600MHz
- Storage: 128 GB SSD
- Camera: 5 MP rear with auto-focus and 2 MP front facing with LED indicator
- Audio: 2 X 1W Stereo speakers, Dual microphone for noise cancellation
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Hall sensor
- Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual channel (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz), MIMO, Intel WiDi
- Ports: 2 X USB 3.0 (full size), micro HDMI port, SD card slot, 3.5 mm headphone and one USB Type-C
- Software: Windows 10 Home/Pro
- Battery: 37 Whr li-polymer
I’m going to tell you the good things first, tbook sports some latest and fine hardware for maximum performance. It runs on a 64-bit Intel Core M processor with 1.0 GHz frequency backed up with a Turbo frequency of 2 GHz. The Intel Core M processors are fitted to this 2-in-1 laptop to make them thin and lightweight. Whenever you run heavy programs on this tablet like Adobe Photoshop or any other 3D modeling software, the processor efficiently increases its frequency to 2 GHz.
Paired with the processor is 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM for best multitasking and making the tablet capable of running large applications and games (Asphalt 8 on full graphics is heavy for mobile processors). While using for a whole day for surfing the internet and streaming movies, I felt no difficulty or experienced any stutter while launching or closing apps. In gaming, Asphalt 8 lags while we ran it on Extreme graphics. Lowering down the graphics from “Extreme” to “High” made the game smooth and reflected better frame rate.
The Smartron tbook boots in less than seven seconds, thanks to the 128 GB SSD for faster data transfer speed. The app launches quickly and loads the data faster than compared to laptops which come with HDD. The USB 3.0 ports paired with the SSD gives faster data transfer speed and the USB Type-C port works both ways; charging and data transfer.
The tablet heats up quickly at the left side where the port rests; it’s not possible to play games while holding this tablet in hands because of the heat. Even after some updates we installed, the heating issue stays, and I have to play Asphalt 8 using the keyboard. I also benchmarked the tablet with “Novabench” and “Passmark”, and the results are good for a tablet. Results are attached so you can check them out and compare with what you have with you now.
- Stereo speakers sound really well
- Lots of connectivity options (ports)
- Heats up quickly
- Screen is extra glary
- A bit heavy to use it as a tablet
- Trackpad is extra sensitive for other gestures than zoom
Smartron tbook is sturdy and comes with a kickstand, gives a glimpse of Microsoft Surface also it doesn’t look or feel cheap at all. The velvet material used for the soft keyboard on the outside bugs me a little, there should be the leather feel like they did in the keyboard area. I expected some more from the box, like a stylus but yes whatever we got in the box worth Rs. 42,999. Smartron tbook is the perfect tablet for you even if you are looking for a laptop in this price range.