Linx 7 Review

on Thursday, December 18, 2014
This year we have seen prices of Windows tablets drop and drop as Microsoft push lower spec devices and lower licence costs so OEMs can make tablets that can compete with cheap Android tablets. One of the low cost tablets recent released comes in at just £79. The Linx 7 is a 7 inch Windows tablet running Windows 8.1 with Bing and has 1GB RAM, powered by an Intel Atom processor comes with a year’s Office 365. It all sounds great for £79 but how well does it actually work?

The first thing you notice about the Linx 7 is how well it fits in the hand, it has a smaller bezel then my other 7 inch tablet (Nexus 7) and is thinner, it’s a little thicker than an iPad Mini but not that much and is very combatable to hold as there are no hard edges. It is also lighter than my other tablets, in fact it feels more like a large phone and I like design. It doesn’t feel like a premium device like an iPad but it doesn’t feel cheap like many of the low cost Android tablets I have played with. On the top of the tablet is a MicroHDMI port, MicroUSB port (with adapter included), MicroSD card slot, headphone port and for some strange reason a Windows key up on the top. I am used to having the Windows key just below the screen and keep going to that location to press the Windows key, reaching up to the top for the key seems totally unnatural and very annoying. Other hardware buttons are a power button (just to the right of the Windows key) and a volume rocker. Apart from the Windows key placement I really like the form factor.
The Linx 7 has an Intel Atom quad core processor running at 1.33GHz and has just 1GB of RAM. I have used Toshiba’s Encore 8 tablet with has 2GB and I was expecting Windows to run very sluggish with 1GB but it’s actually not too bad, Windows responds very well with it. With a device like this you are not going to be installing Photoshop or Visual Studio on it, you are going to be install Windows Store apps so I tried Plex, Netflix, Twitter, Flipboard and Facebook apps and they all worked very well without any lags or slowdowns. I also tried a couple of games including FIFA 15:UT which ran fine and probably better than it runs on my Surface 2.
The screen is an 800×1280 IPS screen and very clear, it’s not as vibrant as my Encore 8 or iPad and it is a bit of a finger print magnet but perfectly useable.
Where you do notice the low cost is with the battery performance, Linx quote 4 to 5 hours battery life and I found using the tablet for the Windows app and a = dose of FIFA I got around 4 hours between charges, I guess if you just used it for light weight apps you would get better battery life and as it supports connected standby it shouldn’t lose much charge while idle but I have found the battery dropping off while not in use. As it has an Intel processor are not restricted to apps from the Windows Store, you can install what you want on it. So you could install Google Chrome or iTunes but they are not going to be that fast and I plan to keep it clean and stick to using the store apps.

The Linx comes with 32GB SSD and uses the new compressed installation of Windows introduced with Windows 8.1 Update so it gives you a little more space to play with. For example my Encore 8’s Windows folder is 9.42GB and 9.35GB on the disk whereas the Linx Windows folder is 9.89GB and 6.96 on the disk. After installing Office and some Windows app (including 3DMark and FIFA) I had 12.7GB left and with the option of adding an SD card.
Other features include 2MP front and rear cameras which would be fine for using with Skype or taking the odd picture. Actually you won’t look to silly taking a picture with the Linx due to its small(ish) size.
The other big feature with the Linx is a year’s Office 365 Personal subscription. This normally costs £60 a year and enables you to install Office on 1 PC or Mac and 1 tablet, so you can use it to install Office on the Linx (which you can easily install from the Office 365 website). Office 365 also gives you unlimited storage with OneDrive professional and 60 minutes per month of Skype to phone calling. Office actually works pretty well on the Linx, a 7 inch screen is not ideal for the creating Word documents or Powerpoint but its fine for viewing a document or amending a document in an emergency so it’s worth installing.

So does £79 really get you a useable Windows tablet? Well as ever it depends on what you want to do with it. If you want to use it to browse the web, catch up on Facebook, read email and use it as a media player it is a good device. The battery life could be an issue, it is certainly not an all-day device but for the occasional use it would be fine. My biggest issue with it is the placement of the Windows button, I can’t get used to it on the top edge. Overall I like the Linx considering its price and a year’s Office 365 subscription, it would be great for occasional use or as a kid’s first tablet. If you want to use it for long periods of time or you need a bigger screen you are going to have to look for something else. The tablet is available for £79.


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