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On the Chinese smartphone market, hundreds of manufacturers are courting buyers. The notebook and especially the convertible market looks a bit more manageable. If you are looking for a Chinese convertible, you don’t have much choice besides Teclast F15 and Chuwi Aerobook. Now a new manufacturer with the name Xidu seems to be trying its luck. The flagship model bears the name Xidu Philbook Max and will be in the $300-$400 price range. The following announcement will tell you what the convertible of the newcomer is supposed to achieve.
The Philbook Max has some features that make it interesting, at least at first glance. The convertible has a rather appealing design. The case is made of metal and the 14.1 inch display has only 5mm wide edges according to the manufacturer. The dimensions are pleasantly compact at 325mm x 220mm x 16.4mm – especially the shallow depth is appealing. The weight is a pleasant 1.4kg, which makes it easy to take the notebook with you.
Since it is a convertible, there is of course a folding function. The Philbook Max display can be rotated 360° and the notebook can also be used as a tablet. Just note that the display is already quite large at 14.1 inches and you can’t hold the device comfortably in one hand. But you have a pleasantly large screen if you want to fold the device down or make a drawing. By the way, the IPS panel resolves with 1920*1080 pixels (Full-HD) and will therefore also bring a good sharpness. Of course it’s also a multi-touch panel.
The notebook’s processor will be an Intel Celeron J3355. The processor of the Apollo Lake generation was introduced at the end of 2016 and is designed for entry-level notebooks. It is a dual-core processor with 2GHz in normal clock and up to 2.5GHz in burst mode. The chip is manufactured in a 14 nanometer process and has a maximum power consumption of 10 watts. The graphics unit is an Intel HD Graphics 500 GPU with 250 MHz and a burst frequency of 700 MHz.
And what does that mean in practice? Well, those who expect a high-performance computer will definitely be disappointed. The Xidu Philbook is not designed for gaming, video editing or excessive photo shopping. But what the chip can handle without any problems are office tasks. Word, Excel, surfing with a moderate number of open tabs, or playing video and multimedia files should work pleasantly fast. The main memory with a reasonable size of 6GB LPDDR3-RAM as well as the fast 128GB SSD in the M.2 slot also sucks for this. Of course, Windows 10 is used as the operating system.
In this point, the Xidu delivers the standards of a beginner notebook. Included is Wifi with .ac standard, Bluetooth 4.2 and a 2 megapixel webcam on the front. On the side there are also two USB 3.0 slots, Micro-SD, a headphone port and an HDMI port. Unfortunately, the convertible is not loaded via the new USB Type C standard. Instead, there is a power supply with plug connection and 12V/3A. The sound is played by two speakers with 1 Watt each.
If you can replace the SSD without much effort, we will unfortunately only be able to clarify in the test report. A positive characteristic in any case is the keyboard lighting. Everyone should know by now that you have to live with the American QWERTY layout. If you set your typing to QWERTY and still have to look at the keystrokes, you should better order some keyboard stickers.
By the way, the battery measures 5000mAh. How many hours the notebook will last with it is hard to say without a practical test. We estimate that the Xidu will last about 4 to 5 hours at medium brightness and light load. In view of the large display and the average battery, you don’t need to expect a long-distance runner – but a usable battery life should be included.
The Xidu Philbook Max will be an interesting device. The manufacturer is trying to do something that is usually avoided by the “big brands”: The combination of entry-level hardware and premium design. After all, only the external values on the data sheet are really impressive. A metal housing, a 14.1 Full-HD IPS touch display, small display edges and compact dimensions. All this reads pretty well. The built-in hardware is a little less intoxicating. With the Intel Celeron processor you will get a typical office device – no more and no less. If the manufacturer still manages to achieve a reasonable price and a decent finish, we’re satisfied. We will soon investigate whether the calculation works out in a detailed test report.