With Realme Book Slim, the company is entering the laptop segment in India. In its first attempt, Realme has got off to a good start with excellent design and screen on the Realme Book Slim. The performance is good too and as an overall package - we can recommend the Realme Book Slim. The lack of a 16GB RAM variant in India and limited ports are a couple of letdowns, but if that’s not a deal-breaker for you, the Realme Book Slim won’t disappoint you.
Excellent Keyboard and trackpad
No 16GB RAM option
No SD card slot
Battery life could have been better
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Realme started as a smartphone brand in 2018 and three years later, the company now has a wide range of products including earphones, tablet, smart TVs, smart home devices, accessories, and much more. The recent addition to the list is its first laptop called the Realme Book Slim.
With the launch of Realme Book Slim, the company is entering the sub Rs 50,000 segment and the sub Rs 60,000 segment where the brand will face the heat against its arch-rival Xiaomi. We are reviewing the base variant of the two laptops available from Realme.
With demand for laptops going up as we continue to work from home and students attending online classes, the Realme Book Slim might be the perfect companion for those who are looking for an all-around budget laptop. To take advantage of the situation, brands like Xiaomi, Honor, Vaio entered the laptop segment in 2020.
The Realme Book Slim made its debut in India along with Realme GT and Realme GT Master Edition on August 18 in India. This is also the first-ever laptop from the house of BBK Group (Oppo, OnePlus, Realme, Vivo, iQoo). The Realme Book Slim doesn’t feel like a first-gen product from the company as it comes with a class-leading display and a premium design. You are getting a 2K resolution 3:2 screen which is excellent and can get bright enough even for outdoor usages. It sports aluminium construction which adds a premium touch. However, the laptop does omit ports like an SD card slot and HDMI slot, which might be a deal-breaking for some.
Further, the keyboard and trackpad experience is also excellent on the Realme Book with ample spacing and key travel - you can work all day long. The performance is good too considering the price tag, but don’t expect too much from gaming and video editing as this isn’t a laptop made for that purpose.
The battery life isn’t class-leading, but it is good enough for 5 to 6 hours of continuous usage. A 65W fast charger can fuel up to 50% battery in just 30 minutes offering up to 3 hours of usage. Overall, the Realme Book Slim (i3+8GB) is a solid package and is definitely one the best laptops you can get in India for under Rs 50,000.
Realme Book Slim price and availability
The Realme Book Slim comes in two variants in India. The i3 variant with 256GB of storage is priced at Rs 46,999 while the i5 variant of the Realme Book Slim with 512GB of storage is priced at Rs 59,999. As a part of the introductory offer, the Realme Book Slim will be available for Rs 44,999 and Rs 56,999 respectively.
It is available on Flipkart and Realme.com in Real Blue and Real Gray colour options.
|Specs||Realme Book Slim i5 variant||Realme Book Slim i3 variant|
|Display||14-inch, 2K Full Vision||14-inch, 2K Full Vision|
|Processor||11th Gen Intel Core i5 (1135G7)||11th Gen Intel Core i3 (1115G4)|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe||Intel UHD|
|RAM||8GB, 4266MHz||8GB, 3733MHz|
|Storage||512GB PCIe SSD||256GB PCIe SSD|
|Thunderbolt 4 Port||Yes||No|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 6||Wi-Fi 5|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 5.2||Bluetooth 5.1|
|Charging||54Wh, 65W||54Wh, 65W|
|Price||Rs 56,999||Rs 44,999|
Realme Book Slim comes with a premium design and build quality. During the launch event, the company compared its laptop to Apple’s MacBook lineup. MacBook Air and Pro are some of the best-designed laptops in the premium segment and Realme is bringing the sleek yet simple designed notebooks to the sub Rs 60,000 segment with Realme Book Slim.
It weighs 1.38 Kgs which makes the Realme Book Slim easy to travel with. At its thinnest point, the Realme Book Slim measures 14.9mm and at its thickest point, it has a thickness of 15.5mm 一 undercutting both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The laptop is made up of aluminium alloy and comes in two colour options 一 Real Grey and Real Blue. We are using the Blue variant in our review.
The laptop has a premium look, especially in the Realme Blue colour as it looks unique from the rest of the crowd. In terms of usability, the Realme Book Slim is very comfortable while using it on the lap or the table. The rubber grips on the back help the laptop set its position when you keep it on a flat surface. It also fits into your backpack easily. The soft-touch finish further extended the style of the laptop. The laptop can attract fingerprints easily as it has a matte finish.
In a nutshell, Realme has managed to offer a solid and premium looking machine in its maiden attempt. In terms of port options, you get two Type-C/ USB 3, one Type-A/ USB 3, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. In the Core i5 variant, you also get a Thunderbolt 4(USB 4). Notably, the Realme Book Slim misses out on the SD card slot and HDMI port 一 which might be a deal-breaker for some.
Realme brings a much needed refreshing change in the visual department. With Full HD display being common in the segment, Realme has included a 2K full vision display with 2160×1440 pixel resolution which offers 1.5 times more pixels than the usual 1080p panels.
Further, the screen also packs in 100% sRGB colour space and a peak brightness of 400 nits. It opts for a tall 3:2 screen ratio instead of the usual 16:10 or 16:9 screens. The main advantage of the tall aspect ratio is that you get more space on the screen while you are working on MS Office, Google docs, sheets, etc. The taller display also brings one more advantage 一 you scroll and swipe less which comes in handy while reading a website or a doc.
The bezel on the Realme Book Slim is also pretty slim with 5.3mm on the side and 8.45mm on the top which results in a 90% screen to body ratio. It is an IPS LCD with a glossy finish and the display gets bright enough to view outdoors as well. The viewing angles are also good on this one. The only downside of the 3:2 screen is that you get If black bars on the top and bottom when you are watching a video - but it doesn’t bother you much once you get used to it.
Overall, the display is excellent be it colour accuracy, viewing angle, or brightness and as said earlier, this is a much-needed refresh in the segment and I hope more laptop makers will start offering better displays in the future.
That said, the panel is glossy and reflective which means if you have a bright source of light from behind, it will be hard to see the screen. This might be an issue if you are working outdoors, but this isn’t a deal-breaker.
Keyboard and trackpad
The taller 3:2 aspect ratio also means that you get ample space for the keyboard and trackpad. The keyboard comes with a three-level backlit option - you can enable this by clicking on the F7 key. The keys have 1.3mm travel and the sound of clicks are very satisfying.
We enjoyed our typing experience on the Realme Book Slim even during long days. The trackpad is also fairly large with support for Windows 10 gestures. It works precisely and registers all gestures and clicks. We are not a fan of sliced upper and lower arrow keys. But, apart from that everything else worked fine for us. Even during the night, we could easily type just with the backlight turned on.
The Realme Book Slim comes in two configurations - one powered by 11th gen Intel Core i5 quad-core processor (1135G7) with a clock speed of up to 3.8GHz and Intel Iris Xe graphics. And, the second one is powered by 11th gen Intel Core i3 (1115G4) dual-core processor with up to 4.1GHz clock speed and paired with Intel UHD graphics. We are using the Core i3 version for the review.
To keep the thermals under control, it comes with 8mm dual heat pipes, ultra-thin high speed and high airflow dual fans. The Core i3 variant comes with 8GB 3733MHz dual-channel LPDDR4x RAM and 256GB SanDisk SSD. The Core i5 variant comes with 8GB 4266MHz dual-channel LPDDR4x RAM and 512GB Samsung SSD. The RAM is soldered which means you can’t upgrade it. However, Realme says the SSD storage can be swapped.
Out of 256GB SSD storage, you will get about 198GB of storage which should be enough if your work depends on cloud storage or you have an external storage drive. But, less than 200GB might be less for many people if you are trying to store a lot of media and files. If you want more storage, you need to jump to the 512GB which is available only on the Core i5 variant.
There is also a Core i5 variant with a 16GB RAM option available in Europe and China, but it is not on offer in India. The 16GB RAM option would have been a great option for enthusiasts in India as well.
Having said that, we did not have any major concern with 8GB RAM. The performance of the laptop is also one of the key highlights. Our usage included dealing with multiple chrome tabs, mails, communicating on slack, and also editing a few photos. All of these worked flawlessly and we didn’t face any issues while working on docs and sheets. The laptop can also handle basic video editing, but we’d not suggest this machine if that’s your primary use case.
It works great for day to day usage as we’ve mentioned above. But, if you are into professional video editing or gaming, you might want to consider other options in the segment. For those who are curious about some benchmark scores, here is how the laptop fares.
|Cinebench R23 (Multi-core)||2630|
|Cinebench R23 (Single-core)||1317|
As for gaming, the integrated Intel Iris UHD graphics is capable of handling some basic games and graphics. We could play games like Valorant and Asphalt 一 both ran smoothly in medium graphic settings and we obtained about 60fps tp 90fps frame rate which isn’t bad.
Coming to the port and connectivity options, you get the following port options:
- Type-C/ USB 3 × 2
- Type-A/ USB 3
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Wi-Fi 5
- Bluetooth 5.1
The Core i5 variant gets a Thunderbolt 4/ USB 4 port, Bluetooth 5.2, and Wi-Fi 6 options as well. We got 3,106MB/s sequential read speed and 1,231MB/s write speed on the machine which is very good compared to other laptops in the segment. The speeds were also reflected on the day to day performance as transferring files button a laptop and external drives like a pen drive or hard disk were fast. Lastly, the laptop could boot in less than 15 seconds which is also quite impressive.
Battery life and charging
In terms of battery, the Realme Book Slim comes with a 54Whr battery with support for 65W fast charging via a Type-C port. A quick 30-minute charge will offer a 50% charge and a 100% charge takes a little over 90 minutes. The laptop comes with Type-C to Type-C charging cable with a compact charging brick in the box - making it convenient for travelling.
In terms of battery life, the Realme Book Slim’s performance isn’t class-leading, but it’s above average. We could get anywhere from 5 hours to 6.5 hours of screen time between charges. We did expect the Realme Book Slim to last a bit longer, but that’s not the case here.
Since the laptop charges via a Type-C port, you can also charge it via a power bank, it supports Realme’s 30W fast charging via the charging brick as well as its Dart charge power bank.
Software: In terms of software, the Realme Book Slim runs on Windows 10 and will also get Windows 11 later in the year. Realme has added its PC connect app which is a cross-connect application for file transfer, screen mirroring, and clipboard sharing. It can also show the phone’s notifications on the laptop. However, the feature is available for the Realme GT series for now.
Webcam: The 720p HD webcam sits on top of the display and it is decent for video calls and meetings during the daytime, but its performance in low-light is not something we’d enjoy. . If you want better quality webcams, you can check here.
Fingerprint scanner: The power button, just outside the keyboard layout also includes a fingerprint scanner. It is fast and responsive and a pretty handy feature to have on a laptop.
Audio: The two Harman powered speakers get surprisingly loud and enjoyable. It works best in a small and medium-sized room. You also get a 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth 5.2.
Fan: As said earlier, the Realme Book Slim comes with dual heat pipes, ultra-thin high speed and high airflow dual fans. During our usage, we did not hear much fan noise which is a good sign. The laptop was cool all the time even during the times we ran multiple benchmarks.
Should I buy the Realme Book Slim?
Buy it if …
You want a great designed laptop
The Realme Book Slim is arguably the best-designed Realme device of 2021 and the Blue colour options look amazing and stand out from the crowd. The sub 1.5 kg weight and sleek form factor also make the laptop easy to carry around.
You want an impressive screen
The Realme Book Slim brings much-needed refresh in the display segment with a 2K resolution IPS screen which is vibrant, can get bright enough to work outdoors, and offer excellent viewing angle.
You are looking for a good keyboard and trackpad combo
The keyboard and trackpad experience on the Realme Book Slim is one of the best in the segment. The keys are well spaced and have an ample amount of travel while the trackpad is large and responsive. If your word depends a lot on typing, the Realme Book Slim won’t disappoint you.
Don’t buy it if…
You want more RAM
While the performance on the Realme Book Slim wasn’t an issue with 8GB RAM, there is no option to upgrade the RAM. A 16GB RAM option available like we’ve seen in Europe and China would have come in handy for many enthusiasts.
You want more ports
With MacBook like design, the Realme Book Slim also took cues from Apple when it comes to port selection. If you need additional USB ports, SD card slots, and HDMI slot, you might want to consider something else.
You want full-day battery life
The Realme Book with around 20 Chrome tabs, Slack, Mails, and a few photo editing, the laptop could last only up to 6 hours 一 which is above average, but not class-leading. The Mi NoteBook lineup offers up to 10 hours of battery life which is more ideal if you want an all-day battery.