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Gadget comparison: Xolo Chromebook vs Nexian Chromebook

Nexian and Xolo seem to have opened up a  new segment for Google’s infamous Chromebooks, but do these budget devices available within 13K deserve your attention? Hassan M Kamal finds out

Xolo Chromebook
Design: The Xolo Chromebook is a mixed bag of good and bad design statements. It starts well with the exterior shell — the matte finish and sleek edges evoke a premium feel to it — but the interiors (the keyboard base) in spite of a glass-like finish is a bit disappointing. We feel, it was done purposely to help one visually identify the keyboard. However, the sleek edges draw attention from onlookers.
Rating: 7/10

Xolo Chromebook

Display: The Xolo Chromebook gets a 11.6-inch TFT display with a resolution of 1368x768. The viewing angles are limited, and the colours are a tad washed out during video playback, but it’s sufficient to fulfill most needs. We recommend video
playback at maximum brightness for optimal results.
Rating: 7/10

Hardware: The Xolo Chromebook is powered by Rockchip RK3288 SoC featuring Quad-Core Cortex-A17 processors upto 1.8GHz and 2GB RAM. The CPU performs well in most tasks including browsing as well as photo editing. The device plays HD (720p) and Full HD (1080p) videos with ease too, though we aren’t quite satisfied with the colours. The built-in storage is a 16GB EMMC, out of which nearly 9.1 GB is available for local storage. Though, you can’t store all files in the Chromebook, it should suffice most of your needs. There’s a MicroSD card slot (upto 32GB) for those wanting to expand the internal storage. The  4,200 mAh battery lasts a good nine hours. As for connectivity, it comes with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, HDMI, two USB 2.0 ports. The speakers are a bit disappointing as the sound output is very low, thus also limiting its usage for video chats. The 1MP front camera works well only in well-lit environments. It weighs heavy nearly 1.2kg for 11.6-inch laptop.
Rating: 8/10

Keyboard: One of the main reasons behind opting for a laptop is the keyboard, unfortunately, Xolo does a bad job of meeting that need. Not only are the keys difficult to navigate through, but they often get stuck in their positions, making typing a painful experience. Besides, the Chrome OS keyboard is different, hence requires a bit of practice. Knowledge of common Chrome OS short keys comes handy.
Rating: 4/10

Overall rating: 6/10
Specifications

DISPLAY: 11.6-inch TFT LCD 1368x768
PROCESSOR: Rockchip RK3288 SoC with 1.8 GHz Quad-Core Cortex-A17; ARM Mali-T764 GPU
MEMORY: 2GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB EMMC (internal), external storage expandable up to 32GB MicroSD
CAMERA: 1MP front 1280x720
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out, 3.5mm audio jack
OS: Chrome OS
Design: Matte finish plain exterior; available only in black
Price: Rs 12,999

OUR VERDICT
ON THE CHROMEBOOKS:
Both devices pack the same set of hardware and software, offer nine hours run on battery, play HD videos with ease and are also priced same at R12,999. But if it comes to choosing between the two we would place our money on the Nexian (despite its bulky appearance) because of it’s better-quality keyboard and larger external storage support. Skip the Xolo until it replaces its keyboard.

Nexian Chromebook
Design: The Nexian has also tried to woo buyers using its imagination on the outer shell, but it remains true to its price tag offering a leather-like texture running along the length of  bulky outer shell with round edges. Unlike the Xolo, the Nexian Chromebook seems more trustworthy despite its flaws.
Rating: 6/10

Nexian Chromebook

Display: The display is similar as seen in the Xolo Chromebook — 1368x768 TFT display — with limited viewing angles. The colours also appear a bit washed out during video playback, but it’s sufficient to meet most of your usage requirements. Video playback is recommended at maximum brightness settings.
Rating: 7/10

Hardware: The Nexian Chromebook features 1.8GHz Cortex A-17 quad core processor  with ARM Mali-T764 GPU Graphics (same as the Xolo Chromebook), and features 2GB DDR3 RAM. The CPU, here too, does well in terms of performance. Video playback is also smooth; the Nexian gave more than satisfactory results in both HD (720p) and Full HD (1080p) video playback tests. However, like the Xolo Chromebook, the colours are a bit faded (mostly due to the poor display). The Nexian Chromebook gets 16GB built-in storage, of which nearly 9.6 GB is available for local storage. The device, however, gets a 4-in-1 memory card slot (unlike the micro SD card slot in Xolo Chromebook) and can support up to 64GB, double of what Xolo offers. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, two USB ports and one HDMI port. No LAN port, though. The Nexian too is powered by a 4,200 mAh battery offering an equal nine hours on a single recharge. The speakers, however, do a relatively better job but nothing great. The 1MP front camera is suited mostly for well-lit environments. The Nexian Chromebook weighs heavier at 1.5kg.
Rating: 8/10

Keyboard: The biggest advantage that the Nexian has, is its keyboard. The keys are smooth, though not as soft as we would have liked, but better than what we saw in the Xolo Chromebook. The keys allow for smooth travel, aiding in overall typing speed. The keys, however, still raise concern about their longevity.
Rating: 8/10

Overall rating: 7.2/10
Specifications
DISPLAY: 11.6-inch TFT LCD1368x768
PROCESSOR: Unnamed Soc with 1.8 GHz Quad-Core Cortex-A17 processors; ARM Mali-T764 GPU
MEMORY: 2GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB EMMC (internal), external storage expandable up to 64GB via 4-in-1 card reader
CAMERA: 1MP front 1280x720
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out, 3.5mm audio jack
OS: Chrome OS
Design: Matte finish textured exterior; available only in white
Price: Rs 12,999

OUR VERDICT
ON THE CHROME OS:  A fast boot-up time (less than 10 seconds) means it’s always ready. However, new users will require some time to understand the ways of the Chrome OS, and find the right apps and plug-ins. The app repository is impressive and include several offline apps and utility tools to help mange your daily tasks. If you spend most of your time online and rely mostly on Google Apps, you will be hooked to the Chromebook. 

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