$449 Dell Inspiron 7435 Review

In my latest review, I took a closer look at the Dell Inspiron 7435 2-in-1 laptop, currently priced at $449 (compensated affiliate link). This device is a solid one thanks to its versatility, functioning both as a laptop and a tablet. It’s powered by an AMD Ryzen 7530U processor. It’s well suited for casual computing and even some light gaming.

The loaner unit I reviewed was the entry-level model. It came equipped with 8GB of dual channel DDR4 RAM, and 512GB of NVME storage. One note is that the RAM is soldered onto the motherboard, limiting upgrade possibilities. However, Dell does offer a 16GB variant for those needing more memory. The laptop also features a MediaTek Wi-Fi 6E radio, enhancing its connectivity options.

Its 14-inch IPS display, with a resolution of 1920×1200, is satisfactory for everyday use. The screen offers touch functionality, essential when using the device in tablet mode, but isn’t all that bright at 250 nits. I was particularly impressed with the 1080p webcam – its quality is a significant plus for video calls and remote work.

Despite its weight of 3.48 lbs and plastic construction, the Inspiron 7435 doesn’t feel cheap. The backlit keyboard has nice well spaced keys but has a bit of a shallow key depth. The trackpad’s responsiveness met my expectations, consistent with other Dell models I’ve tested. The 7435 also has a fingerprint reader attached to its power button for quick access.

In terms of ports, the Inspiron 7435 has two full service USB-C ports, a full-size SD card reader, a USB-A port, and a headphone/microphone jack. It also has an HDMI port but it’s only meeting the 1.4 specification – this means it will only output 30hz at 4k. The USB-C ports do support DisplayPort output for greater video options, however. The speakers, while not exceptionally loud, deliver clear audio quality, especially in laptop mode.

Battery life should come in around 10 to 11 hours of usage for basic tasks. However, this duration shortens with more intensive activities like gaming or heavy processing.

Performance-wise, the laptop handles basic tasks like web browsing and document editing nicely. It supports Dell’s pen input but is not compatible with the USI standard. While it can handle basic video editing, it’s not cut out for more complex tasks due to its limited RAM.

Gaming performance on the Inspiron 7435 is modest but adequate for casual gaming. Titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, Fortnite, and GTA V run smoothly at around 30 fps at 1280×800 at low settings.

I also tested the laptop’s compatibility with Linux, specifically the latest version of Ubuntu. Everything worked seamlessly, from audio to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, making it an affordable choice for those who prefer alternative operating systems.

Overall, my experience with the Dell Inspiron 7435 2-in-1 laptop was positive. It’s a well-rounded device that offers good value for its price point. While it’s not a high-end laptop, it provides satisfactory performance and quality for everyday users and casual gamers.

Lenovo Ideacentre Mini PC Review (2023 / 2024 version)

In my latest review, I explored the Lenovo Ideacentre Mini, a new offering in the realm of mini PCs. This compact yet powerful device is reminiscent of the Mac Mini but runs on Windows and offers a more budget-friendly price point. You can find it at Best Buy and directly at Lenovo (compensated affiliate links).

The Ideacentre Mini I reviewed came with an Intel i7-13700H processor, 16 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of NVMe storage. Its design facilitates easy upgrades; the RAM is expandable, and there are two NVMe slots with one empty for additional storage. A noteworthy feature is the integrated power supply, eliminating the need for a separate power brick.

Physically, the Mini offers a versatile setup. It can stand vertically or lie horizontally, though it lacks a VESA mount. The front hosts a USB 3 port with a USB-A connector, a USB-C port (non-Thunderbolt), and a headphone/microphone jack. The rear panel is more generous, offering a Thunderbolt port (ideal for external GPUs), two USB 3 ports, a USB 2 port, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, and a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet jack. The Ideacentre can output to multiple 4K output 60 Hz displays.

In terms of performance, it excels at basic tasks and web browsing, thanks to its robust Intel processor. Video playback on platforms like Netflix and YouTube runs smoothly, although I noticed a few dropped frames in 4K 60fps content.

I also tested the Ideacentre Mini for video editing with DaVinci Resolve, doing some basic 4K 60fps edits without noticeable lag or stuttering. It will struggle with more advanced tasks like color grading and other more strenuous editing tasks unless paired with an external GPU.

Gaming performance is respectable for a mini PC and on par with what we’ve seen from other current-gen Intel-based PCs that lack a separate GPU. Running Red Dead Redemption 2 and Doom Eternal at 720p on low settings, the device managed playable frame rates. However, for more intensive gaming, a mini PC with an AMD Ryzen processor might be a better choice.

One notable downside is the fan noise. While idle, the device is quiet, but under load, the fan becomes noticeably louder. It’s not excessively disruptive but could be an issue for those preferring a silent work environment.

For those interested in running Linux, the Ideacentre Mini supports alternative operating systems. I tested it with the latest version of Ubuntu and found all major functions like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and audio working correctly. The dual NVMe slots also make it convenient for dual-boot setups with Windows and Linux.

The Lenovo Ideacentre Mini is a solid, affordable option in the mini PC market. It offers good performance, upgradeability, and support from a renowned brand like Lenovo. The only compromise is the fan noise under load, but otherwise, it stands as a competent and versatile choice for both professional and personal use.

Lenovo Yoga AIO 9i Review

I recently had the opportunity to review the Lenovo Yoga AIO 9i, a large 31.5″ all-in-one Intel PC. This device, loaned to me by Lenovo, boasts a 4K display and is powered by a 14-core Intel i9-13900H processor. It’s a machine that combines aesthetics with performance, catering to a specific market segment that values simplicity and design in their computing experience. You can see my full review here.

The Yoga AIO 9i is priced around $1,600 (compensated affiliate link), but that price may vary with frequent sales.

It’s equipped with 16 GB of DDR5 RAM and 512 GB NVMe storage, though most models available online offer 1 TB. The display, an impressive 31.5-inch 4K IPS screen, offers 100% sRGB coverage and 495 nits of brightness, making it suitable for light video and photo editing tasks. However, it’s worth noting that the display is fixed at a certain height, which might require adjustments to your workspace for optimal viewing.

Port-wise, the Yoga AIO 9i includes a mix of USB-A and USB-C ports, including a USB 4 port. However, the USB 4 port operates at a slower 20 Gbps, which might limit its use with high-performance external devices. Both USB ports can output video along with an HDMI output. Unfortunately the AIO lacks a video input so its large display can only display content from the attached PC.

One of the USB-A ports will be taken up by the dongle for the keyboard and mouse – although both can operate via bluetooth instead. The included keyboard and mouse are basic transportation but functional.

A unique feature is the Qi wireless phone charger integrated into the base, allowing for convenient charging of compatible devices.

In terms of performance, the Yoga AIO 9i is quite capable. Web browsing and media consumption are smooth, thanks to the powerful processor. For video editing, the machine handles basic tasks well, but its lack of a discrete GPU means it’s not suited for more intensive editing work that might require 3D rendering and color grading. Gaming performance is modest; you can play many popular titles at lower resolutions and settings, but don’t expect high-end gaming prowess.

The speakers deliver a decent audio experience, suitable for music, movies, and calls. Large computers like this tend to do better with audio as there’s more room for larger speakers and air chambers.

The machine’s thermal management is impressive, maintaining performance under load while keeping fan noise minimal.

For those interested in alternative operating systems, the Yoga AIO 9i runs Linux distributions like Ubuntu smoothly, making it a versatile choice for different user preferences.

In summary, the Lenovo Yoga AIO 9i is a well-performing, aesthetically pleasing all-in-one PC. It’s ideal for users who prioritize a large, vibrant display and a clutter-free setup. While it may not satisfy the needs of high-end gamers or professional video editors, it’s good for everyday computing, light creative work, and media consumption for those looking for a simplified PC for the home or office.

Disclosure: This computer was loaned to the channel by Lenovo. They did not sponsor this review nor did they review or approve the content before it was uploaded.

Robo & Kala Windows Tablet Review

My latest review is of a new Windows ARM device, the Robo & Kala tablet/laptop. This product is the only one this new company is currently manufacturing.

While they call it a laptop, it’s essentially a detachable tablet with an OLED display. The tablet boasts some intriguing features, but I couldn’t help but feel that the Windows ARM experience still has some way to go.

The tablet is priced at $799, which includes the keyboard and trackpad component. One of the standout features is its 12.6-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2560 by 1600. The display is vibrant and offers a brightness of 600 nits. But it doesn’t support HDR video.

Under the hood, the tablet is powered by a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor, paired with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of solid-state storage. Weighing in at 2.34 pounds with the keyboard attached, it’s relatively lightweight and portable. However, I did notice an issue when using it as a tablet. Often, my hand resting on the tablet would result in inadvertent inputs due to its very thin bezels, which was a bit frustrating.

In terms of build quality, the tablet feels premium with its all-metal design. The kickstand at the back is reminiscent of the Surface devices, allowing for adjustable viewing angles. A unique feature is that the detachable keyboard switches to a Bluetooth keyboard/trackpad when detached, allowing for continued use.

The keyboard itself feels pretty nice. The keys are large, well-spaced, and offer a good amount of travel. The trackpad is responsive and offers a firm click. For security, there’s no fingerprint reader, but an infrared camera facilitates facial recognition for logging in.

When it comes to ports, the tablet is equipped with two USB Type-C ports. However, there’s no headphone jack, so you’ll need to rely on Bluetooth headphones or a USB dongle. The speakers, unfortunately, left much to be desired. They sounded tinny and lacked depth. The tablet’s webcam offers decent quality with a 5-megapixel camera on the front and a 13-megapixel camera on the back.

In terms of performance, basic tasks like web browsing felt smooth, especially on an ARM-optimized browser like Edge. Video playback on platforms like YouTube was also satisfactory.

Like most ARM devices battery life here is excellent. This tablet can easily hit the 10-12 hour mark for basic tasks and video watching if display brightness is kept low. The OLED does consume more power than LED displays so other 8cx Gen 3 laptops may do a little better.

When it came to gaming, the experience was mixed. Older games like Half-Life 2 ran smoothly, but more demanding titles like GTA 5 struggled to maintain consistent frame rates. This is a reminder that while the ARM architecture offers benefits like improved battery life, it still lags behind Intel and AMD in terms of raw performance at this price point.

In conclusion, the Robo & Kala tablet is a well-constructed device with a beautiful display. It’s ideal for basic tasks and offers impressive battery life. However, the ARM architecture still has compatibility limitations, especially when it comes to more demanding applications and gaming. If you’re looking for a device primarily for office applications and light tasks, this could be a good fit. But for more intensive tasks, you might want to consider other options.

AceMagician T8Plus Tiny Windows Mini PC Review

A few weeks ago we looked at a surprisingly decent little mini PC from AceMagician – a PC maker I hadn’t heard of before. In my latest video we take a look at another one called the T8Plus which is even smaller and powered by an Intel N95 processor.

The price point of the T8Plus is around $199, but with a coupon on Amazon, it can be brought down to $150. Inside, it houses an Intel N95 processor, a lower-end chip that is not as powerful as the Ryzen version we looked at a few weeks ago but still fast enough to be useful. It comes with 8GB of RAM, which is soldered on, and a 256GB NVMe that can be replaced. There’s a slightly more expensive version that has 16GB of RAM soldered on. Both versions boot to Windows 11 Pro which is licensed and pre-installed on the unit.

The T8Plus has three HDMI outputs capable of delivering 4K at 60 frames per second out of each independently. It also has three USB 3 ports, two gigabit ethernet ports (powered by Realtek chipsets), a headphone/microphone jack, and a Kensington lock slot. Unfortunately there are no USB-C ports.

Performance-wise, the T8Plus is surprisingly snappy. Basic tasks such as loading up Microsoft Word or browsing websites are handled with ease. It also performs well for media playback either locally or via streaming services. Because it has an Intel chip with Quicksync on board it should perform well as a Plex server.

For gaming, the T8Plus can handle older games like Half-Life 2 which we were able play at 30fps at a 4k resolution. However, it struggles with more modern games like No Man’s Sky, which could barely get 15 frames per second at 720p. Ryzen Mini PCs do much better and often deliver playable framerates with AAA titles.

But due to its video processing prowess the T8Plus exceled at game streaming, delivering a 4K 60 stream from the GeForce Now service.

The T8Plus also performs well with Linux, with Ubuntu 23.04 running smoothly on it. All the hardware was detected successfully, and the performance feels snappy, making it a great solution for those looking to experiment with Linux as a desktop.

The AceMagician T8Plus is a capable and inexpensive mini PC worth considering. It offers good performance for its price point, making it a suitable choice for basic tasks or even as a mini server. However, if you’re shopping around, it might be worth looking at some of the Ryzen mini PCs, which may offer significantly better performance for just a little more money.

New Video : Lenovo Slim 7 Pro X Review

Every once and awhile Lenovo puts together the perfect “all rounder” laptop that offers a great mix of price, performance and utility. The Slim 7 Pro X is that machine for 2022.

It incorporates a Ryzen 6900HS processor (the first time machine I’ve reviewed with one) along with an Nvidia RTX 3050 GPU running at 55 watts. It’s just a little over 3 pounds, well built and has a nice 14″ 120hz display. It’s great for gaming, light VR, video editing, and other types of basic work.

I ran a few gaming tests with the GPU disabled to see how the Ryzen graphics worked on their own. Red Dead Redemption 2 ran much better on this vs. prior Ryzen generations which was also confirmed in our 3Dmark benchmark tests.

You can see more in the full review up on my YouTube channel.