RDP ThinBook Review: A budget laptop that is surprisingly good

RDP ThinBook is a budget laptop with great design but does it deliver as an overall Windows PC? We find out in our review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Written by Karthekayan Iyer | Updated: September 13, 2016 6:42 pm
RDP, RDP thinbook, RDP thinbook review, RDP thinbook features, RDP thinbook price, RDP thinbook specifications, RDP thinbook Windows 10, cheap windows 10 laptop, sub 10k laptop, gadgets, technology, technology news RDP ThinBook is the latest in the growing list of budget Windows 10 notebook developed in collaboration with Microsoft

Budget laptops – the ones costing less than Rs 20,000 – are the next big thing in the world of consumer PC segment. Microsoft and Intel both see the segment as the way forward for PC industry – where laptops are essentially replacing desktops as the first computer consumers buy. With Windows 10 becoming cheaper for OEMs and even free for certain screen size, this industry is in the threshold of a significant boom.

Microsoft, which has set itself a target of 1 billion Windows 10 devices, has to tap into this very segment in order to achieve its goal. Microsoft has even identified the path to reach that goal – lure mobile OEMs to make Windows 10 PCs – that don’t cost a bomb. With Micromax and Lava already onboard, it was just a matter of time before Microsoft added more companies on its side.

RDP ThinBook

Just don’t worry if you haven’t heard that name before; I had no idea about this brand either. RDP is the latest to join Microsoft’s budget Windows PC initiative. RDP is, however, approaching the segment differently than Micromax, iBall and Lava.

RDP’s first product is not a detachable but a traditional Windows PC and what more, one with really big screen. RDP ThinBook resembles Lenovo’s Ideapad series a lot. It won’t be an understatement to say that RDP ThinBook is completely inspired by the Ideapad series. The moment you unbox the device, that RDP logo placed like Lenovo on the exterior strikes you. RDP has also designed the interior similar to Apple’s flagship MacBook Pro lineup, which is pleasantly surprising from a newbie. A budget laptop that looks this good is always a good sight. But does this one perform considering the demanding needs of a Windows PC? We find out.

Specs: 14.1-inch HD (1366 x 768) Display | Windows 10 Home | 1.84GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor | 2GB RAM | 32GB storage | Intel HD Graphics | 10,000mAh battery | USB 3.0 x1 | USB 2.0 x1 | mini HDMI port | 1.5kg

Price: Rs 10,999

RDP, RDP thinbook, RDP thinbook review, RDP thinbook features, RDP thinbook price, RDP thinbook specifications, RDP thinbook Windows 10, cheap windows 10 laptop, sub 10k laptop, gadgets, technology, technology news RDP ThinBook is just 2mm thick and weighs just 1.5Kg. The laptop also offers very good battery life with its 10,000mAh battery

What is good?

The best part about RDP ThinBook is its big 14.1-inch display. The display is not the brightest or the colour saturated one I have come across, but it is certainly on par with several other budget notebooks out there. The advantage of the big screen here is that you can watch videos on a larger screen and it also helps in split-screen multitasking.

I still remember my first laptop which felt like carrying bricks on my back. With RDP ThinBook, that issue is gone forever. RDP ThinBook is neither heavy nor too light. The laptop skips on non-essential options like DVD-drive to make room for a larger battery and keep the thickness and weight under control. The overall weight is evenly distributed so you won’t feel the pain while carrying it around the workplace by holding the screen bezel.

Again, with these budget notebooks, the showstopper is Windows 10 and not the hardware or design. With RDP ThinBook too, Windows 10 outshines as a complete desktop operating system. Windows 10 pillars around use of Cortana, Microsoft Edge and mobile like notifications. On RDP ThinBook, these core features work absolutely fine. Thanks to the addition of two microphones up front, Cortana can hear you even from relatively far. So shouting, “Hey Cortana, get me driving directions to work” from far will always return a result. Since the laptop is a low-duty one, I faced issues browsing on Chrome, but Edge worked like a charm.

RDP, RDP thinbook, RDP thinbook review, RDP thinbook features, RDP thinbook price, RDP thinbook specifications, RDP thinbook Windows 10, cheap windows 10 laptop, sub 10k laptop, gadgets, technology, technology news RDP ThinBook offers dual microphones for better voice recognition and the laptop works comfortably with Cortana

With Windows 10 Anniversary update bringing extensions to Edge, this is the only browser you need on this notebook. Overall, Windows 10 works far better on this low-cost notebook than it would do on your five-year-old PC.

I have tested Micromax Canvas Lapbook, iBall Compbook Excelance, Lava Twinpad and now RDP ThinBook and I must say, these budget notebooks deliver on battery front. During my use, I was easily able to browse web, watch video and even write (though I won’t recommend), and yet have some juice left on this one. The laptop is good enough for five hours of constant streaming from the web, decent for that binge-watching session.

As far as performance is concerned, RDP ThinBook does fare well with Windows and basic things like browsing the web, accessing media and even multitasking. The laptop is even great for playing games like Crossy Road, but just don’t load this one with Counter Strike.

What is not good?

RDP, RDP thinbook, RDP thinbook review, RDP thinbook features, RDP thinbook price, RDP thinbook specifications, RDP thinbook Windows 10, cheap windows 10 laptop, sub 10k laptop, gadgets, technology, technology news The keyboard is not the strongest point of RDP ThinBook. The keys are shallow and I often ended up hitting the wrong key

If there is something to dislike about RDP ThinBook, then it has to be its keyboard. Everytime I get a notebook for review, I try to start judging the keyboard right away and I even prefer to use that same keyboard to write the review. In the case of RDP ThinBook, it certainly didn’t hold up well.

Firstly, the keyboard is designed similar to Apple’s MacBook Pro with wide space for palm rest around the keyboard. However, that design also means that the keys are more closely packed and there is extremely shallow travel between the keys.

Another issue is with the feedback offered by the keys. You often don’t understand whether a key has been pressed or not. Well, I am being too judgemental here and probably you shouldn’t expect much from a budget laptop, but this one could have been better.

RDP, RDP thinbook, RDP thinbook review, RDP thinbook features, RDP thinbook price, RDP thinbook specifications, RDP thinbook Windows 10, cheap windows 10 laptop, sub 10k laptop, gadgets, technology, technology news RDP ThinBook also offers decent option in terms of ports with one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 and mini HDMI port

Another place RDP ThinBook struggles, is with the sound. The speakers on this notebook sound tinny, and the overall volume is very low too. It would be much advisable to invest in good quality speakers.

Should you buy?

If you are on a tight budget and want a laptop primarily for watching videos then trust me, this one is the only good option. The laptop has a decent keyboard for writing basic reports, but not the one for writing a long thesis.

With RDP ThinBook, you can survive your summer holidays watching cat videos, posting on Facebook, chatting on Messenger and if that’s what you are looking for, then this makes a good buying option.