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Linx 8 review

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Microsoft may have made a big deal about the Surface Pro 3, but it’s a pricey tablet, even if it could replace your laptop. Not everyone will stretch to the Pro 3’s price tag, but there are other, more compact options, that don’t involve the limitations of Windows RT. The Linx tablet is Windows 8.1 with Bing, which means it comes in at the cheaper end of the scale and also includes a free year’s subscription of Microsoft Office 365.
The device is powered by an Intel processor, a quad-core 1.8ghz Bay Trail-T chip. It comes with 1GB of RAM, and a front and rear camera. Some of the more budget devices will eliminate one camera as a way of achieving that budget price; it’s good to see that the Linx 8 kept both, even if they aren’t the highest spec.
Power and volume controls are on the right side of the device; the left side has a slot for a MicroSD card. Micro USB for charging, mini HDMI and headphone jack are all on the top of the tablet, with speakers relegated to the bottom rear of the device.

The good

One of the most obvious bonus points about the Linx 8 is the price. At about €130 for the 32GB version, it’s a decent price for a Windows tablet with a good screen.
Speaking of screens, the display on the Linx 8 isn’t half-bad. It’s a little on the shiny side, which means the reflections can be a bit distracting, and it’s not as high resolution as others – at 800 x 1280 – but the colours are vivid and the text is crisp enough. The viewing angles are good too, unlike some other budget tablets. Everything has been sized accordingly, so you don’t feel the screen is being crammed with icons.
Lookswise, it blends in with a lot of tablets out there. The eight-inch version reviewed here is compact enough to hold in one hand but large enough to read or work on when needed. It has a rubberised casing that makes it easier to grip and also eliminates the fingerprint problem that plagues many of its shinier-coated brethren. Plus it weighs in at 377gm, which means it won’t weigh you down.

The not so good

The 1GB of RAM compares poorly with other tablets of this size. For example, Sony’s Android-based Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact comes with 3GB of RAM, while the Samsung Tab S 8.4-inch version matches the Sony device. But both of those devices come at a significant premium to the Linx 8.
The same goes for the camera. The Linx 8 has two – front and rear facing – and both clock in at two megapixels. Again, it compares poorly when put up against some of the five megapixel cameras and higher that tablets are getting these days, but unless you plan to swap out your smartphone camera or regular point-and-shoot for the Linx 8, the included cameras will stand up to video calling and quick snaps here and there.
As for capacity, it’s a good thing you can expand the space on this tablet; with a large chunk of available space taken up by the operating system, you’ll need some extra storage if you want to use the Linx for videos or music outside of the usual cloud services. Because let’s face it, cloud services aren’t suitable for everything. Get on board a wifi-less plane, go roaming abroad or even just hit a bad signal area and your access is limited. That said, the Linx 8 comes with a 1TB storage space on OneDrive, so you can store quite a bit if you are fully on-board with the cloud.
The version we had for review showed almost 20GB of free space out of 23.8GB before we even installed a single app ourselves – so you aren’t getting the full 32GB to play with. Install a few programmes on there and you’ll see that 20GB eroded quickly.

The rest

Battery life is between five and seven hours, which is lower than other tablets but will give you enough time to do a bit of web browsing or watch a movie. That five hours minimum time will, of course, be dependent on what you are using the tablet for. Anything remotely power-hogging will eat into that time before you know it.
Luckily, the tablet charges over micro USB, so it’s likely that you’ll have a charger to hand, or even a back-up battery.
Like other Windows 8.1 devices, you can access the desktop but, on device this size, the chances of you really needing to are limited. With the spec of the Linx, it’s not going to run any power hungry apps, or high-end software. But it’s there as a “just-in-case” option.

The verdict


Not the highest spec, but when it comes to budget tablets, the Linx 8 is a contender

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