The RDP ThinBook is both lightweight and generously sized
Bangalore, September 4 2016: I must start with a confession: I don't care much for the virtual on-screen keyboards that come with tablets and mobile phones. Yes, they are OK for answering emails or creating short text files. But sustained writing of 300 words and more? I am full of admiration of younger journalists who send all their stories from a phone -- but I prefer a physical keyboard any day, one which gives me a reassuring tactile feedback for every key stroke.
But a standard laptop is difficult to lug around and the extremely thin-n-light ones are also extremely pricey. Which is why I was happy to find that the Hyderabad-based RDP Workstations have launched a 14.1 inch ThinBook which at 1.45 kg is well within my 'carrying capacity' and still manages to pack in a 10,000 mAh battery that is good for about 7-8 hours of use.
For those like me, who want to get as close to conventional laptop experience as possible, it will be reassuring that the RDP ThinBook runs the latest Windows 10 operating system and not a flavour of Android as many convertible tablets do.
Fueled by an Intel Atom processor, the device has 2 GB of RAM which is OK but the onboard storage is just 32 GB. You could expand this by inserting a micro SD card of up to 128 GB. But it is still pretty small storage compared to what we are used even on small form factor portable PCs like NetBooks. About 10 GB is already taken away by the installed software -- so there is not much more that you can download by way of favourite tools.
Machines like this are clearly meant for an always-on-Net scenario, where you have almost all your tools and storage in the Cloud. The ThinBook comes with all necessary connector options -- USB 2 and USB 3; Audio out, MicroHDMI -- as well as WiFi and Bluetooth, though I thought the VGA camera was a bit underpowered for today's taste.
Admittedly it was a new unit I was trying, but I found the startup and shutdown to be very fast. Windows 10 can give you the look and feel of Windows 7 if you don't like the tiled menus of Windows 8 --- so I am guessing many buyers will be comfortable with such a familiar but very light Wintel machine -- and the asking price of Rs 9999 almost makes it irresistible.- Anand Parthasarathy