- Cheap price
- Microsoft Office 365 and 1TB of One Drive included
- Available at most Walmart stores
- Horrible performance
- Horrible battery life
- Mediocre screen and keyboard
- Subpar Wi-Fi reliability
- No full-size USB port
If you’re looking for a last-minute gift at an affordable price then you might be tempted to run into a local Walmart and pick up the E FUN Nextbook 10.1 Windows 8.1 2-in-1 laptop and tablet. Assuming you’re in a rush trying to find just the right last-minute gift, let’s cut to the case: You should only buy this 2-in-1 if you don’t have the money for another Windows PC or you know the device will only be used to check email and a few websites.
Keep reading to find out why we aren’t very enthusiastic about this tablet posing as a laptop.
This 10.1-inch tablet is built to be pretty simple with non-descript edges. The only design element that really stands out is the Nextbook logo printed on the back. E FUN deserves some credit for making the tablet portion of this 2-in-1 particularly sturdy. It honestly feels more like a ThinkPad tablet than the budget tablets from Lenovo.
On the other hand, the Nextbook is much heavier than any other 10-inch tablet or 2-in-1 that we’ve reviewed this year. We’re not completely sure where all the added weight comes from considering that there is no hard drive and no full-size ports here. We suppose that E FUN simply had to use some cheaper components that were also heavier in order to deliver a 2-in-1 priced at less than $200.
Ports and Features
Port selection on the E FUN Nextbook isn’t bad for a cheap tablet but it’s frankly laughable for a budget laptop. You get no full-size USB port on either the tablet or the keyboard and is a deal breaker for most people looking for a laptop. It’s common for most tablets to use microUSB ports, so if you are willing to live with that limitation then you’ll be happy with the single microUSB port, microHDMI, single headphone/microphone jack, microSD card slot, and dedicated AC power jack.
On that note, one of the worst design choices on the Nextbook is a dedicated jack for the power adapter. Most tablets or 2-in-1 laptops are charged via the micro USB port. The only way to charge the E FUN Nextbook is to use the dedicated charger, which has a short power cord and a thin gauge of wire leading us to believe it won’t survive serious abuse during travel. If someone trips over the power cord, they’ll probably break it.
You’ll find that the tablet itself includes a rear-facing 2-megapixel webcam and a front-facing VGA webcam. Neither of these cameras are very good and are more in line with laptop webcams from 2009 rather than 2014. The image quality is fine under extremely bright indoor lighting or outdoors with sunlight, but the webcams produce grainy images with very little detail if you don’t have perfect lighting conditions.
Display and Speakers
The 10.1-inch capacitive multi-touch display on the Nextbook has a relatively average resolution of just 1280×800 pixels. The screen is an IPS panel so the viewing angles should be good. Unfortunately, the screen coatings are rather poor and create significant glare, color distortions and reduced contrast when you view the screen from wide angles. Still, if you’re looking at the screen from straight ahead it looks good.
The speakers, as expected, are small and relatively underpowered. The audio is clear in a quiet environment, but as soon as you turn up the volume you’ll begin to hear distortion and an almost “tin can” sound. We highly recommend using headphones if you’re watching a video or listening to music on this device.
One of the ways that E FUN was able to offer a 2-in-1 for less than $200 was to essentially package a tablet with a dedicated keyboard. Most 2-in-1 laptops have keyboard docking stations that include additional ports, extra storage, or even a second battery, but the keyboard on the Nextbook is just a keyboard base with a touchpad.
The keyboard base seems to connect reasonably well via magnets. People with large hands will find the keyboard itself is too small for easy use with both hands and doesn’t feel particularly solid. Not only does the keyboard flex under heavy typing pressure, but we found that several keys would occasionally “stick” and result in extra letters appearing on the screen.
Likewise, the touchpad provides rather poor accuracy during quick movements and the left and right click surfaces don’t always register the proper click when pressed. Granted, we don’t expect great things from keyboards and touchpads in this price range, but we suspect E FUN could have done a better job with this keyboard dock.