Micromax Canvas Lapbook: Portable pleasure.
We try out the first portable PC off the block in India with Windows 10 preinstalled
From Anand Parthasarathy, Bangalore, November 16 2015: To be productive on the hoof, presents a peculiar challenge: If you go for pocket sized, feather weight devices, you severely limit the applications that you can port. If you want the full desktop experience on the move, be prepared for some heavy lifting. I was elated, when smart phones and tablets came with quad and octa-core chips under the belt and the consequent ability to do a lot of PC things -- word processing, spread sheets, presentations.....
But the euphoria was premature. The shrunken keypads challenged my slow and fat fingers. I longed for a light weight compute device with enough processing muscle for a standard Office suite and a standard keyboard -- at a price that is not too far fromthat of a phone or tablet.
I have been looking in vain for a year now -- till, this Diwali, Micromax answered my prayers with what a category they call a LapBook: a hybrid of laptop and notebook that is light enough to carry on tours -- 1.3 kg -- yet with a 11.6 inch 720 p HD screen and good twin speaker sound for viewing movies -- with the latest Windows 10 OS pre installed.
I should mention upfront that the asking price of the Micromax, Canvas Lapbook L1161 was so attractive -- Rs 13,999 ( with a Rs 2000 cashback for SBI Card payments) -- that I did something I rarely do: ordered one from Snapdeal based only on the specs -- and received it in 72 hours flat.
The sturdy packaging , decent sized screen and the standard keyboard were tops on my wish list -- so no regrets on that score; but let me level with you on the pluses and minuses after a week's use: The quad Atom chip is as good as any notebook. The RAM is 2G -- par for the course; but the Flash storage is just 32 GB --effectively 28 GB out of which 10 GB has gone in preloaded software like the Windows OS. What is left -- 18 GB --is insufficient to load any serious application . I added the max external storage it can take -- a micro SD card of 64 GB -- and now save all my work on it. The 5000 mAh battery is good for about 10 hours. The front camera is just VGA, not even a megapixel -- most phones have better MP ratings .
I am thrilled that an Indian maker has stolen a march over so many MNC brands who, three months after the launch of Windows 10 are still palming off Windows 7 machines, leaving the upgrade to you. Microsoft, said at launch that all major outlets and chain electronics shops will do a legal upgrade for free. Forget it; not happening.
The advantage of Win 10 is that if you are cool with Win 8, it looks even better; but if like me, you are used to Win 7, then you can switch to a look and feel of the classic Windows.
On the downside, the Office 365 is only a trial version and after a few months, you have to subscribe at Rs 420/month -- or find an Open Source clone on the web. With 2 USB ports and a HDMI port, Bluetooth as well as WiFi, you have enough external connection muscle to match any laptop.
I found the Windows 10 startup and shutdown incredibly fast compared even to many Android tablets -- but you have to keep remembering that that is a device that has very little space on board -- everything you need, you grab from the cloud. That said, the L1161 seems to be very good value for money and a sturdy travel companion to boot.
More info and link for buying here