When looking at the average price of a Tablet, Smartphone, or even a Laptop you can expect to come across devices prices that don’t essentially fit the budget. As Africa is becoming more mobile driven consumers as well as businesses are looking towards cheaper, yet fully functional devices.
To add to this, African-based education facilities are now looking towards mobile devices in order to offer students, in local as well as rural areas, the opportunity to gain access to smart devices in order to expand upon their knowledge and assist with the process of education.
To meet the demand, Microsoft has launched the Nextbook range. Included in the range is the 10.1″ Nextbook 2-in-1 Windows Tablet, which comes in at R2599… as well as the 8″ Nextbook Windows 8\16GB Wi-Fi Tablet, which comes in at R1499.
Out of these two devices It News Africa had a look at the 10.1″ Nextbook, which has been reviewed below:
Besides a slightly larger display, the 10.1″ Nextbook comes with its own hard cover keyboard that allows the tablet to provide a notebook like user experience. While most Tablet devices do not come with a keyboard accessory, it’s actually a great accessory to have. Let’s face it, typing out word documents, emails and other lengthy documents can become slightly tedious on a touchscreen device; however when combined with a keyboard, simple day-to-day tasks become easier to deal with. To add to this, the keyboard features a trackpad, which gives the user the ability to turn a modern day Tablet device into a fully functional Laptop styled device.
When looking at the build quality of the 10.1″ Nextbook, it is a solid device; however, it is far heavier than most Tablets on the market – especially when the keyboard is fitted. While the weight of the Tablet can become a problem during periods of long term use, you can however fit the keyboard to the Tablet and either place it on your lap or on a solid surface in order to make things a bit more comfortable. Being a Tablet device, the Nextbook is small enough to fit into a briefcase, backpack, or handbag – depending on the size. This makes it extremely portable and a great alternative to carrying around a full size Laptop device.
While most Tablet devices run on either Android or iOS, the Nextbook runs on Windows 8.1. I was slightly concerned about the OS being cut down and trimmed down, in order to free up space, but Microsoft’s Nextbook does not cut corners and comes packed with the full Windows 8.1 experience. The OS is powered by a 1.8GHz Intel Atom quad-core processor and comes standard with 1GB of RAM.
To add to the features, the 10.1″ Nextbook also features a 2MP rear facing camera as well as a 0.3MP front facing camera. While the cameras featured on the Nextbook are not entirely earth shattering, they do perform well – especially for a device that packs in a fair amount of technology, which includes a 1-year subscription to Office 365, at cost-conscious price point.
While most Tablets can be connected to a Laptop device via a USB cable, for transfer purposes, Microsoft has equipped the Nextbook with its very own USB port as well as MicroSD slot. This allows for users to gain additional storage space over and above the fairly limited 16GB of internal storage that the device has to offer.
Overall, Microsoft’s Nextbook is definitely a great contender when it comes to the Mobile and Tablet space. While the 10.1″ Nextbook is slightly heavier than most Tablet devices on the market, it does however pack in a fair amount of technology at a cost-conscious price point. To add to this, Microsoft has also included a 1-year subscription to Office 365, which is an additional bonus.
As Africa is becoming more mobile, it is great to see that Microsoft is meeting the demand for more versatile devices that are not only aimed at corporate users, but also aimed at students.
Review & Photography: Darryl Linington