I’m impatient. Just ask my wife. Or anyone I play golf with. I simply like doing things efficiently and quickly. For instance, left alone to play 18 holes without anyone ahead, I can commonly finish in less than two hours. Forget practice swings — I’m always envisioning my next shot, as I drive the cart up to the ball. Hot meals don’t stand a chance to get cold on my plate. It’s not like I scarf down food like Joey Chestnut, but I don’t pause after bites, either. And when it comes to using internet, I expect things to be snappy. Maybe that’s why I predominantly use an always updated Chromebook and a Windows laptop with a zippy Intel Core i7 processor.
So you’ll better understand my frustration when I tell you about my experience this week testing out the Nextbook Flexx 11A Windows laptop-tablet convertible. Compared to the machines I regularly use, it’s slow. I get it — the machine is equipped with an Intel Atom CherryTrail Z8300 quad-core processor, and 64GB of internal memory that can be expanded with microSD cards up to 128GB. Heck, this unit sells for $179. So it’s a budget machine. Yet if you’re looking for speed at that price, I would aggressively steer you toward a Chromebook.
But okay, I understand that this may be what you can afford for the upcoming school year and still need Windows 10. So I’m going to disregard my snobby bias and general impatience, and give you an honest perspective. I like the form factor of the Nextbook. Its 11.6-inch screen is nice and crisp, with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1366×768 resolution. Video plays fast and without hiccups — at least in my experience. I found a live broadcast of the PGA Championship online and enjoyed it for quite a while without problems. Sound is a little shallow, but completely acceptable. Reading text on websites was no problem — everything looked pretty clear. And I love that it weighs less than four pounds. It looks sleek, as well. The top and bottom covers are matte black, the keyboard frame is silver. The keys, themselves, are nice and sturdy to type on, and they have a little bounce to them. Unfortunately, when I pressed any key, I saw the frame underneath bow down as if I hit the key too hard (even though I didn’t). That cheapens my impression a bit. But again, this is a budget machine. The trackpad is springy, as well, but seemed much more sturdy than the keys. And the Nextbook of course comes with WiFi and Bluetooth support built-in, which both connected quickly for me. There are also front and rear 2-megapixel cameras and an integrated microphone for video chats, along with USB and micro HDMI slots. It’s a capable computer.
The keyboard is easily detachable, too, and I actually thought the machine seemed to run faster in tablet mode. Maybe if I hadn’t upgraded laptops within the past five years, I would be more tolerant of the Nextbook’s speed in laptop mode. But that’s a big if. As I’ve been told many times, I need to just slow down, take a deep breath, and enjoy the moment. Nextbook owners will have time for that.