GoBook Y1102 review

We’ve definitely seen this design before (part six)

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Usage and performance

The Y1102 delivered a just-good-enough performance throughout our benchmarks. Scores ranged from average to abysmal with the only good news being the 5 hours and 15 minutes it lasted in our battery test. The touchscreen display produced bright colors with good contrast, and our only concern is the glossiness of the display when used outside in bright sunshine.

Benchmarks

Here’s how the GoBook Y1102 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Passmark: 683

Passmark CPU: 1468

CPU-Z: 60 (single-thread); 242 (multi-thread)

Geekbench: 943 (single-core); 2495 (multi-core); 5360 (compute)

Cinebench: OpenGL: 11.5 fps; CPU: 98

CrystalDiskMark: 145 MBps (read); 73 MBps (write)

Novabench: 381

Atto:  107 MBps (read, 256mb); 164 MBps (write, 256mb)

Sisoft Sandra (KPT): 1.67

Windows Experience Index: 4.5

UserBenchmark (higher is better): 66

The island-style keys of the keyboard are small and a little too close to each other. System and function keys have been shrunk, as well, to fit into the small space. Sadly, that has a negative impact on the typing experience which felt a bit dry. Feedback was lacking while travel was (understandably) less compared to larger keyboards.

The touchpad doesn’t have a smooth surface which, in our view, delivers a suboptimal experience. That said, two-finger scroll and three-finger swipe worked perfectly well. Our model came with an English version of Windows 10 Home which wasn’t activated, and that’s likely to have been a mistake; just make sure that yours comes with the required version.

Note that the laptop isn’t supplied with any stylus, although to be fair, that’s perhaps too much of an ask for a device in this price range.

The competition

There’s no real competition for the Y1102 if you are looking for a Yoga-like laptop rather than a Microsoft Surface clone. The only potential candidate is the Voyo VBook A1 which shares the same design but costs around 50% more. The price premium is justified by better hardware (Celeron N3450 processor, 128GB SSD, 802.11ac Wi-Fi) and the Voyo machine is probably a better alternative if your budget allows it.

If you’d rather opt for something local, the Yoga 300 is the one to go for. It is more expensive (again by around 50%) and its 11.6-inch touchscreen is an HD display rather than Full HD, but you get a much more powerful processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi (and better support if anything goes wrong).

We’d advise steering well clear of products such as the HP Stream x360 with 2GB of RAM and 32GB on-board storage, if you don’t want to end up pulling your hair out in despair thanks to sluggish performance. As a generic rule of thumb, your laptop should have more system memory than your smartphone.

Final verdict

While the GoBook Y1102 certainly gets some kudos as a great piece of hardware at this price, there are still some uncomfortable questions to be answered. This laptop is only available for sale – in English language – at one online retailer based in China, and the manufacturer (Shenzhen Guoteng Shenghua Electronics) has yet to release an English version of its website. Then there’s the issue with Windows 10 which was not activated on our review sample.

If you overlook these issues, then what you’re left with is a device that works well as a secondary machine – maybe for when you go on holiday or need something more portable for meetings – but it will struggle if put to any sort of demanding use.

The form factor and the hardware used are to be blamed – the keyboard is just too small and the components provide a barely decent working experience in terms of performance levels.