Review of the iRULU WalknBook Hybrid Windows 10 Laptop /Tablet – an Affordable Alternative to the Microsoft Surface

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What we love…

Lightweight portable alternative to laptop, runs full Office Software, can use as tablet as well as PC, keyboard case included, very affordable

What we’d love to see…

Charging via USB cable rather than special charger, longer battery life

Summary

The WalknBook is a very useful product for the price. It is similar to the Microsoft Surface 3 base model with slightly lower specs, it includes the keyboard case  for around $400 less than the Surface 3 with keyboard. I see its primary use as a lightweight alternative to carrying a laptop, with the added bonus of also being able to play games and use apps.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

The WalknBook from iRULU is a 10.1″ hybrid Windows 10 laptop / tablet designed to be a more affordable alternative to the Microsoft Surface tablet PCs.

The WalknBook comes with a folding case, detachable keyboard, a micro USB cable and dedicated charger. The tablet has an unusual design- the back panel is black glass, and it has a bright colorful green or orange plastic bumper around the sides. The case is deep grey, and the bright green or orange provides a lively splash of color. It has Windows 10 software pre-installed and you can switch back and forth between PC and Windows tablet modes.

Software

The WalknBook comes with Windows 10 pre-installed and works just like a PC running Windows 10. It has Cortana, Microsoft’s voice activated assistant. I’d recommend spending a few minutes setting up Cortana, getting her trained to your voice and telling her things like where you live, so that she can be a very useful tool. The default web browser is Microsoft Edge. On your home screen windows show notifications from your calendar, linked social Media, email, local weather, news and more. You can also personalize the display by changing out the windows to include what is most important to you.  You can set the WalknBook up to work with your iPhone, Android or Windows smartphone. As well as the Microsoft music and videos app it will also run iTunes.

The WalknBook will run the full PC version of Microsoft office. It comes with an option to sign up for a free month of Office 365 (after the trial it costs $99 per annum), or you can purchase and install Office 2016 or just use the pre-installed free mobile Office apps.  I opted to buy and install Office 2016 to get the full PC Office experience without an annual fee.

I’m usually a Mac user rather than a PC user so for me the user interface was unfamiliar, but for PC users it will feel very familiar. As a Mac user I still find there are times when I want to use software than is only available for the PC and not Mac. I can use a virtual PC program but that doesn’t always work well, and this is a nice affordable way of being able to run PC based software.

Comparison to Microsoft Surface 3

Of all the Microsoft surface models the WalknBook is best compared to the Surface 3. It has a similar size and functionality. The WalknBook has a 10.1″ screen compared to the Surface 3’s 10.8″. The WalknBook does have slightly lower specs, but is less than half the price of the base model Surface 3, and comes with the keyboard included, which costs an extra $130 for the Surface.

Like the Surface 3 it will run the full PC version of Microsoft office, it has 2 GB RAM which is the same as the base model of the Surface 3. The Surface 3 comes with 64GB ($499) 0r 128GB ($599) of storage, the WalknBook only has 32GB but you can add a MicroUSB card to expand the storage- I added a SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSD cardfor under $45.

They both have Intel Quad Core CPUs. The Surface 3 has an Intel Atom x7-z8700 (quad core, 1.66GHzI- 2.4GHz.), whilst the WalknBook has it’s predecessor the Intel Atom Bay Trail-T (quad core, 1.33GHz – 1.83 GHz). You can read more about the differences between these chips in this PC World article, but the main difference seems to be improved graphics performance. The WalknBook does also have a lower screen resolution at 1280 x 800 vs 1920 x 1280. However, I found that for how I was using it – as a PC, playing a few games and watching movies on Netflix, the resolution was fine.

They are a similar size and weight. Without the keyboard the Surface 3 weighs 1.37 lbs (622 g) and measures 10.52 x 7.36 x 0.34 in (267 x 187 x 8.7 mm.) The WalknBook is 260 mm x 174mm x 10 mm, with the keyboard it weighs 1660g, without approx. 750gm.

Case and Keyboard

The case has a soft micro-suede style surface and a magnetic closure. When you open it up the back panel folds, origami style, to form a stand. The stand only has 1 position, and is landscape mode only, but is on a flat surface it is surprisingly stable. The keyboard is built in to the case and is automatically switched on, when the WalknBook is in the case and in use.  The WalknBook attaches to the case and keyboard by strong magnets so is simple to insert and remove.

The case does need to be on a flat surface such as a table or tray, if you use it on an uneven surface, such as your lap, the tablet tends to come out of its groove and disconnect the keyboard.

The keyboard is black plastic and has a built-in trackpad, it is designed to be the same width as the tablet so is a little smaller than a standard laptop keyboard.  Although not as comfortable as my Macbook keyboard, it is similar in feel to many external keyboards that I have tested for the iPad and I had no problems typing with it. My one gripe is the trackpad surface is textured plastic which feels a little odd running your finger over it- a smoother surface would be nicer. Of course it has a touchscreen, so you can use that instead of the trackpad, or connect an external mouse.

Tablet Mode

The WalknBook can also be used as a Windows tablet – you can download apps from the Windows store and you can play XBox Live games.  The Windows appstore does have less selection than iTunes but there are still lots of apps to choose from. My kids were pleased to see you can get the Windows 10 Minecraft (Beta) as a free download if you already own the PC or Mac version (as we do) and are enjoying playing Minecraft on it. We had no problems using it to play games.

Removing it from the case disconnects the keyboard, then you can use it in either portrait or landscape mode. Putting it in Tablet Mode increases the sensitivity of the touchscreen. If you need to type you have the option to use an onscreen popup keypad instead of the keyboard case.

Battery and Power Supply

The WalknBook has a 7800 mAh battery and charges with an included charger, this connects to the tablet via a round pin it does not charge via USB. The iRULU website states the battery lasts up to 6hrs, this will of course vary depending on screen brightness setting and what you are using it for.  I did find that the battery life was noticeably less than my iPad. I do wish that it charged via USB so that you could easily use a back up battery when away from a power outlet such on on a plane or in a car.

Overall Impressions

I think that the WalknBook is a very useful product for the price. It is similar to the Microsoft Surface 3 base model. Although the specs are a little lower, it includes the keyboard case and comes in for around $400 less than the Surface 3 with keyboard. I see its primary use as a lightweight alternative to carrying a laptop, with the added bonus of also being able to play games and use apps. Although it isn’t going to be a powerful as a full high spec laptop it does have enough computing power to browse the web, work on Office documents, watch videos and play games. I like that you can run the full version of Office rather than just the pared down mobile version. I’d love to see an option to charge it from an external battery pack to extend the length of time you could use it without access to an electric outlet.

This is a product that the more I use the more I like it. I like how it looks- the design is unusual but fun. It is much lighter and easier to carry than my MacBook, but feels more like a miniature laptop than my iPad with a keyboard case does. If you are looking for a lightweight, affordable alternative to using your laptop on the go I would recommend checking out the WalknBook.

Price and Availability

The WalknBook is available from iRULU.com and Amazon, it’s current price is $212.99

Tech Specs (from iRULU website):

CPU Processor:Intel BayTrail-T Quad core, 1.33-1.83GHz

Operating System:Windows 10

LCD:10.1″   1280*800 IPS

RAM:2GB DDRIII

Memory:32GB NAND Flash

Touch Panel:10 points Capacitive touch screen

Wi-fi:802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth:4.0 Version

Camera:2.0 MP front-facing camera, 5.0 MP rear camera

Battery:7800 mAh

Weight:1660g (including the keyboard case)

Gravity:3D gravity sensor

Music Format:MP3,WMA,FLAC,AAC, WAV,APE

Video Format:VP8,MOV,MPG,MP4,AVI,3GP,FLV,MKV…etc.

Picture Format:JPEG, BMP, GIF,PNG

Ports: USB, Mini HDMI, micro USB, headphone jack, power supply, MicroSD card.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Kensington KeyFolio Thin X3™ for iPad Air™ 2 Review

keyfolio.

Pros…

Thin and light for a keyboard case, feels sturdy, keyboard works well, long battery life and works as phone backup battery.

Cons…

Can only use stand in landscape mode, only 2 screen positions- flat or typing mode

Summary

I would highly recommend the Kensington KeyFolio Thin X3™  Keyboard Case. It is relatively light and thin for a keyboard case, works well for typing and I love the extra functionality as a smartphone backup battery. The case looks professional and has a textured surface making it easy to carry without dropping.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

One of the features I really love about my iPad Air™ 2 is how light and thin it is, so I want light, slim accessories to go with it. I find a good keyboard case is essential when using the iPad Air™ 2 to work on the go, but they can often add significant weight and bulk.

I recently tested out the Kensington KeyFolio Thin X3™  Keyboard Case with my iPad Air 2 and found  that it is a great option. It weighs approximately 15 oz and not only is it a case and keyboard, but it also acts as a backup charger for my iPhone!

 

The case is easy to put on and remove and feels secure when in place. The iPad and keyboard are covered by hard shells, a second layer with a textured vinyl surface is firmly attached over the keyboard shell, this continues over the iPad shell, where it is firmly attached over one half of the shell and loosely covers the other half. This creates a hinge holding the Keyboard and iPad together.

When opened the iPad can be placed in a groove on the keyboard, holding it in a good viewing position. One feature I love is the keyboard automatically switches on when the iPad is in the magnetic stand, and switches it off when it is taken out, saving the battery.

When you are not using the keyboard the Quikfold design lets the keyboard fold under the iPad so it can lay flat for playing games or reading. Strong magnets hold the case firmly shut when it is closed as well as automatically activating the iPad’s sleep/ wake modes.

I found it easy to type on, the scissor keys were responsive, and there is a caps lock light, which is missing on many bluetooth keyboards. It has iPad shortcut keys including volume control, track control, copy, paste, spotlight search and Siri.

The keyboard has a 1650mAH built-in battery which gives a long life in normal use (after several months use I have not yet needed to charge it.) A really useful extra feature is that you can use that battery power to recharge your iPhone. I think this is a great idea, so you don’t need to carry a separate phone backup battery. You do need to use an adapter cable (included) to connect your phone.  I’d love to see a way to store the cable in the case as I have gone to use it on occasion and discovered I left the cable at home!

Overall, I would highly recommend the Kensington KeyFolio Thin X3™  Keyboard Case. It is relatively light and thin for a keyboard case, works well for typing and I love the extra functionality as a smartphone backup battery. The case looks professional and has a textured surface making it easy to carry without dropping. I like this case enough that it is my current everyday case for my iPad Air 2 – I can use it for working and leisure without feeling like it has turned my thin light iPad Air into a brick!

 

Available from Kensington, Amazon and other suppliers for US$$99.99

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).


Tinybeans | baby & kids private photo journal for sharing with family by Tinybeans Ltd – Review



iPhone Screenshot 5

What we love…

it’s so easy to upload photos from my smartphone and share them with friends and family securely

What we’d love to see…

iPad native app, ability to  create a collage

Summary

My go to photo app – I love the free version and the premium takes some of my wishes to the next level!

Our Rating

Tinybeans | baby & kids private photo journal for sharing with familyAs a mom, I’m aware that I want my children to make their own digital footprint and not have me make it for them.  Tinybeans, an Australia based startup has created an app for iOS, Android and the desktop/laptop computer that allows you to create your own private photo journal that you can share with friends and family for FREE!  This app allows you to post daily photos, use a variety of photo editing tools including filters, enhancing photos, adding text and more all with the touch of swipe on your smartphone.  Tinybeans was created after one of the founders had a child with a speech delay.  It was first used as a speech therapy tool to include photos of various items that the child was learning how to speak, and once friends and family learned of how it worked and that it was secure the word of the app took off and has grown since.

I first started using the app, after the hospital photographer sent me a link to it.  I had been looking for  a secure way to send photos back and forth with family since we were living quite a distance from them but hadn’t found a solution that I was comfortable with.  The Tinybeans app allowed me to have people install it on their smartphone, tablet or use it on their computer and pushes an update to them daily – or weekly with the moments I have uploaded so they can see from day to day what my kids are doing.  I love the ability to put short videos (30 seconds for free version and up to 5 minutes for the premium version) as well as photos of our daily lives.  I can upload photos either from my tablet/smartphone or directly from my camera when plugged into my desktop computer and they are ready and posted to the specific day I choose.  I also love putting in my children’s milestones because although I remember them at the moment in time, I can easily flip back to see exactly when they happened which makes doctors appointments so much easier as well as updating a baby book!

The app also allows you to create photobooks, manage multiple children (which you can tag for the individual photos) as well as creating slide shows and exporting your favorites.

The premium version of the app ($80 USD/annually) unlocks many of the features I was seeking when using the app – they include longer video’s, the ability to upload multiple photos at once, ability to export all of your photos via a simple click rather than downloading them one at a time, create online photo shows for those that do not have Tinybeans.

In terms of enhancements, I’d love to see a collage option where I can take three to four photos and make them into one – for example on my son’s first birthday I would have loved to do this and pin that as my “moment of the day” photo.  I’d also like to see “background” options when doing the slideshow so you can customize the background of the photo show.  I’d also love the ability to save specific moments privately rather than sharing with everyone.

Overall, this is my go to photo app and has been since the day I installed it on my phone.  I can’t believe all the features that are included in the free version and the premium version takes it to the next level.  I love the ability to edit my photos on the fly and upload them which means that they are shared with others and not stuck on my device.  I can’t wait to see what Tinybeans comes up with next!


Tinybeans Baby Book & Log
Tinybeans Baby Book & Log
by Tinybeans Pty Ltd

Category: Lifestyle, Photo & Video
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone5-iPhone5, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 115.75 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

Review of the Magic Feet Apple Charging Station by MOBEE

 

Magic Feet For Apple Charging Station.

What we love…

The Magic Feet Charging Station is well-designed, stylish, easy to use and better for the environment than disposable batteries, it adds extra USB ports to your Mac and lets you recharge your wireless products without even thinking about it.

What we’d love to see…

2 Cylindrical battery packs included

Summary

For Apple lovers the Magic Feet Charging Station is a great way to keep your Apple wireless accessories charged. It adds 4 USB ports to your Mac, and wirelessly charges up to 3 devices at once-including the wireless keyboard or trackpad and magic mouse, it can also wirelessly charge the Mobee Magic Juice backup battery. RRP $149.99

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The Magic Feet Charging station from MOBEE is a product designed especially for lovers of Apple Mac wireless computing products. It is a desk station that provides a simple elegant wireless charging option for your Apple Keyboard, Apple Magic Mouse and Apple Trackpad as well as providing additional USB ports for your computer.

The charging station is powered by an included charger. The charger is designed to be used internationally, it is compatible with 110-240v input and comes with US, UK, AUS and European plugs. It connects to your Mac via an included micro-USB to USB cable.

Wireless Mouse

The package includes a rechargeable battery pack for the Apple wireless mouse that replaces both the AA batteries and the back panel of the mouse.  You simply leave the mouse on the white section of the charging station when not in use and it charges by induction.

Wireless Keyboard and Trackpad

The package also includes a cylindrical rechargeable battery pack which can be used in either the Apple wireless keyboard or Trackpad. To use it unscrew the circular battery cap from your device and remove the 2 AA batteries, replace with the cylindrical MOBEE rechargeable battery pack. The charging station has a curved slot that the cylindrical end of the keyboard or trackpad sits in so you can just leave it there whenever it is not in use and it will recharge. They take approximately 10 hours to fully recharge, how long they go between charges will depend on your usage MOBEE estimates 10 days, and I found I could easily go at least a week between charges. If you have both a wireless keyboard and a Trackpad you can order an additional battery pack for $14.95 and can alternate charging them. I do wish that it came with 2 cylindrical battery packs as standard, as many Apple Wireless Keyboard users will also have a Wireless Trackpad, but at least you can order a second battery pack inexpensively.

Magic Juice Battery Pack

The induction charging bar can also be used to recharge the MOBEE Magic Juice  back up battery for iPhone and iPad. The Magic Juice puts out 2.4A which is powerful enough to charge an iPad or an iPhone.

USB Hub

One thing I really like about the Magic Feet is that it multi-tasks – not only is it a charging station for my Apple wireless products but it also acts as a USB hub. I am always running out of USB ports on my computer and although the Magic Feet does use one of the USB ports on my computer, it adds 4 new ones which really helps to keep all my accessories connected and ready to use.

For Apple lovers the Magic Feet Charging Station is a great way to keep your Apple wireless accessories charged. It adds 4 USB ports to your Mac, and wirelessly charges up to 3 devices at once-including the wireless keyboard or trackpad and magic mouse, it can also wirelessly charge the Mobee Magic Juice backup battery. RRP $149.99The Magic Feet charging station is a well-designed, stylish product whose design fits well with Apple products. It looks good on your desktop and is a great way to keep your Apple wireless accessories charged. It adds 4 USB ports to your Mac, and wirelessly charges up to 3 devices at once-including the wireless keyboard or trackpad and magic mouse, it can also wirelessly charge the Mobee Magic Juice backup battery.  If you have an Apple Wireless Mouse, Keyboard and/or Trackpad I would recommend this product – it avoids having to replace batteries so it’s better for the environment, it looks good, it is very easy to use, and once you get used to just leaving your mouse and keyboard on the charging station whenever they aren’t in use you no longer have to even think about charging them.

The Magic Feet Charging station is available from MOBEE.COM RRP $149.99. They also have a whole range other other charging solutions if you just want to charge your Apple Wireless products individually.

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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