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[Canada Computers] [Canada Computers]/$200/13.3 FHD(1920x1080)/N3450/4GB RAM/32GB SSD/the Poor-man's XPS 13

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 10th, 2019 4:00 pm
Jr. Member
May 19, 2017
137 posts
99 upvotes
So I got mine today, still updating windows 10. Havent touched TDP yet but I have to say i am VERY pleased with what I got for $199. Possibly best $200 i have spent. Body is straight up a macbook air with slight changes. Great feeling trackpad, decent keyboard with good travel and feel. Webcam is about the same quality as a macbook air. So, usable. Screen is very nice, backlight could be stronger but it's not so dim to be a problem. Speakers are bare minimum but they work. Battery seems decent as well. Hinge is very macbook esque as well. The power adapter is pretty much hot garbage though.

I would still buy at the new $249 price (even full price of $299 is cheaper than comparable specs) but you arent matching this $199 deal any time soon. Kudos to OP
Deal Addict
Mar 22, 2004
2322 posts
128 upvotes
TheRealSwatson wrote:
Dec 1st, 2018 5:04 pm
So I got mine today, still updating windows 10.
Is the RAM upgradable?
Jr. Member
May 19, 2017
137 posts
99 upvotes
NetAnt wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2018 9:48 am
Is the RAM upgradable?
No unfortunately, it's soldered. The American version of this uses two 3GB soldered dies. I was hoping they would at least have two 2GB dies if it was soldered but it's just one 4GB die so it's single channel only. This technically limits performance a bit but you have to remember this is an Atom quad core basically.

The manufacturer is listed as Canada Computers directly. I was able to increase TDP to 15watts from 6 watts but it's mostly useful for getting the GPU to clock up and stay there. Added some thermal paste and a thermal pad to help with this. The heatsink screws are too weak, I broke 2 of 4 just by overtightening and I was being very careful after the first one broke, but mounting pressure seems to be more than adequate as I can run prime 95 or games that take the cpu to 14-15W and stay under 75C
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 6, 2013
3208 posts
3405 upvotes
I don't have the laptop yet, a couple of questions:
  1. who performed the delivery? were you at home? did they require a signature?
  2. how much can it do without overclocking? twitch streaming at 480? hearthstone in windowed model at low quality?
  3. what is the physical address of the manufacture?
Bitcoin will crash hard.
Jr. Member
May 19, 2017
137 posts
99 upvotes
1. I picked it up at Canada Computers store
2. it's pretty low power but I didnt do too much before unlocking power limit. twitch at 720p not 60fps should be ok. hearthstone at 720p will be ok too i think but i havent tested at stock. Watching without twitch chat helps a lot, if it's a busy stream the chat actually runs the CPU hard.
3. don't know but it would be in china.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 6, 2013
3208 posts
3405 upvotes
TheRealSwatson wrote:
Dec 1st, 2018 5:04 pm
So I got mine today, still updating windows 10. Havent touched TDP yet but I have to say i am VERY pleased with what I got for $199. Possibly best $200 i have spent. Body is straight up a macbook air with slight changes. Great feeling trackpad, decent keyboard with good travel and feel. Webcam is about the same quality as a macbook air. So, usable. Screen is very nice, backlight could be stronger but it's not so dim to be a problem. Speakers are bare minimum but they work. Battery seems decent as well. Hinge is very macbook esque as well. The power adapter is pretty much hot garbage though.

I would still buy at the new $249 price (even full price of $299 is cheaper than comparable specs) but you arent matching this $199 deal any time soon. Kudos to OP
the way i look at this machine is that, as long as the build quality is decent, it is a MUCH better deal than this

lenovo-yoga-a12-12-2-touchscreen-intel- ... #p29491014

and based on your review, the build quality is decent.

can't wait to get mine!
TheRealSwatson wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2018 1:30 pm
Watching without twitch chat helps a lot, if it's a busy stream the chat actually runs the CPU hard.
Wow, didn't know I could do that. Thanks bro!
Bitcoin will crash hard.
Newbie
Jun 6, 2016
21 posts
4 upvotes
Very first impression : form factor is indeed fantastic with nice metal cover minus the ugly ismart logo. But a least it’s not on the front bezel like the vivo that I got ealier.
Linux that worked with the vivo does not boot from usb even after playing with a few bios configs.. hope to be be able to get it work as it could give a bit more breathing room..

Screen is somewhat cheap, I dont remember having had a device with that much light bleeding, just for that the vivo is well worth the premium in $$$

Still could be just perfect for my first intended usage, note taking and just playing around.

Still, impressed by what they can offer at such low cost.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 6, 2013
3208 posts
3405 upvotes
pouletdeboeufvege wrote:
Dec 5th, 2018 11:59 pm
It looks like there is a ssd slot, does it work?
It does according to
LittleStone wrote:
Nov 30th, 2018 6:34 pm
I'm using the even lower spec N3350 14" version. These are basically Canada Computers' rebranded Jumper Ezbook. There's m.2 (no nvme, Sara mode only). A cheapo SSD makes this usable for web browsing and light office work. I use it to watch live streaming. Speakers and webcam suck, but it's expected.

I'm still trying to get Chromium OS to work. Cloudready mostly function but touchpad doesn't work. Ubuntu is working fine even with touchpad.
Bitcoin will crash hard.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jun 6, 2013
3208 posts
3405 upvotes
I posted a review, i actually forgot that this isn't from bauersystems lol, but here it is:
Glancealot wrote:
Dec 9th, 2018 4:15 pm
I am here to provide a review of the latest machine I bought: iSmart SMTB4100.

Fedex delivery, required signature, well packaged.

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The CPU N3450, as expected, is relatively weak, 4GB single channel ram is decent and is definitely not the bottleneck of performance (the bottleneck is the CPU), SSD is quite sub-par as it's eMMC, benchmark shows that this machine is close to the bottom 1/7 of all laptops (14% percentile), here are the results from two separate runs:

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here is the link to one of these runs:

https://www.passmark.com/baselines/V9/d ... 2348419865

The disk size of 32GB (or, 29GB) actually doesn't bother me at all. It is more than enough for me:

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as you can see, with the newest version of windows 10 (10.0.17763.168), after installing the following: Chrome, Hearthstone, hearthstone tracker, Microsoft office (Excel, Word, power point), Adobe Acrobat Professional 11, Sogou input, I still have well over 6GB of space left. Therefore, even though it has an mSATA slot, I won't be expanding its storage.

The battery life is quite decent. Under power plan "high performance", with unlocked CPU wattage, playing youtube video at 1080, it can last around 4+ hours. I am sure if you turned on battery saver and put the cpu power limit back to 6 Watt, it should be able to last 6+ hours easily.

The FHD 1920*1080 resolution is nice.

Despite the somewhat inferior specs, the machine has a very thin yet sturdy and premium feel full metal body, even the track pad is metal. The build quality is basically similar to a macbook air or a dell xps 13.

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the description of "12.9mm thin" isn't a lie and that actually accounts for the rubber feet!

it has a micro-hdmi, and I have no problem streaming movies onto my FHD TV (somehow I have a micro-hdmi to hdmi cable that connects this laptop to my TV)

Things I learnt from buying and setting up this machine:

1, Windows 10 rocks. it is much smaller compared to Windows 7 in size and it finds all of the drivers for you, you just need to try your best to get used to it and learn where everything is.

2, best way to fully utilize windows 10 is to always do a fresh installation on your new laptop with the most up-to-date windows 10 installation media, this will save your laptop from having to update its stock windows 10 through microsoft update. unlike windows 7, where the ISO doesn't really change anymore. for windows 10, the installation media you create is always the latest version, in my case, version 1809.

3, don't install snappy driver under windows 10, there is no need and it might force you to do a fresh install of windows 10

4, don't try to install windows 7 onto these machines with eMMC flash and only usb-3 ports, it's just not worth the hassle. windows 10 is almost strictly better than windows 7 anyway. i used to be a windows 7 believer, but i have seen the light!

5, N3450 and 4 GB of ram is actually sufficient for light gaming, surfing and streaming under windows 10, which is the OS that N3450 is designed for, you just need to make sure that you follow this page:

https://www.askvg.com/master-tutorial-t ... uper-fast/

it is a bit of work, but it's worth it.

6, it boots (cold boot) up in seconds. when I am playing hearthstone or watching twitch, i actually don't notice any difference between this machine and my i7-6700HQ + 16GB ram dell inspiron 15! amazing purchase for $215 all in, best value laptop i have owned.
Bitcoin will crash hard.
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2004
2706 posts
404 upvotes
Toronto
pouletdeboeufvege wrote:
Dec 5th, 2018 10:44 pm
Linux that worked with the vivo does not boot from usb even after playing with a few bios configs.. hope to be be able to get it work as it could give a bit more breathing room..
I have an Acer Spin 1 (also tasty and cheap from CC) and had trouble getting it to boot from a Fedora Linux live/installation USB stick. I managed to get it to boot from an external USB DVD reader plus the very same Fedora image on a DVD. It seems that the firmware doesn't know all the ways that it should try booting from a USB stick. If you google, you will see that Linuxium has a way of changing the USB stick that would probably make it bootable. I didn't want to do that because I wanted to retain Secure Boot and thought his hack might break that.

I don't know that your problem is the same, but it seems likely.
Newbie
Jun 6, 2016
21 posts
4 upvotes
I’m not sure, I think it was related to UEFI, I had to use a special version of linux usb creator.

I ended messing things up and having ubuntu installing grub on the EMMC drive.
Bios is quite comprehensive, there is a « linux os » option hidden somewhere but found no manual that really explains what does what but in the end I was able to boot linux from usb key, t5 external and internal ssd.

I’ll probably keep linux on it, but I think that drag and drop using the touch pad is not working well.
Member
Jun 21, 2008
419 posts
98 upvotes
mississauga
gyong3 wrote:
Nov 30th, 2018 5:27 pm
I find the worst problem of these no name brand notebook is their keyboard. They flex a lot. Not to mention their less than par build quality...
i'm pretty happy with mine, no flex at all, build quality seems solid so far
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 14, 2003
2030 posts
45 upvotes
Hey everyone, confirming this needs an m2 nvme, yes? I see it has M keying not M+B

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