Alldocube i7Book review: an affordable laptop powered by Intel i7 CPU

Jupit3r

Senior Member
Aug 27, 2011
378
151
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The good
Decent performance.
Licensed Windows 10 Home.
Comfortable keyboard and high-quality touchpad.
Solid battery life.


The bad
No fingerprint reader.
No backlight for the keyboard.
Slow SATA SSD.


The Ultrabook market is ultra-competitive, as many respected PC brands all see this as a highly lucrative sector. This market section doesn’t really seem like the ideal playground for Alldocube, a Chinese brand mainly known for their affordable Android tablets, to enter. While Alldocube isn’t a total newbie in the PC industry, as they have release many low-cost Windows convertibles and laptops in the past, but all of their PCs were powered by Atom, Celeron, or Core M CPUs, never the high-end i-series SoC.. That’s why the newly released Alldocube i7Book, which comes with an Intel i7-6660U CPU and a $479.99 price tag, could be exciting.

Main Specs of the Alldocube i7Book
OS: Licensed Windows 10 Home
CPU: Intel Core i7-6660 dual-core CPU (2.4GHz-3.4GHz)
Graphics: Iris Graphics 540
RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM
Screen: 14.1-inch IPS (1920*1080px)
Storage: 256GB M2. SSD (SATA Standard)
Ports: 3 x USB 3.0 Type A, 1 x USB 3.0 Type-C, 1 x 3.5mm audio jack, 1 x HDMI 1.4 port, 1 x 3.5mm DC port.
Connectivity: 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
Camera: 2MP front-facing webcam
Weight: 1.35kg
Size: 322*212*16.1mm (W x D x H)
Battery: 11.4V-4500mAh (51.3Wh)


Variants, price and availability



If you are constantly bothered by the many variants of a certain model, good news here: the Alldocube i7Book comes with only one configuration. The model features a 14.1-inch FHD IPS display, an Intel Core i7-6660U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD.

The laptop is priced at $479.99 and you can buy it on Banggood.com.


Retail Package



The retail package of the i7Book doesn’t stray too far from that of other Ultrabooks. Inside the box you get a KBook laptop, a power adaptor, and a user manual.

The provided 57-watt (19V-3A) power adaptor looks extremely old and bulky by 2020 standards. But fortunately, this laptop supports PD fast-charging through its type-C port. That means you can use a much more portable PD charger as its power supply. Many of the mainstream smartphones now come with 50W-65W PD-compatible chargers, which can also be used as the i7Book’s power adaptor. We are currently using the Xiaomi 10’s 65W charger with the i7Book, and it works like a charm.


Design and Build



You probably won’t have too many complaints – or accolades – about the aesthetics of the i7Book. There’s nothing wrong with the look, exactly, at least in our very typical silver color scheme. The Alldocube logo on the lid is the only real adornment, and otherwise, this is a very simply designed laptop.



The chassis of the i7Book is made of aluminum, with sand-blasting process on top. The material used here is not particularly high-quality, and even felt like plastic when we first laid hands on it. In comparison, last year’s KBook looks like a more premium device. However, the chassis of the i7Book still succinctly avoids any sharp edges or flexible structures, as these things should.



Opening it up reveals a spacious keyboard which, unfortunately, isn’t back-lit. It’s a typical island keyboard with black keys and white letters.



The feel of the keys is a little shallow, but they still press with a snappy click and that makes for a precise feel. I managed to reach my top typing speed in just a few hours’ time.



The touchpad is also very good, with plenty of size, a comfortable plastic surface, and buttons that aren’t too loud. It’s also a Microsoft Precision touchpad, meaning it provides excellent support for Windows 10’s multitouch gestures. It’s easily the equal of laptops costing a hundred dollars more.

In terms of input, that’s all you get, though. There’s no touchscreen, which is par for the budget course, and there’s no Windows 10 Hello mechanism for password-less login. That’s a bummer, but again, you must give up something to bring in a laptop at this price point.



The bezels around the 14.1-inch screen are relatively small, especially on the top, left and right. The chin is a little bigger than the one on the Huawei Matebook, with Alldocube’s branding in the middle.



Above the display there’s a 2 mega-pixel webcam. In terms of image quality, the webcam is quite basic, but it is okay for video chatting in most scenarios, just make sure there’s sufficient ambient lighting.



Unfortunately, the i7Book cannot be opened up to 180 degrees like the KBook can, the maximum angle it can open up to is approximately 135°. While this may not be a deal breaker for most consumers, it is still a little disappointing.





For an Ultrabook which focuses on thinness, the Alldocube i7Book still offers a healthy combination of I/O. The left side plays host to a DC charging port, a multi-function USB-C port which support not only PD fast charging, but also DP video output and USB 3.0-standard data transmission, an HDMI 1.4 port, and a USB 3.0 port. On the right you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack, two USB 3.0 ports, and a MicroSD card slot.



The i7Book measures 322*212*16.1mm, and weighs 1.35kg, quite compact for a laptop this size. The build quality is okay, but nothing to write home about. It’s not hard to tell that the i7Book is somewhat below the quality of the HP Elitebook 745G and Huawei Matebook 13, mainly due to the material used for the chassis. Even last year’s Alldocube KBook feels a little more robust and better built, as its case feels sturdier with less flex. However, the i7Book still doesn’t feel cheap, it just lacks the premium feel of a high-end model, which it isn’t.


Average display, but competent sound



The Alldocube i7Book rocks a 14.1-inch IPS display at the resolution of 1920*1080p. Pixel density is 157PPI. This display isn’t particularly sharp, the colors are a little bit muted, as well. It’s easy for us to notice the differences when placing the i7Book next to the Huawei Matebook 13, and Alldocube’s very own KBook, which sports a vibrant 3K display.

The brightness of this panel isn’t good, either. While it is generally good enough for indoor use, but when I brought the laptop to my office desk near an open window, where direct sunlight could shine on the screen, it was a little challenging for me to see the content even at maximum brightness.

The i7Book features stereo BOX speakers. Audio from these built-in speakers is surprisingly good, with plenty of volume without any distortion when turned all the way up. Mids and highs are strong, and there is even a hint of bass. You could easily binge YouTube using these speakers, although music and movies would definitely benefit from a good pair of headphones or external speakers. Again, this is a great result for such an inexpensive machine.


A clean version of Windows 10



The laptop runs on licensed Windows 10 Home out of the box, so it is able to run all applications like any other regular Windows PC. Fortunately, there’s no bloatware of any kind, you can easily install apps from Microsoft Store or other third-party sources.


Performance that matches the hardware



The Alldocube i7Book was powered by an Intel Core i7-6660U processor, which includes a dual-core CPU clocked at 2.4GHz, but can turbo up to 3.4GHz, and an Intel Iris Graphics 540 GPU. When you see the word “Core i7”, you would probably think this is an absolute powerhouse. Well, it might be true a few years ago, as this chipset was released in 2016, but things are different now. This Skylake i7 CPU won’t really compete with its 10th generation peers, in fact it falls short even in comparison with the 8th generation low-voltage Core i5 SoC. Yet it should still offer enough horsepower for normal day-to-day tasks in 2020. When coupled with 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD storage, we’re curious to see how the i7Book could perform.

Benchmarks





Looking at the Cinebench R20 CPU benchmark, the i7Book scored 700. Interestingly, that falls behind the HP Elitebook 745G, which features an AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 2500U, and only beats the i3-8145U powered Huawei Matebook 13 by a small margin.





In the Fritz Chess benchmark, the i7Book notched 6317, which is a huge improvement from last year’s Alldocube Kbook, but is still lower than the score of the Huawei Matebook 13.





The PCMark 8 Home and Work Accelerated tests are designed to measure the performance of a system by simulating basic everyday computing tasks. The i7Book scored 3123 in Home Accelerated, and 4098 in Work accelerated. While these weren’t impressive numbers, they were still much higher than the scores of the Microsoft Surface Go 2, which is powered by an Intel Core M3-8100Y processor.





Without discrete graphics, it’s not hard to see that this laptop isn’t built for intense 3D gaming. We did run a few tests in the 3DMark, though, to see how the i7Book would perform. As expected, it wasn’t that great. The laptop scored 5033 in Night Raid, 4273 in Sky Diver, and 1181 in Fire Strike. In the more demanding Time Spy test, the Alldocube i7Book was returned a score of 473.

Real Life performance



In the real-world use, we get more than enough power for average computer tasks like Word processing, spreadsheets and email, and it won't get bogged down if you have a dozen tabs open in Chrome with some other applications running in the background.



Streaming video and music are no problem either, since I could play all the 4K videos in my mobile drive and even stream 8K YouTube videos in Chrome smoothly.



Heavier apps such as the Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom also work nicely, and I am not talking about just casual photo and video editing, you can even add quite a few layers and filters without experiencing stutters and delays.



In our PowerDirector test that encodes a 330MB video to H.265, the i7Book took 19 minutes to finish the production, that is significantly slower when compared to the Beelink Kaby G mini PC, which rocks an Intel Core i7-8709 processor and only took 8 minutes to finish the same task.





The 256GB SSD in the i7Book is of SATA3 standard, instead of the more celebrated NVME. That’s easily predictable for such a low-cost laptop. The performance is okay, though, as any SSD is, but if you have to compare it to NVME standard SSD used in high-end laptops, you will be disappointed. In the CrystalDiskMark test, it scored 541 megabytes per second (MB/s) in the read test and 439 MB/s second in the write test.



As mentioned earlier, the i7Book is not designed to be a gaming PC. When we tried to run Fortnite, our experience was quite disappointing. The i7Book managed a paltry 8 frames per second (FPS) at 1080p and High graphics settings, and just 5 FPS at Epic settings. Other graphics-intense games such as Crysis 3, Less demanding titles such as League of Legend, CS:GO did run smoothly on the i7Book, but there could be some frameskip in certain scenarios if you set the graphics to the highest.

When it comes to games installed from Microsoft Store, the story is completely different. The i7Book had no problem running the most graphic-intense games at maximum settings. We tired Asphalt 9:Legend, Modern Combat 5: eSports FPS and World of Wsrships, all of them ran smoothly on this laptop.


Battery Life



Alldocube packed in 51.3 watt-hours of battery into the i7Book. That’s not bad for a 14.1-inch Full HD display, but there is a power-hungry 6th Gen i7 CPU under the hood. And given the fact that Alldocube’s earlier models all disappoint in this department, we were initially quite skeptical. As it turns out, we were pleasantly surprised by the i7Book’s longevity.



In our video test that loops a local 1080P movie until the battery ran out, the Alldocube i7Book lasted for 8 hours and 31 minutes. That’s a decent score that bests most of the other models you can find in the same price range, and easily blow last year’s Kbook out of the water.

Also, in our most demanding Basemark web benchmark, the Alldocube i7Book lasted for three hours and eleven minutes. That’s not a record-breaking score, but it’s solid for the battery capacity and display size. The Huawei Matebook 13, for example, only managed around two and a half hours, while the HP Elitebook 745G only lasted 20 minutes longer than the i7Book did.

The i7Book isn’t the thinnest or lightest 14.1-inch Ultrabook around, that much is clear. But for a typical productivity worker, there’s a very good chance that you’ll be able to get in a full working day without carrying around a power adapter, and that’s quite something.


Connectivity

The Alldocube i7Book offers three USB Type-A ports, a type-C port and a MicroSD card slot. That means you will have no problem mounting multiple external storage devices and a mouse.

This laptop supports 5GHz/2.4GHz dual-band WiFi, but not the latest WiFi 6, which is somewhat disappointing for a laptop released in 2020. Reception is solid, though, as we didn’t experience any issues streaming 4K videos 10 meters and a wall way from the router. There is also Bluetooth 4.2 on board for connecting with wireless input devices, Bluetooth speakers and headphones. It would have been nice to see Bluetooth 5.0 instead of 4.2, but that’s not going to add much the overall experience.


Verdict

The Alldocube i7Book is priced at $479.99, and it’s probably the cheapest Core i7 powered laptop you can buy right now. But you have to fall within its niche to consider it, and that means being someone who’s looking for a well-priced mid-sized laptop with a matte non-touch screen, the power to handle everyday activities and a big enough battery to run for 6-8 hours unplugged. On top of those, the i7Book is also a well-built device with appealing simplistic design and a decent keyboard/trackpad. On the other hand, you’ll have to live with the rather mediocre screen and, no fingerprint reader, but this aside there’s not that much to complain about here.
 
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