Cube i7 Book seems to be the perfect competitor for the Microsoft Surface 3, after the Redmonders have still not updated the small Surface series. It is equipped with an Intel Core m3 processor, has 4 gigabytes of RAM, a 10.6-inch FullHD display with support for input via Wacom stylus. All this in a total package that costs about 300 euros with a keyboard.
|Processor||Intel Core m3-6Y30|
|Graphics adapter||Intel HD Graphics 515, 4474|
|Memory||4096 MB,LPDDR3L dual-channel 933 10-10-10-28|
|Display||10.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 208 PPI, 10-finger multitouch, Samsung LTN140W1-L01, IPS, glossy: yes, detachable screen|
|Mainboard||Intel Skylake-Y Premium PCH|
|Storage||FORESEE 64GB O1229B, 64 GB|
|Sound Card||Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH – High Definition Audio|
|Connections||2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, Audio Connections: headset, Card Reader: micro-SD, Sensors: G-sensor, USB 3 ports: micro-USB 3.0 and USB-C Gen. 1|
|Networking||Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n/ac)|
|Size||height x width x depth (in mm): 18 x 274 x 172 ( = 0.71 x 10.79 x 6.77 in)|
|Battery||31.8 Wh, 4300 mAh Lithium-Ion, 7.4V|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit|
|Camera||Primary Camera: 2 MPix
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix
|Additional features||Speakers: stereo, microphone, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 12 Months Warranty, fanless|
|Release Date||July 2016|
Cube i7 Book Design
With the prejudice that China devices are badly processed, at least Cube completely avoids his devices out of the way. The 10-inch tablet is wrapped in a metal case, which on the one hand is very high-quality, on the other hand, also extremely solid processed. The back is wrapped in a blue to turquoise color but is still very discreet and not conspicuous. In contrast to the HP Stream 11 or 13, you can be seen in public without anyone assuming it’s a children’s toy. The top is, however, like the Surface, made of plastic, because here are the antennas for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The edges around the back are shiny and diamond cut, as well as the Lumia 650.
Anyone familiar with the Trekstor W1 duo will find the Cube i7 Book very familiar. The two devices look exactly the same except for the color and the inscription on the back, after all, they are also from the same ODM.
Similarly, the processing of the two devices is similar and that’s nothing bad. For the price range, we found the Trekstor W1 duo as extremely high quality installed and that’s true if you add 100 euros to the price. The housing is very stable, the gaps are very small and the buttons are easy to press, yet they sit firmly in their places and do not wobble a bit. On this front you really cannot be disappointed with the Cube i7 Book, it’s a beautiful and high quality built device.
Cube i7 Book Display and touch
The Cube i7 Book has a 10.6-inch FullHD display, that is a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Unfortunately, it has a 16: 9 aspect ratio compared to the Surface 3, which is simply unfavorable for a touch display. In terms of height, the display is simply too small to be able to enjoy content on it, so drawing is also easier on Surface 3. Moreover, in portrait format, it is not very well suited for reading or using as a tablet.
The quality of the display for the price range is also good, but the colors are of course not as bright as you know it from more expensive tablets or notebooks. Even with the built-in Surface 3 panel, it can not compete with quality. It looks as if you have put on a basically good display a frosted glass that makes the colors fade. The same applies to the brightness, where the Cube i7 book can not impress. Although it is sufficient to use it in the bright interior or in front of a window, it is practically impossible outdoors in direct sunlight.
Basically, it is a very good display, especially given the price of this unit. The touchscreen is also very responsive and typing with Active Stylus is easy.
Cube i7 Book Keyboard and touchpad
The non- supplied keyboard of the Cube i7 Book costs between 30 and 50 euros, depending on the layout. The English version is often included in the offer for free but usually costs just over 40 euros. In the shop of Trekstor, there is the keyboard of the W1 Duo already for 35 euros, which has a German layout and also fits on the Cube i7 Book. Although the keys are very small according to the size of the tablet, it is extremely easy to write. The feedback is very good as it also offers a lot of stroke for a keyboard of a tablet.
The touchpad is very weak on the one hand because of its size and on the other hand, it often leads to gestures that one does not want. Most of all, one is too often thrown back to the desktop when writing, as one wipes down too often with the heel of the hand. The touchpad can be disabled via a key on the keyboard, but really well resolved is not. Otherwise, the small input device responds quite well, is – except for this one error – very reliable and quite accurate.
Cube i7 Book Audio
One component where Cube has saved a lot on the i7 book is the speakers. The installed unit is extremely weak, hardly suitable for the enjoyment of films and series, but not for music. The sound quality is extremely bad, basses are practically nonexistent. In addition, the speakers that are on the right side are not really loud, so you often have to listen carefully to quietly recorded series or videos.
Cube i7 Book Performance
According to benchmarks, the Intel Core m3 processor installed in the Cube i7 Book provides more than twice the performance of the Intel Atom x7 used in the Surface 3. In everyday life, this is especially noticeable in performance-hungry applications, such as photo editing programs. Easier tasks can be done easily on the table.
Accordingly, the tablet copes with everyday use, which includes, for example, surfing the Internet, the use of simpler apps, or even completing work in Microsoft Office. Fortunately, it does not get too warm either, so it does not have to slow down even after prolonged use.
Mobile games from the Windows Store work without major problems, even older games can be executed without any problems. However, current games will not run on it, but it should also be the memory of 64 gigabytes is not enough.
For everyday life, but it is easy enough and it cannot be overwhelmed by simply surfing the Web.
Cube i7 Book Battery life
The battery life of 5 hours, which the manufacturer indicates, is in our opinion not much for a mobile tablet. With a brightness of 50 percent, which is quite sufficient for working in the interior, you can barely manage these 5 hours on average. With 25 percent you get at normal use on about 6 hours. In the interior, 25 percent is enough to use it easily.
Nevertheless: Really great runtimes are not and unfortunately one has the agony of the choice between performance and good battery life with many today’s small Convertibles. Given the fact that I use it anyway only at home or at university, I would always prefer the performance. Many Intel Atom x5 Z8300 tablets are much cheaper, but usually twice as slow and the running time is in many devices at even brightness only an hour longer. This time is often spent on those tablets, waiting for larger websites in Edge to react again.
What I mean by that is that a slightly larger battery would have made this device significantly better. With 7 hours running time at 50 percent brightness, the Surface 3 would also beat in this discipline.
In contrast to Microsoft’s still small tablet, the Cube i7 Book is not loaded via a slow MicroUSB port, which can take up to 7 hours to load the Surface 3 in the worst case, that is active use. Supplied with a proprietary charging port with US plug, which can fully charge the device in just over two hours.
Although the Cube i7 Book has a USB Type-C connector, it can not be charged. We have tried this with an 18W power supply, but Windows still indicates that it is not loaded.
Cube i7 Book – Conclusion
For 300 euros you get in Europe at best a Lenovo Miix 310, a very solid 10-inch convertible with HD display and Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor. Comparing it to the Cube i7 Book, it only has a higher nominal battery life and it can be argued that there is a warranty and warranty when buying in Germany. But the Cube i7 Book has a better display, pen support and offers much better performance.
However, we tested it to compare it to the Surface 3, a very different and larger caliber than the Lenovo Miix 310. So is it better than the Surface 3? Yes. Unfortunately. Surface 3 is a wonderful tablet that’s fun to use as a daily work tool, a feeling that’s hard to describe rationally. In terms of performance, it does not set any price (!) Apart from its big brother and is deliberately not intended for all the serious things that can be done with the Pro devices. In addition, there is the 3: 2 display, on which you can really enjoy content in the browser, it is also additionally motivated to use the pen more often.
The Cube i7 Book really does not deserve the title of the “Surface 3 killer”. Surface 3 is actually its own killer by simply not updating Microsoft for over a year. The Cube i7 Book has more up-to-date and better hardware, as well as an active stylus and a similar battery life. At the same time, it is 200 euros cheaper.
The Cube i7 Book is a really good on-the-go convertible that would be just perfect with a different aspect ratio and slightly longer battery life. But what you get for the price is absolutely unbeatable and therefore you can only recommend it.