The price of laptops has fallen sharply in recent years. Today, Thomson strikes a blow by proposing a machine sold under the bar of 100 euros and which has, in theory, everything of a real PC. However, is that the case?
99 euros! It is the price of the Thomson Neo 10, a small notebook PC recently released in the retail trade (mainly in mass distribution) and which aims to meet all the needs of everyday life without you getting into trouble with your banker. Of course, for such a price, you can’t expect to have a flagship product under your fingers.
The Neo 10 is – in fact – a netbook, a small laptop that had its hour of glory before the emergence of tablets.
Amazed and potentially attracted by the price, we decided to make him pass all our usual tests with a straightforward goal in mind, to answer a simple question: what can we do with such an inexpensive machine? Here are our answers.
Thomson Computing is a French brand, but products are of course manufactured in China. The new Neo 10 is characterized above all by an all-black plastic case (or white depending on the version) of medium quality. The assembly is correct, but the rigidity is not there. We open the 10.1-inch screen and without surprise, it is a matt TN tile framed with sizeable black plastic edges that appears. No doubt, when it comes to aesthetics, we are back almost 10 years.
Before going any further, a pleasant surprise, Thomson installed a full Windows 10 and not an “S-mode” version. On the technical side, the French brand has asked Chinese integrators to equip its engine with a very low power Intel platform (Cherry Trail, released two years ago), consisting of an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor, 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of eMMC for storage.
– Everything is soldered to the motherboard, no hardware additions are possible. We notice the absence of a fan, enough to ensure a dead silence in operation.
– Thomson ballasted the Neo 10 with weights to prevent the screen mass from dragging it back when the screen is tilted a little too much.
Many applications available
Before you can use this laptop, you must start the machine. The operation takes, on average, 30 good seconds before having completed the hand on Windows 10.
Then, the time has come to tackle the first tests, a mix of office use, email, surfing and some image retouching. Installing the necessary tools is a tour de force. Storage space is far too limited. The 32 GB capacity announced is theoretical, as on all PCs but Windows 10 and the entire application park present on the machine leaves in all and for a little less than… 4 GB free.
It is therefore impossible to install Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Even uninstalling all unnecessary applications and games preinstalled by Windows 10.
OpenOffice? Yes, we installed it partly successfully because the free office suite is less “big” than Office. However, there was not much space left on the eMMC memory: 1 GB, maximum. At the time for those who prefer, usually, matter the sequel to Microsoft.
As a result, we decided to use Google Doc and others, and therefore all the tools available in the cloud to preserve the disk space of the installation. Same thing for image editing since GIMP couldn’t “fit” on the disk either.
Second finding: using the Neo 10 to surf the Web is not easy. You have to play with scaling all the time so that the fonts don’t occupy half the screen or have to scroll a page over and over again to read the content.
The Neo 10’s touchpad is one of the worst we’ve ever had under our fingers!
Moreover, we must specify that the touchpad of the Neo 10 is disappointing. The reactivity or even the recognition of gestures with several fingers (scrolling, zoom, etc.) are extremely bad. It is impossible to scroll a page without fearing to reduce its display size involuntarily for example. Moreover, wait, we haven’t told you about the keyboard yet.
Let us be clear. The Neo 10 is not a good investment at all. Even at this price. The lack of power and the lack of comfort offered by the machine for the long sessions of work or watching videos got the better of us. Not to mention the ricrac endurance. Last but not least, while this machine is limited in 2018, it will not be able to evolve to meet the changing needs of its potential users.