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[Canada Computers] [Canada Computers]/$200/13.3 IPS FHD(1920x1080)/Fanless/N3450/4GB RAM/32GB SSD+m.2/12.9mm metal chassis/Poorman's XPS 13

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 3rd, 2019 11:15 am
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Jr. Member
Aug 31, 2010
107 posts
115 upvotes
I was curious how the iSmart SMTB4100 would perform, and I did a preliminary user and spec comparison against my wife's nearly SIX years old Samsung Series 9 13' notebook with Intel IvyBridge i5-3317U, integrated Intel HD Graphis 4000, 1600x900 resolution IPS display, 128 gb SSD, and 4gb ddr3 RAM (I don't have the iSmart SMTB4100 yet, ordered via Amazon, so expecting it first/second week of January).

iSmart specs taken from canadacomputers productpage:

https://www.canadacomputers.com/product ... _id=117289
Model EM-MA133
Type Consumer Notebook
Weight 1248g
HDMI Mini HDMI
Dimensions 318*211*12.9mm
Display Size 13.3'' FHD IPS Panel
Touch Screen no
USB USB3.0×1, USB2.0×1
Operating System Windows10
Processor Apollo Lake Celeron-N3450(Quad-Core)
Standard Memory 4GB
Display Technology 1920*1080
Graphics Gen9 LP 18EUs1
Wireless Intel Stone peak 3165 802,11ac/a/b/g/n+BT
Bluetooth YES
Card Reader Support SDHC/SDXC
Keyboard YES
Battery Lithium-ion polymer battery 7.4V/4600mAH 6-8 Hours
Storage 32GB ROM Flash
Camera Front 2MP
Speaker Built-in 8O/1W speaker x 4
Accessories UL adapter+user manual+giftbox
Color Silver
Power adapter DC, 12V/2.5A
Cortana yes, Built-in MIC*2
Hall Power APX9132ATI-TRL(option)
Due to age, they stack up to be quite similar in performance CPU-wise, slightly less powerful core performance, but better multi-threading due to multiple cores, plus less TDP:

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/I ... 4vsm208922

Graphics should be better with the Celeron N3450 in the iSmart with dx12 support and a significantly lower TDP again:

https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/comp ... 15/2vs3341

1080p IPS is a big plus in the iSmart, and 4gb RAM is still quite useable for everyday tasks, the intention for this device, I'm assuming DDR4 for more efficient heating.

The 32 gb eMMC is probably the weakest link in the iSmart, but a simple and inexpensive m.2 upgrade will solve that issue.

AC wifi is a plus in the iSmart as well.

The Samsung was bought for about $1100 CAD on sale at the time of April 2013 (CAD dollar on par with USD at time, not 1.35 CAD for every 1 USD like today plus inflation), and I had to replace the keyboard 2 years ago for $200... aside from that, runs well, battery is still quite good, user experience is fine, the wife uses it everyday.

Aside from hoping the battery will last decently for years to come, I'm pretty confident in what to expect.

So if you're wondering what the experience will be like for a $200 machine (plus a minimal SSD upgrade), take this into consideration.

Cheers everyone, and thanks again OP for the find.
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2015
1123 posts
335 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Curious to know your thoughts.

I have a 2010 macbook air 13 inch and it's still performing well till this day for normal web browsing and word processing. Can't believe it's 8 years old. Only thing is battery is wearing off.

Would this be an upgrade? Or would it essentially be the same/a side step.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 20, 2004
1656 posts
601 upvotes
Port Coquitlam, BC
I think I just picked up the last one in BC. :)
Newbie
Dec 14, 2006
28 posts
22 upvotes
mwmsnow wrote:
Dec 28th, 2018 8:23 pm
Thanks for the tip. I still had a very hard time until i searched and found out that CSM (Compatibility Support Mode) on the BIOS Advanced menu, needs to be enabled. I'm typing this from Ubuntu in "Try Out" mode launched on my iSmart. This screen is so much better than my Lenovo T420.
That made it work! I was about to rip my head off trying to figure out how to boot XUbuntu.
Newbie
Dec 14, 2006
28 posts
22 upvotes
Glancealot wrote:
Dec 29th, 2018 12:27 am
Can you take some pictures/videos/screenshots? i am curious about the performance of linux on this, is it much faster than win 10? how much free space do you have?
I installed Xubuntu 18.04 LTS on a 250GB m.2 sata WD blue that I got for $65 flawlessly; that's the only reason why I purchased this device. Everything works straight out of the box, except for touchpad physical click buttons not registering (tap to click still functions) and the finger print scanner.
Member
Jun 21, 2008
419 posts
98 upvotes
mississauga
-OY- wrote:
Dec 29th, 2018 1:50 am
I installed Xubuntu 18.04 LTS on a 250GB m.2 sata WD blue that I got for $65 flawlessly; that's the only reason why I purchased this device. Everything works straight out of the box, except for touchpad physical click buttons not registering (tap to click still functions) and the finger print scanner.
Are you using the msata drive as boot drive, if so i'll gladly get the drive as i love the ismart for microsoft office work, web browsing, premium feel, light weight and pretty zippy. I had a toshiba ultrabook from 2012 that i've replaced the battery twice and my adult daughter still uses(tried to trick her into giving it back when the battery ded, didn't work. This one is just as good except for storage.Sorry long sppech
Newbie
Dec 14, 2006
28 posts
22 upvotes
yes, using the m2 sata as the boot drive. Performance increase is insane since the CPU no longer has to wait for the disk. Well worth the $65 for the drive.

Also, I fixed the physical touchpad buttons by installing the latest mainline kernel 4.20. I am thinking of writing a blog post of how to get Linux on this machine since it took me awhile to figure all this out.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 9, 2010
1020 posts
373 upvotes
Waterloo
-OY- wrote:
Dec 29th, 2018 3:30 am
yes, using the m2 sata as the boot drive. Performance increase is insane since the CPU no longer has to wait for the disk. Well worth the $65 for the drive.

Also, I fixed the physical touchpad buttons by installing the latest mainline kernel 4.20. I am thinking of writing a blog post of how to get Linux on this machine since it took me awhile to figure all this out.
I appreciate your insights on this laptop so far and I'd love to see a blog post about it if you decide to do it. How do you find the battery life on your Linux install?
Member
Jun 21, 2008
419 posts
98 upvotes
mississauga
-OY- wrote:
Dec 29th, 2018 3:30 am
yes, using the m2 sata as the boot drive. Performance increase is insane since the CPU no longer has to wait for the disk. Well worth the $65 for the drive.

Also, I fixed the physical touchpad buttons by installing the latest mainline kernel 4.20. I am thinking of writing a blog post of how to get Linux on this machine since it took me awhile to figure all this out.
Ok i'm in ,picking up the msata drive in the am. How hard is it to install, if you dont mind
Member
Jun 21, 2008
419 posts
98 upvotes
mississauga
Also i was thinking to restore the windows image i made previously, would that fly, i'm a bit technically oriented so wouldn't mind giving the old noggin a workout
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 20, 2004
1656 posts
601 upvotes
Port Coquitlam, BC
I'm fumbling around with trying to get Chromium OS working. Not expecting much luck, but possibly moreso than with Cloudready. I have Chromium OS's latest weekly x64 build running via USB (though it's very VERY slow..) and am trying to install it to the local disk now. I suspect this will take quite some time. No luck on the trackpad yet, but that's mostly a matter of getting the Linux kernel updated.
Last edited by GeeCee on Dec 29th, 2018 8:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2015
1123 posts
335 upvotes
Toronto, ON
futabasan wrote:
Dec 29th, 2018 12:48 am
Curious to know your thoughts.

I have a 2010 macbook air 13 inch and it's still performing well till this day for normal web browsing and word processing. Can't believe it's 8 years old. Only thing is battery is wearing off.

Would this be an upgrade? Or would it essentially be the same/a side step.
Any1
Newbie
Aug 22, 2007
66 posts
16 upvotes
Toronto
The weakest link of this system is not the cpu, it's the damn emmc drive. I just got my unit exchanged due to screen problems. Took it out of the box and did a fresh install of win10 via USB on first boot, enabled a lot of things in bios and disabled power limit. These are 3 unknown devices that I still need to find drivers for (but I backed up the whole driver store directory from the original installation so there shouldn't be any issues). I will install a mx500 msata tho I feel like it's an overkill to put a 100 bucks drive in a 200 bucks system lol. So far so good as is, the sys is much more responsive with around 14gb of space left. Did a bit of YouTube in 1080p and retroarch witout issues.
Member
May 2, 2008
225 posts
296 upvotes
Toronto, Canada
What kind of SSD do you guys buy for this laptop ? Ideally I would like something around 240-256 GB, in the $50-60 range.
Jr. Member
Mar 1, 2011
181 posts
314 upvotes
Calgary
xoy74 wrote:
Dec 29th, 2018 10:52 am
What kind of SSD do you guys buy for this laptop ? Ideally I would like something around 240-256 GB, in the $50-60 range.
Newegg.ca has the WD Blue 250GB for $70 with free shipping.

You can get the no name brand M.2 2280 Sata 240GB from about $60 on Amazon. I have the 60GB ($32) version of this and its worked flawlessly for over a year that I'll be using in my iSmart that should be delivered on Monday.

Update: I fixed the URL to select the no name brand 2280. The original link was to the 2242.
Last edited by Hank71 on Dec 30th, 2018 1:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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