CUBE iWork8, A “1/16” Tablet, Gets A Review

A “1/16” tablet gets its name from having 1GB of RAM and 16GBs of internal storage and is applied to Windows 8 tablets that generally have seven- and eight-inch screens.

iWork8IMP3NetR001

The iWork8 from CUBE is such a tablet and is reviewed by IMP3Net [Google Translate].

Other reviews of this tablet might have appeared that I ignored. This one happened to catch my eye so I read it. It was, um, eye-opening.

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The specs: 1280 x 800 eight-inch IPS screen, 64-bit Intel Atom Bay Trail-T Z3735E CPU with a typical frequency of 1.3Ghz and an ideal peak frequency of 1.7GHz (1.5GHz in this unit), 1GB of RAM, 16GBs of internal storage, 2MP front and back cameras (yep, 2 and 2), microSD card slot, microUSB (OTG) port, miniHDMI-out, WiFi, Bluetooth, headphone jack, microphone, a dedicated AC power port, and an 18Wh (about 4,865mAh) battery. It uses the new Windows 8.1 with Bing and is 32-bit.

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Right away it’s distinguished from the Dell Venue 8 Pro by not using the microUSB port for charging. This is a significant plus because it leaves open the possibility of expanding it for desktop use by using something like the Plugable Dock.

The other notable bit is that locally this sells for 799 yuan — which is about US$128. That’s more than half the price of the Dell Venue 8 Pro and makes it one of the least-expensive entry points into a Windows 8 tablet.

Of the 1GB of RAM, 852MBs are available. Yeah, it’s tight!

As for internal storage, let me just quote the Google Translate:

Like with other Win8 tablet, IWORK8’s own stores and no further partition, in fact, no value partition part because of their own visibility is less than 10GB. Which the system occupies about 4GB, paging file (virtual memory) allocated by default 1920MB. After not installed any third-party programs, just installed a Windows update, leaving users only 3GB more, very stretched. Basically necessary software will be able to decorate it stays full, if not installed, then the process is the use of a single temporary files will gradually fill up the C drive. Therefore, it is necessary for it with a big point of TF card and try to choose high-speed card. I am using a 32GB class4 speed memory card, although part of the program can install on top, but it will seriously slow down the speed, we recommend using a high-speed card class10.

There’s no getting around the fact all of it is going to be tight — RAM and storage.

The Windows recovery partition takes up 4.88GBs and the review states that users have found this can’t be deleted without causing the tablet to stop functioning. It won’t boot.

And it can also run hot, with a portion of the back reaching a whopping 104 degrees Fahrenheit!

The reviewer went a bit mad and actually tried Photoshop CS4 on it:

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It wasn’t a satisfying experience.

That will be the case with most large apps — especially games. They’ll terminate due to insufficient RAM.

What this tablet is good for is viewing the web, watching video, and editing Office documents (although Office wasn’t specifically tested on this review unit).

Even though the screen isn’t the brightest, using it at full brightness will result in a battery life of a little over just three hours.

This isn’t a tablet that will make you go “Wow!” except for its US$128 price (likely US$160 through middlemen sellers). And I think the entire point is that low, low price.

Ramosi8Pro

Slightly higher up on the eight-inch Windows tablet food chain is the Ramos i8Pro. It has 2GBs of RAM, 32GBs of internal storage, and uses the same Atom Z3740 as the Dell Venue 8 Pro — but it also has a nearly-double price of the iWork8 at 1499 yuan locally or about US$241. But that’s no bargain. At post time, the 32GB Dell Venue 8 Pro was on sale for US$249 — and the 64GB version for US$299. Why take the risk with a Chinese tablet when one from an American company is available for nearly the same price?

So where does the iWork8 actually fit?

I see it as a Just In Case tablet. I can see someone in business toting it around in a jacket pocket Just In Case they need to reply to an email with a Word/Excel/Powerpoint attachment. Perhaps even Sysadmins will carry one Just In Case they have to access their server to bring it back online or solve another problem. So it could be considered a sort of Windows Lifeboat Tablet. I also suppose people could try putting Linux on it too. And of course, since this is Windows, it can use vlc and play any damn video format — not just the ones that iOS and Android generally limit people to out-of-the-box.

I have to admit that I’m intrigued by the price. Despite how much I loathe Windows 8, I could see possibly using this to read certain Google Books PDFs.

Now some videos.

Mobilegeeks.de trade show examination:

Chinese video of unboxing and startup:

Chinese video of gameplay with a clever Bluetooth keyboard and mouse carrying hack at the end:

CUBEiWork8GP001

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Additional:

CUBE iWork8 home page
Tmall page [Google Translate]

Previously here:

The Windows Small Tablet Flood Begins
Fondle: Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Tablet

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