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Arka Book Review | Trusted Reviews

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Arka Book


Verdict

The Arka Book may be one of the most affordable laptops you can currently buy, but it’s frustratingly slow performance makes simple tasks such as opening YouTube and Google Docs a frustrating process, meaning all but the most casual web browsers are best off looking elsewhere. But with an ultra-portable design and decent display, the Arka Book still represents a decent bargain if you’re happy to stick to the basics.

Pros

  • Ridiculously cheap price
  • Small, portable design
  • Decent Full HD display
  • Plenty of ports

Cons

  • Sluggish performance is incredibly frustrating
  • Low storage capacity
  • Below average battery life

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £149.99
  • 11.6-inch Full HD display
  • Intel Celeron Dual Core
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB SSD storage
  • WIndows 10 in S mode
  • Dimensions: 282 x 195 x 18 mm
  • Weight: 1 kg

Search for a ‘budget laptop’ and you’ll likely be presented with a list of options that cost upwards of £500, which still feels excessively expensive for a device you only need for web browsing and video streaming. The Arka Book is an exception, costing an incredibly cheap £149 at launch. 

The Arka Book is a new eBay-exclusive laptop made by Tactus, running on Windows 10 in S Mode while featuring an 11.6-inch Full HD display and Chromebook-level performance. You also get a year’s subscription of Microsoft Office 365 bundled in for added value.

With no renowned manufacturer attached such as Dell, Lenovo or HP, it’s likely alarm bells are already ringing as you ask yourself, “what’s the catch?” Well, there is a catch in that the Arka Book offers one of the weakest performances available in a laptop, often leading to frustratingly sluggish loading times. 

But otherwise, this is an interesting device given it has such a low price. If you’ve got a very tight budget and only need a laptop for basic tasks, the Arka Book is still worth considering. 

Related: Best Budget Laptop

Arka Book design – A teeny-weeny laptop 

The Arka Book is a tiny laptop. While 13-inch screens are generally thought of as being the smallest option in the laptop world, Tactus has whacked on a diminutive 11.6-inch panel here. I don’t think that’s a negative though, as I still found it sizeable enough for Netflix and social media. 

If anything, the smaller size helps make it more portable, as you can stick it in a handbag or small rucksack. It’s also incredibly light at 1kg, allowing me to effortlessly pick it up with one hand. 

Arka Book

The Arka Book is largely made up of plastic, while the lid feels noticeably rubbery. It may lack the classy metal finish of more premium laptops, but the Arka Book still feels and looks far more sophisticated than the clunky plastic Chromebooks that once dominated PC World shelves. 

It’s worth noting that this laptop lacks a touchscreen and 360-hinge, and so is not a 2-in-1 device like many similarly priced Chromebooks. However, the hinge sees an alarming amount of flex when pushed back with relatively little force, which makes me worry it could be snapped off if given to an inquisitive toddler. 

Arka Book

The one area I’m really impressed with the Arka Book is its offering of ports, with 2x USB-A, micro– HDMI, USB-C, Micro SD card slot and a headphone jack all featuring. There’s unfortunately no Thunderbolt 3 support here, but that can be forgiven since the laptop’s so cheap. 

The down-firing speakers are unfortunately pretty poor, with Spotify tunes suffering a tinny quality and a screechy bass. I’d recommend donning a pair of headphones if you’re going to listen to music or stream video. 

You also get a 0.3 MP front-facing webcam, but the capture quality is really poor since it maxes out at 360p. It’s okay for video chatting with friends or family sporadically, but I wouldn’t recommend it for professional purposes.

Arka Book keyboard – Unremarkable, but gets the job done

The Arka Book keyboard is better than I expected for a device so cheap. The keys feel cheap and make a rackety noise while I’m typing, but there’s enough travel and feedback here to ensure a comfortable experience. 

Secondary functions for keys are…



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