Jumper EZ Book 3 Review: Serviceable Windows Laptop For Under $200 – Forbes
There are two types of laptop users in the world: those who scoff at “cheap, unknown brands” and insist on paying like anywhere from one to two grand American dollars for a MacBook, or those who realize the consumer tech market is so saturated that you can find better deals if you look to lesser known brands from China. Now I’m not saying the former group has the wrong idea — if you do a lot of graphic design, video editing or just want a reliable, stable machine that you use for six years, then by all means go get an Apple (or something like a Dell XPS 13). But ask yourself: are you really a power user? I would bet that 90% of laptop owners (including me) are not. Especially now that our phones and tablets have become our go-to media consumption machines, the laptop is only left for sending emails, writing Word/Excel docs, scroll through Facebook posts. If that’s the case, why pay $1,000 when you can pay $200? (In fact, it’s only $194 right now on Gearbest).
I’ve been using the Jumper EZ Book 3 for the past two weeks. I am writing this post, along with the last two, on the machine. And I can honestly say the EZ Book 3 has given me the exact same work experience that I usually get out of my much more expensive MacBook Air.
Let’s first talk specs: the EZ Book 3 is a Windows 10 machine powered by dual-core Intel Apollo Lake Celeron N3350, with a 14.1-inch 1080p LCD display with 4GB of RAM. There are two USB ports, one of which is 3.0, and a mini-HDMI out, along with a MicroSD slot for storage. The device comes with 64GB of internal storage, of which about 8GB is taken up with software. The battery inside is 10,500 mAh, which is a very good size for these specs. As expected the battery life is one of the strongest selling factors of the EZ Book 3, giving me more than nine hours of use with screen on 75% brightness (though those nine hours were mostly done typing a Word doc, surfing the web, and streaming Spotify … so not exactly heavy use).
The dual-core processor is not as powerful as rival budget laptops with a quad-core Apollo Lake N3450, but real-life and benchmark performance on the EZ Book 3 was solid (it scored a 107,443 on Antutu).
The overall build of the laptop, as you can see from photos, is very workmanlike from the outside. The entire device is made of plastic, which isn’t as sexy as a aluminum device, but the plastic keeps it light (the EZ Book 3 weighs a tad more than 2.5 pounds/1.6 kilos). Once you open the lid, however, you may be in for a pleasant surprise — the bezels around the display is very slim. In fact, it makes my MacBook Air look dated with that clunky frame around the screen.
The keyboard on the EZ Book 3 is just okay, unfortunately. The keys don’t have as much travel as other laptops I’ve tried (including budget ones from other little known Chinese brands) and there is quite a bit of flex. But the trackpad is excellent — way better than anything at this price range. This is one laptop I can use without a mouse.
The 14.1-inch display has a matte finish, which makes it more glare resistant in direct sunlight. The screen also gets quite bright, with decent color accuracy. This isn’t a breathtaking AMOLED panel like on some high-end smartphones, but for a budget laptop it more than gets the job done. The speakers are surprisingly loud, with good bass, highs and mids. You can watch films on this laptop and not feel like you’re getting a butchered experience.
Conversely, don’t make video calls on this. The 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera is awkwardly positioned at the bottom of the display (which means it shoots videos from below, giving you a double chin look) and uh it’s only 0.3-megapixel.
In terms of overall performance, the EZ Book 3 is fine if you do, as I mentioned earlier, the basic work tasks like emails, writing documents and web surfing. Don’t expect to be able to run Photoshop on this or play major duty games. But for $194, what more are you expecting? This is a device for those who just need a work machine when they are out and about, one that they wouldn’t lose sleep over if it gets stolen. The strong battery life is a plus (though it can only be charged via DC input, I’d prefer to be able to charge with USB-C). I’ve been working off of this for two weeks and I intend to keep it as my to-go work machine.