Ko­gan At­las 13” C300 con­vert­ible

CAN THIS SU­PER-CHEAP 2-IN-1 RE­ALLY COM­PETE WITH MORE EX­PEN­SIVE AL­TER­NA­TIVES?

TechLife Australia - - CONTENTS -

THIS $500 2-IN-1 from bud­get Aussie re­tailer Ko­gan re­ally is bet­ter than it has any right to be. With a uni­body metal chas­sis, it both looks and feels in­cred­i­bly sturdy and durable, and its 13.3-inch IPS dis­play is bet­ter than what you of­ten find on lap­tops for two (or even three) times this price.

Don’t get us wrong, though: this is not a pow­er­house that’s go­ing to take down the likes of, say, Dell’s XPS 13 — a de­vice that’s still our favourite Win­dows ultrabook, de­spite the gen­eral de­sign be­ing a few years old now. In fact, com­pared to that Dell, what’s un­der the C300’s hood looks rather se­date. Pri­mar­ily pow­ered by a quad-core 1.1–2.2GHz In­tel Celeron N3450 pro­ces­sor — a chip that’s about a year and a half old at this point — in com­bi­na­tion with a very ba­sic In­tel HD Graph­ics 500 GPU and 4GB of RAM, you won’t be do­ing any se­ri­ously de­mand­ing tasks. You can for­get about video en­cod­ing or high­end im­age edit­ing, and any­thing but games with sim­ple 2D graph­ics or retro ti­tles will be pos­si­ble here.

The stor­age on of­fer is ad­e­quate — 64GB of flash in the form of a SanDisk DF4064. That’s an em­bed­ded MMC (eMMC) drive, rather than an SSD. The eMMC for­mat was born out of a de­sire to use cheaper flash stor­age on com­put­ing de­vices like tablets and net­books — what you’re ba­si­cally get­ting is an SD card sol­dered onto the moth­er­board. That’s not quite as dire as it sounds, how­ever, be­cause here, the flash stor­age does at least out­per­form a mag­netic hard drive in most tasks, with sus­tained read and write speeds of 177MB/s and 102MB/s, re­spec­tively.

What’s more dif­fi­cult to deal with is the lack of space that 64GB re­sults in. Disk for­mat­ting shenani­gans and the con­sid­er­able size of Win­dows it­self con­sume about half the drive, leav­ing you with slightly un­der 30GB for your own use. Thanks to a built-in slot, you can add in a mi­croSD card to sup­ple­ment that, but a bet­ter op­tion would be to grab an M.2 SSD to in­stall — the ad­di­tion of a 128 or 256GB SSD would trans­form this into a a much more well-rounded ma­chine, but you will need to in­stall that drive your­self, as Ko­gan sadly doesn’t of­fer it as an pre-con­fig­ured op­tion.

The in­cluded charger is also a bit anaemic — it’s the kind of plug adapter you’d ex­pect to come bun­dled with a cheap clock-ra­dio, not a 13-inch lap­top, and at 1.10m, the ca­ble is a fair bit shorter than we’d like.

On the up­side, the combo of com­po­nents in the C300 is at least good enough for any day-to-day task you can think of, from surf­ing the web and stream­ing videos on Net­flix, to cre­at­ing and edit­ing Word docs or spread­sheets. It works rea­son­ably well as a tablet, thanks to that fold-around screen (the hinges are sur­pris­ingly sturdy) and the key­board and track­pad are com­fort­able and large. There’s even two full-sized USB 3.0 ports, a mini-HDMI out­put and a metal stylus in­cluded, too, and the bat­tery lasts a good 4–6 hours, de­pend­ing on the task.

In other words, if your needs are rel­a­tively un­de­mand­ing, this one punches well above its weight.

[ DAN GAR­DINER ]

THIS IS NOT A POW­ER­HOUSE THAT’S GO­ING TO TAKE DOWN THE LIKES OF SAY, DELL’S XPS 13 — A DE­VICE THAT’S STILL OUR FAVOURITE WIN­DOWS ULTRABOOK, DE­SPITE THE GEN­ERAL DE­SIGN BE­ING A FEW YEARS OLD NOW.

KO­GAN AT­LAS C300 CON­VERT­IBLE NOTE­BOOK CRIT­I­CAL SPECS $499 www.ko­gan.com/au Win­dows 10 64-bit; 13.3-inch IPS dis­play @ 1920 x 1080p; 1.1GHz In­tel Celeron N3450 CPU; 4GM DDR3 RAM; In­tel HD Graph­ics 500; 64GB SanDisk flash mem­ory; 5GHz ac Wi-Fi; 34Wh LiIon bat­tery (5 hour life­span); 32 x 21.1 x 1.6cm; 1.56kg

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