Byte Me Article 433 – Expensive Toys

Craptops Creating Concerns
Computer-Manufacturing Industry Needs Standards

This week we were again brought a myriad of devices that needed speeding up.  Out of approximately 10 devices we were able to significantly speed up 5 of them with the fitting of solid-state drives (SSD’s) – but the rest were no go.  So why were they no go?  Two of them were over 7 years old and were becoming unreliable however the remaining 3 were near new!

So why couldn’t we speed up 3 computers that were near brand new?  Unfortunately they were budget devices that will never perform.  One was an Ollee 14” laptop which was less than a month old.  It tries to run Windows 10 with an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 (with a benchmark of 1274, 4GB of Ram & a 64GB non-replaceable eMMC.  This device cost its unsuspecting owner $348 hard earned dollars.

You are correct that $348 is not a lot of money for a laptop – however it is still a lot of money to throw away.  Had its dismal performance been liked to that of a new car then it would never pass compliance.  We would be talking about a vehicle that would not reach 60km/h and would not pass standard braking and cornering tests!  Why our industry does not have some more controls or performance standards I do not know.

The other 2 devices were also craptops that do not deserve the laptop label.  One was a HP Stream with an Intel Celeron (benchmarked at 1436), 4GB Ram & a non-replaceable 32GB eMMC!  The other was an Acer Swift which is anything but!  It also has similar specs to the others.  We looked at these devices and relayed the bad news to the owners.  There is no point in us sugar coating the facts and trying to charge for a slight performance increase.

You see even if we dejunkified them, optimised Windows 10 for better performance, removed all unnecessary start-up software and trimmed the eMMC we might gain a 30% performance increase.  However 30% better than real slow is still real slow, so again why sugar coat it – these devices are nothing more than expensive toys that you would give to kids that you don’t like.

The CPU’s in these models cannot be upgraded – so while they would form the basis of a good tablet, they are way too underpowered for Windows 10.  The Ram in these devices cannot be upgraded beyond their current 4GB to get to 8GB which is the sweet spot for Windows 10.  The eMMC (embedded Multi Media Card) drive in these devices is also non-replaceable, so you are stuck with a 32GB or 64GB Windows ( C ) drive – which is not sufficient for most users.

So what can you use these devices for?  The word Frisbee comes to mind and although this activity may provide some stress relief to their owners, once again their relative performance would be dismal compared to a proper Frisbee.  Please read the following carefully – these units are useless for ANY application and should not be manufactured or allowed to be sold.

I can find these models still for sale and when I read the advertising rubbish phrases like hassle-free, versatile, suitable for day-to-day use, excellent system performance, manage various daily tasks at once, sleek design, run applications simultaneously – what a lot of false advertising waffle.

An unsuspecting buyer could easily be misled into thinking that these devices may actually work, however the cold reality is that these devices should not be allowed on the market and are a total waste of money. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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