It’s been 5 weeks since that nice gentleman from DPD delivered the epitomy of chinese computing to my doorstep. Since then it has aquired a few scratches, admiring looks in the office, and I have a bit more experience with it. So far, the experience has been 80% positive. As expected, it’s not particularly a powerhouse. While zippy in most applications, it seems to struggle with large pdf files (audibly giving MusicBee or MediaPlayer a hard time while playback), it’s file transfer rate between devices is atrocious (max speed 15Mbit/s) – I am sure there is a connection somewhere. If I had any clue about its hardware architecture, I would probably be able to comment on it, but its motherboard is as obscure as they come and google resistant (if you’re interested in this sort of thing, here’s its dmesg). Which brings us to the next point: OpenBsd/Linux installation seems to be a genuine slog due to its -ahem- idiosyncracies, so I didn’t even attempt it, although I am sure it would benefit from a leaner operating system such as LXDE. The built in wifi is atrocious, as are its speakers, but this is remediable with an external USB wifi dongle and an audiocable.
Ok, enough moaning.
On the plus side, it runs an up to date Windows 10 (currently 1803) and Office 2016 without any issues. Unsurprisingly it doesn’t like more than 3 or 4 resource hungry applications running at the same time, but it’s perfectly usable. I have used it as a base station with external keyboard, mouse and monitor quite happily, and after some research found that the official Intel update software will keep its drivers up to date. Both my VPN and Anti-Virus software seem to be needing only a few CPU cycles, making it not the quickest, but certainly the most cost-effective laptop I have ever owned. It would be nice if T-Bao released a tool to control the mouse pad (the usual windows drivers seem to ignore it) to address its sensitivities, but these are minor quibbles. Most importantly, the MacBook Pro has been replaced by the T-Bao as my ‘on the road’ laptop: I can’t afford an uptodate MBP, so it’s nice to not expose it to the rough and tumble of mobile working for the moment.
This blue wonderlaptop continues to deliver. Long may it be so.
Buying recommendation: idiot proof.