RDP Thinbook 1110 Detailed Review
At Digit, we get a lot of questions about laptop recommendations under Rs. 20,000. While there are plenty of machines in this range, it’s hard to recommend them. Sometimes the screen isn’t good enough, while the performance just isn’t enough for some. To be fair, a sub-15K laptop leaves little room for decent (or powerful) specs. But with a growing demand and a steady decline in hardware prices, the Indian laptop market now offers several options in the sub-15K segment. One such laptop is the RDP Thinbook 1110. It has an MRP of about Rs. 18,000, but is currently available for Rs. 13,999. Let’s see what it offers.
Processor: Intel Atom x5-Z8350U
Display: 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768p
Battery Capacity: 8000mAh
1 year warranty
Build and design
The RDP Thinkbook 1110 is not a very expensive laptop and you will notice that right away. It is made of plastic and not very good. All panels on the body have varying degrees of flex, with the exception of the display. The display has no discernible flex as it is a touchscreen unit and has a glass touch panel. This also means that the device is a bit top-heavy, and the base of the desk lifts up once the screen is tilted more than 120 degrees. That’s a problem, because then it goes all the way up and down when you take your hands off the keyboard.
It uses a two-piece hinge mechanism, which works, but is dated in design and definitely different from what the company advertises on its website. Also, unlike many other regular convertibles, the Thinbook 1110 does not automatically disable the keyboard and touchpad in tablet mode. That’s why you get a special physical switch to disable the keyboard and touchpad.
All this seems rather unconvincing to all plausible buyers, even when you consider its ultra-affordable price, now easily matched by many of its peers, such as Acer Switch one and Micromax Canvas Laptop†
Display and ports
Looking at the images on the company’s website, the display on the Thinbook 1110 should have thin bezels, but in reality it doesn’t. The screen has thick edges all around and the image quality can only be called substandard. The color fidelity of the 11.6-inch laptop is poor and has very limited viewing angles. This becomes clear when you use the laptop in portrait mode as a tablet. In portrait mode, the display is very taxing on your eyes and we don’t recommend using it in that mode, even if you buy this laptop.
Since it’s also a touch-sensitive screen, you can use it to surf the web or in various other “convertible” positions. While the touch response is decent, it’s the machine’s unusable performance that will let you down, but more on that later.
However, RDP has thought about port selection. The machine offers a USB 2.0 port on the left, along with a headphone and microphone combo. The right side of the laptop has a microSD card slot, a micro HDMI port and surprisingly a USB 3.0 port.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard on the machine is only average and can be considered comparable to most sub-15K laptops out there. The keys on the chiclet keyboard offer uneven travel distance and are not very accurate. The keys are also smaller than a normal keyboard and may take some getting used to. This can be a big problem for touch typists, although we doubt that touch typists will look at this laptop. The keyboard is also devoid of some important shortcut keys. There is no brightness switch on the keyboard itself. Instead, it has a special shortcut for settings, which seems unnecessary.
Below the keyboard is a small touchpad that doesn’t track well, has no palm rejection, and activates when it’s not even in use. As for gestures, those aren’t supported either and rob users of quickly navigating Windows 10. In our week-long test period, two-finger scrolling only worked once. As for the left and right keys, they work well, but have a short click and insufficient feedback, which is disappointing even for its price
While the spec sheet seems like a list of compromises made to meet budget, the machine’s performance is by far the worst we’ve seen this year. 2 GB of RAM is too low to run even the 32-bit Windows operating system and is ideally used at 50 percent with no applications running. The situation worsens once you start using the Chrome browser. In our testing, quad-core Intel Atom processors hit their limits with just five tabs open in Chrome. Needless to say, 2GB of RAM was also running at full capacity, making the machine extremely slow. You can get away with more open tabs in Microsoft’s Edge browser, but even then the laptop starts to slow down.
Using the laptop in the tablet form factor is a similar pain. That said, you can stream content up to 1080p on the laptop, which plays with some stutter. Streaming video content in 720p is not a problem unless you have other tabs open in your browser. The touch response seems inadequate due to the slow processor and you end up tapping a menu or shortcut several times before it opens.
In terms of storage, you get 32GB eMMC memory at your disposal, which is a third full when you take this laptop out of the box. That leaves little room for other applications you might want to install, including essentials like Microsoft Word.
The only good thing about the RDP Thinbook 1110 is the battery life, which with a 2W (SDP) processor and a small touchscreen lasts about five to six hours with its limited performance. That said, it’s still average performance compared to what we’ve seen so far. The 30.4 Whr battery is literally glued to the chassis and takes a long time to charge with the included 5W charger. You will also need to be very close to the power outlet when the system is charging, as the cable is only 1.2m in length compared to a normal 8-10m charging cable available with most laptops today.
The RDP Thinbook 1110 is therefore a laptop that you should not buy, even if you are on a budget. The performance is hard to deal with, the build quality and touchpad have annoying issues, the keyboard is average and so is the battery life. The convertible feature is also rather stunted due to the screen’s subpar viewing angles. The only aspect that we find the laptop on par with its peers is the port selection, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that the RDP Thinbook is a poorly done laptop.