If only I needed a new laptop… KDE Slimbook Review
My eye it’s a fancy ultrabook, but not that expensive, it’s amd based it’s got a metal chassis and basically it’s. One of the best laptops i used even outside of the linux laptop world it’s the kde slim book – so let’s take a look right after this no i’m kidding. There is no sponsor let’s get right into it, so the laptop itself is running on an amd ryzen base. It comes in a 14 inch and a 15 inch version. I got the 15 inch one. Both devices come with the ryzen 7 4800h, which is a pretty powerful cpu and they are configurable with up to 64 gigabytes of ram and 2 terabytes of ssd, with a large choice of keyboard layouts as usual with slim book. So the laptop itself, the 15 inch version, starts at 929 euros with 8 gigabytes of ram and gigabytes of ssd, now that’s, not cheap by any means, but we’re in premium laptop territory here so it’s, really not that expensive. If you think about it, my review unit came with 16 gigabytes of ram and 250 gigabytes of ssd, so it’s pretty much your standard configuration. The 15 inch version only weighs 1.5 kilograms, which really feels super light when you’re carrying that thing around now, what’s striking with this device is the build quality. The whole chassis is made out of magnesium and it feels really sturdy. There is no screen wobble when typing almost no give at all on the keyboard and that thing doesn’t creak or bend now it’s one of the best chassis i’ve, seen from any linux device manufacturers and probably one of the best chassis i’ve, seen from any laptop period.
Maybe burying macbooks – and this begs the question of why, oh, why would you add stickers to this really great looking design this we’re in 2021 stickers have to go no less than four were added to my review unit. One to tell you is made out of magnesium one to tell you is running new, slash linux and two separate stickers for amd graphics and ryzen 7.. Now these stickers have to go, they leave a mark when you try to remove them, they really mod the design, and here the branding is pretty tasteful. You’Ve got a kde logo. Laser etched on the back with the slim book logo as well, and just a slim book logo on the underneath, the screen on the lid it’s it’s pretty tasteful, and you also get that wonderful little plasma logo key for the super key, which looks really nice. Now talking about the keys it’s, one of the best keyboards i’ve used in a long time, it doesn’t use the usual chiclet style, but goes for kind of floating keys. Key travel is just sufficient with a nice bounce back on the keys and a soft feeling when typing and the sound is also really pleasing. To me, for some reason, it’s some kind of deep bump that kind of rumbles when you type it’s super nice and it’s really far from the the clacky sound that you get from like mac, magic, keyboards or the bluetooth keyboard. I use it’s it’s really nice to hear.
I love that sound now. The only issue i have with that keyboard is that the keys aren’t, the most legible. It looks like the letters and symbols are etched away from the key which works well in direct sunlight, but makes them pretty hard to read from a distance or an angle, and the backlight has the same issue being really legible when you’re directly above the keyboard. Anything at an angle and the light just doesn’t diffuse enough, so you can look at what is written on the key now. The trackpad itself is also really good, fully made out of glass, it’s, still a hinge design, meaning that the physical click is really only doable up until half of the trackpad. But it reminds me a lot of the previous generation of macbook trackpads it’s super smooth, really precise and really nice to use for day to day operations. It’S a shame that kd doesn’t ship with trackpad gestures by default out of the box, because this thing ships with katy neon and honestly, this trackpad seems like a dream, come true for for trackpad gestures, so maybe kd something to think about in the future. Now the screen itself is a pretty good matte ips panel it’s 1080p at 60hz, which is enough for a 15 inch, and it has good color accuracy, seriously good viewing angles with no color shift and it’s bright enough. The bezels on that screen are minimal, at least on the top and on the sides, but the bottom one is a bit bigger.
The webcam that lives in the top bezel is serviceable. Going up to 720p at 30fps. You won’t look like a complete potato, but it’s, really not something. You’D want to use to record a video now in terms of io. You get a pop up: ethernet jack one usb 2 and one usb 3 port, a headphone jack and a micro sd card slot. On the left side and on the right side, you’ve got a barrel charger, an hdmi port, a usb 3 port and a usb c port. The back is just used to expel hot air and cool the laptop. Now, this laptop specifically is pre installed with kde neon, which is based on the latest ubuntu lts, for a stable base, with a rolling version of kd plasma, on top of it it’s a great distro, and it really shines on that laptop with the big bright screen And the vivid colors it’s also super speedy i’ve switched to kde a few months ago and it’s a desktop i’ve really learned to love, even with the out of the box experience, i think it’s a pretty great desktop to use now, if you like the laptop design, But you don’t really care about kde. You can buy the same laptop in the form of the slimbook pro x, it’s, basically, the exact same design, but you don’t get the kde branding and the plasma super key and you don’t get kd neon installed. You get a selection of other distributions that you can get on top of it.
Apart from that, the hardware is identical, and the only difference is mainly that when buying the kde slim book, you also contribute a part of the profits that slim book makes to the kde project. Now. The other difference is that the kde slim book isn’t pre, installed with any of the slim book apps, and some of you might prefer that, but that also prevents you from using slim book battery and slim book face which are pretty useful apps. The first one allows you to create power profiles, and the second one slim book face allows you to use the infrared camera that is in the hardware, to log in using your face so it’s, basically like windows, hello, but for linux, and not having that print style. Kind of defeats the purpose of having that ir camera in the kd neon slim book, but you can still add the slim book ppa to the kde inion slim book and install those applications. So it’s not such a big deal. Okay, so now let’s see how the thing performs. The cpu is a ryzen, 7 4800h with 8 physical cores and 16 threads and as expected, it is extremely fast and powerful running geekbench 5. It got a single core score of 1259 and a multi core score of 7307. These scores are pretty good handily beating the 10th gen core i7. I reviewed in the juno computers – neptune 15., now it’s, not even that far from my ryzen 7 5800 x, that i have on my desktop back there now.
The graphics part of that laptop is based on vega, 7 architecture and it’s, really good for most day to day tasks and even some light and some aaa gaming at lower settings. I tried the usual benchmarks and ran shadow of the tomb raider at the lowest settings and you got 32 fps on average it’s definitely playable, even though the quality isn’t wonderful to look at, but at the native resolution. The 1080p resolution for that screen, though it’s highly playable, and it doesn’t look horrible either. Now the dawn of war 3 benchmark ran at 37 fps on the lowest settings as well, which makes it pretty playable. Now, in terms of battery life, the laptop doesn’t disappoint: either it’s got a 92 watt hour battery, which is more than enough for a day’s work. Now, in my experience using this laptop for my day job, i got two browsers open. At the same time, firefox and chromium, i did a little bit of video conferencing using the webcam and using discord having this gold running in the background using the laptop with wi fi and the bluetooth mouse, and it lasted me around six to seven hours most days. If i tried to game a little bit on my lunch break, it obviously knackered the battery quite a lot, but for day to day tasks, you’re gon na have a whole day battery life. Generally. Now you won’t want to go over on weekend carrying that laptop without its hefty power, brick, which kind of defeats the purpose of having such a light notebook, but yeah, basically for day to day tasks, you’re gon na get whole day battery life.
Unless you go crazy. Now, in general, the performance is pretty amazing, like you’re gon na be able to do 3d, modeling video, editing, video rendering and even some light gaming or aaa gaming day to day tasks playing videos. Whatever you throw at this thing, it should be able to manage that. Quite handily it’s it’s pretty powerful, so it might sound like i’m a bit over enthusiastic over this little device because i can’t really find anything bad to say about it, but i’m, not sponsored by slim book i’m. Not getting any money for this and i don’t get to keep the laptop afterwards. I just think it’s, one of the best laptops that i’ve ever used period and i’ve used macbook pros. I’Ve used the huawei matebook 13. i’ve used a lot of other laptops from other manufacturers, and basically this is one that i really fell in love with. The design is really great. The chassis is super sturdy. The keyboard, the trackpad are amazing. The screen is really good and the performance is incredible, so yeah it’s it’s a no brainer if you’re in the market, for a laptop at around a thousand euros, and you want something pre installed with linux. You either get the kde slim book. If you want to support the kd project – or you get the slim book pro x, if you don’t care about kde, it’s it’s, really an amazing choice and that’s it for this video guys, i hope you enjoyed if you did don’t stay to like or dislike.
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