Cube i7 Book: Unboxing & First Impressions
The Cube i7 Book is the late 2016 successor to the Cube i7 Stylus, a previously well built tablet from Cube with single position keyboard dock. The new Cube i7 Book now has a full hinged removable keyboard that goes from closed to full yoga style tent mode, and supports flipping 180 degrees as well to keep the keyboard with you in tablet mode. The i7 Book comes with the 6th Gen Skylake Core M3-6Y30 processor and the standard for late 4GB of RAM and 64GB of M2 SSD storage. To help compensate the power needed by the Core M3 processor the battery is a 9000 mAh capacity, which should grant 5-6 hours of average usage. Finally, while the tablet ships with a rather flimsy DC wall charger, it does include a USB-C port for both video, data and charging capacity. The only caveat to the charging via USB-C being finding the “right” wall plug (a quick google search) as loads of plugs only offer 2-2.4v, and it appears the minimum is a 3.0v adapter.
Specs in Review:
- Processor: Core M3-6Y30 – 0.9 GHz Dual Core
- Ram: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB
- External Memory: Up to 128 GB Micro-SD
- Network: WiFi a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth: 4.0
- Screen: 10.6′′ – 1920 x 1080p – 10 Point IPS
- Keyboard: Magnetic Dock Connector, Full 360 Degree options
- Battery Capacity: 9000 mAh (via two 4500 mAh cells)
- Weight: 0.72 kg
Following unboxing the tablet and producing the associated video, here is what I think so far...
- Core M3 processor is snappy, especially given the majority of sub-$600 tablets are running lower Atom processors, although I’ll need to compare this against the Chuwi Hi13 that I’m expecting to ship soon with the newer N3450 processor.
- The 1080p screen is crisp and bright with excellent brightness, most of my usage so far is at 25%, which should be great for battery life.
- Overall build quality is excellent, the tablet and keyboard are both very solid feeling with no flex or bounce and good keyboard key travel.
- Very strong hinge for the keyboard dock, can’t open with one hand, but also holds any position needed.
- The extra regular USB 3.0 ports on the keyboard dock add a lot of flexibility.
- Good thermals in daily usage, but in the heavy usage Minecraft test in my video the top-left back of the tablet was very
- A quick google search shows a few different mild to aggressive thermal mods for the heat issue, if your comfortable cracking open this tablet.
So far, I’m more impressed with this tablet than I expected, as it’s one of my first forays into the Chinese and lower priced tablet market. It’s solid, runs well, and feels easy to carry around. Given it has the full keyboard dock, it’s heavier than your average iPad or Android Tablet, but it’s a full Windows 10 system with loads of flexible use options. I’ll run around with this tablet for a week or so before composing a full review!
Update from March 2023 – This cheap laptop has turned out to be amazingly well built. After I shifted to Linux, away from Windows, this system continued to be a test bed and daily driver for various Linux distro’s, travelled with me to the arctic and everywhere else. While my main system now is my iPad Pro, I still have this machine around with Fedora Linux on it for when I need, and it still performs amazing thanks to it having that M3 processor vs. The N3000 and N4000 celerons that were popular at this time for small cheap systems.