- Sleek design
- Spacious display
- Large battery
- Middling speaker performance
- Reflective screen
Laptops are getting more powerful each and every day. Most of them are even more powerful than the other large, desktop PCs. However, there are still notebooks like the Cherry Mobile Cubix CubeBook.
Unlike the ROGs and Razer Blades, the Cubix CubeBook is a humble, ordinary day-to-day laptop. It doesn’t have a 4K screen nor a Pascal-based graphics card, but it has everything that is expected to get you go through your everyday tasks.
Is the Cubix CubeBook really good for its price? Or you’re better off saving more to get a better notebook? That’s what we’re going to find out in our full review.
Cherry Mobile Cubix CubeBook Specs
- Windows 10
- 14-inch TN display, 1366 x 768 resolution, ~157ppi
- 1.33GHz Intel Z3735F quad-core processor
- 2GB RAM
- Intel HD Graphics
- 32GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 128GB
- VGA webcam
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 1x USB port, 3.5mm headphone jack
- 10000mAh battery
Video Review of Cubix CubeBook
Design and Build Quality
Here’s the thing, you can’t really expect everything to be perfect for a laptop at this price. But still, I admire what Cherry Mobile was able to come up for such a cheap asking price. The Cherry Mobile Cubix CubeBook isn’t made of the best materials, but at least it looks good.
The device does feel a bit cheap, but it doesn’t look like it. Like what I said in our first impressions article, the CubeBook’s design kind of reminiscent to the MacBook Air. It has the curved corners at the lid, giving that pretty seamless appeal.
The base is also identical to Apple’s laptop. From the keyboard layout, up to the overall footprint. There’s a large room to rest your palm. There’s also enough space at the sides of the keyboard to house the stereo speakers. However, Cherry Mobile opted to have it placed at the bottom of the notebook, which still baffles me ’til this day. Who knows, maybe they needed it to house other components.
The speakers are situated at each side of the Cubix CubeBook. They are positioned just right at the curve so it doesn’t get muffled. Still, it would have been nice if they are placed at the top, near the keyboard, so users can fully utilize its potential.
Quality wise, the drivers delivered decent performance — again, for the price. The highs are present, but the lows/bass are kinda on the bad side. The volume is also average. It can easily fill a small room with sound, but if you’re outside, you might want to pair it with an external sound output.
Going back to the keyboard, the Cubix CubeBook sports some pretty standard chiclet keys. Each key is decently spaced from each other. They are also tactile enough, although it requires a bit of actuation force to recognize, but nothing worth worrying about. On the top of the keyboard, we see the LED indicators and two built-in microphones.
At the bottom, we have the trackpad which has a decent size and was responsive enough during my tests. It’s also compatible with the gestures present on other Windows 10 machines.
The Cubix CubeBook also comes complete will all the necessary ports. On the left side, it has the DC port for power, partnered with an LED indicator. There’s also a USB 2.0 port and-and a mini HDMI for external display. Moreover, there’s the 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card (up to 128GB), and another USB port 2.0 on the other side.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the CubeBook’s overall build and design. And for me, I honestly think it is its primary strength.
Now, this is where the Cubix CubeBook’s separation to the MacBook starts. This machine sports a 14-inch TN display, with 1366 x 768 resolution, resulting to ~157 pixels-per-inch.
As what you might expect, the screen quality of the Cubix CubeBook not the best of all. The colors are washed out, the contrast is lame — all thanks to that TN panel. Also, the glass used is a bit prone to glares and reflections, so make sure you’ve seated inside the coffee shop — away from the windows.
However, you really have to set your expectations on this one. And for its price tag, the screen still serviceable. Its 14-inch size provides a decent real estate for productivity and other day-to-day use. The resolution is also enough to make small texts readable and watching videos enjoyable.
Cherry Mobile equipped the Cubix CubeBook with decent hardware to handle day-to-day tasks and productivity. It has an Intel Z3735F quad-core processor with an Integrated Intel HD graphics inside. It also comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. It is pretty much the same setup found on other Intel-powered tablets today.
What Cherry Mobile did was to put that same tablet system in a larger, laptop form. So, with the help of an included keyboard and mouse, users can do more than swiping and tapping on basic apps.
And in that regard, I did really feel like using a normal laptop on this one — not just a 2-in-1. Browsing through Google Chrome was pretty seamless, although it did feel the pain when there were more than 4 tabs open, with the Spotify app playing in the background. Since Chrome is known for eating to much RAM, you might opt for other browsers like Microsoft Edge and Firefox.
Moreover, the internal storage also showcased decent copy and write speeds. The speedometer ticked at an average rate of 29Mbps when I transferred a video file from the PC to an external hard drive. Meanwhile, doing it vice versa was faster with an average speed of 35Mbps.
The Cubix CubeBook can also do basic photo editing. Although I wasn’t able to install Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop due to its 32-bit limitation. However, I was able to run GIMP — a FREE and lighter alternative to Photoshop.
With GIMP running on the Cherry Mobile Cubix CubeBook, I was able to do basic color correction and minor photo edits. You can clearly see the device struggle a little bit, but it can be serviceable.
The Cherry Mobile Cubix CubeBook comes with Windows 10 Home 32-bit inside. And thankfully, the company didn’t’ bombard it with bloatwares. Hence, the limited storage space is well preserved.
Upon boot, you’re left with about 18GB worth of usable storage — which is still not bad considering the size of Windows 10 itself, plus all the programs and features required to get you going.
Interface-wise, everything looks standard and ordinary. Windows 10 is one of the best to ever come out of Microsoft, and it’s evident even on this economical, dirt-cheap laptop. The trackpad gestures work well, split-screen is good, and Cortana performs admirably.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a real laptop without a crappy webcam. For this one, what we have is a VGA sensor that can shoot pictures and videos with a 640 x 480 resolution.
The images it can produce is garbage, which is really expected. Colors are lame, contrast is bad, but the exposure is slightly usable — making this decent for video calls using Skype, Facebook Messenger, etc.
There’s a 10,000mAh battery inside that’s powering this thing up. In my opinion, it is large enough for a tablet-turned-laptop like this one. In fact, it’s almost 40% better compared to previous generations.
During light to moderate usage, the machine lasted me for a two to three days. That’s when I power it up, do some casual browsing and word document for a few hours, then powering it down again.
I also did a stress test by playing a YouTube podcast in full screen, with the volume set to 60%. The CubeBook went on for around 6 hours before it went 25%.
So, is the Cherry Mobile Cubix CubeBook worthy of its price tag? Well, for as long you’re expectations are within reason, it sure is. Like I said earlier, this machine is like a powerful tablet trapped in a laptop body, and it really is.
It might not be the most powerful notebook of all, but I’m still impressed how Cherry Mobile was able to cover everything that’s needed. It appears that the Cubix CubeBook is targeted to students, or for those who are looking for a budget laptop.
The large display is perfect for running two apps side-by-side in case you’re writing a paper, with the reference displayed on the other side. Also, if you were on a tablet, you wouldn’t have an easy access to a real and physical keyboard.
And probably what struck me the most is the Cubix CubeBook’s overall design. Sure, it’s made with second-rate plastic material, but there’s something about its sleek, light, and MacBook-like aesthetics that make it really pleasing to look at.
If you’re looking for a capable laptop to spend your hard-earned money on, the Cherry Mobile Cubix CubeBook is worth checking out.