Starmobile Engage Aura Initial Hands-on Review: A Budget Work Companion

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Starmobile announced the availability of their lightweight notebook, the Engage Aura, a few weeks back and it finally made its way to Unbox HQ. Today, we’re taking it out of its packaging and giving it a go to give you our initial impressions for this lightweight, 14-inch notebook. Before we jump in, here’s a quick look at its spec sheet.

Starmobile Engage Aura Specs

  • Intel Atom Z8350 Chipset
  • 1.9GHz Quad-core Cherry Trail Z8350 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Intel Integrated HD Graphics Gen8-LP 12EU
  • 14-inch WXGA Screen; 1366×768 resolution
  • 32GB of expandable storage (up to 64GB via MicroSD card)
  • 2-megapixel web camera, 720p @ 30fps
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x Mini HDMI
  • 9000mAh battery
  • 351 x 233 x 20mm
  • 1390 grams

What’s in the Box?

The Starmobile Engage Aura comes in a sturdy white box that shows you what the notebook looks like and, as expected from the local brand, a complete spec sheet to eliminate the need to look it up online. Lift up the top portion of the packaging and you’ll be greeted by the Engage Aura tucked in its padded partition and a box beside it that houses its compact power brick. There’s also quick start guide and warranty card, but that’s pretty much it in terms of the unboxing experience.

Apple-esque Looks, Budget Build Quality

We’ve seen lots of Macbook and Macbook Air look-alikes out in the market, and the Starmobile Engage Aura definitely takes after the notebooks from the Cupertino based company. The key difference, of course, is the material Starmobile has chosen to keep costs down — plastic; though you can mistake it for a machine-milled aluminum unibody build at a glance and perhaps even fool onlookers if it weren’t for the Starmobile branding on the bottom left-hand side of the lid.

It’s more of the same story once you open it up. The screen, trackpad, and keyboard have definitely been laid out almost identical to Apple offerings; even the camera placement is the same. This means that if you’ve been or have used an Apple keyboard, it should feel very familiar. Since the laptop is made of plastic though, we did feel a bit of play when typing. You may want to refrain from engaging in social media flame wars on this laptop at the risk of damaging the keyboard and we definitely recommend investing in a padded sleeve before throwing this into bag.

Let’s take a tour around the notebook to see its connectivity options. On the left side, you’ll see a 2-in-1 audio port and the Engage Aura’s USB 2.0 port. On the right are the port for power, USB 3.0 port, Mini HDMI Port, and the MicroSD expansion bay.

The Starmobile Engage Aura runs on Windows 10 and is equipped with an Intel Atom Z8350 Chipset; a 1.9GHz quad-core Cherry Trail Z8350 processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics. This is paired off with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which you can expand upon with the aforementioned MicroSD card slot. While the spec sheet may not leave you ooh-ing and ahh-ing, it’s definitely capable of handling burning the candle at both ends as you work, when your kids have to write school papers, or churning out articles on-the-go like we do. In fact, we are using the Starmobile Engage Aura to write up this article.

If you do need a break from the grind, the 14-inch display also does a decent job for watching movies, episodes from your favorite TV series, or one of the videos from our YouTube channel. Sound through the built-in speakers can be a bit tinny though.

Powering the device is a 9000mAh battery that’s rated to last though 7 hours of video playback and 210 hours of standby time, but we’ll see how it stands up to real world use.

That’s pretty much it for it for our unboxing and initial review for the Starmoble Engage Aura. We’ll be taking it around with us to see what it’s really made of, so do check back for its full review. The Starmobile Engage Aura is currently available at Lazada for Php 7,990, but its regular price is Php 10,990. The unit we have with us is also a limited edition, gold variant of the Engage Aura that runs for Php 9,990 at Starmobile stores and kiosks.

(unbox.ph, https://goo.gl/kPDSiO)

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