If you’re looking for a device to take your notes on, browse the internet and you have to watch the pennies, the Linx 12X64 will just tick all the right boxes.
Spending that bit more and you will get the Microsoft Surface 3 at £465, another 2-in-1 but with a slightly faster Intel Atom processor, a 10.8in display and impressive battery life.
Take away the 2-in-1 design and your choices widen considerably. One alternative would be the HP Stream 11 at £258, the 11.6in laptop is not the fastest but it’s an excellent choice. It has an Intel Celeron processor and a 720p display.
Linx 12X64 review: Design and build quality
The design is not exactly cutting edge: the Linx’s hard plastic shell is bland and nowhere near attractive as the colourful HP Stream 11 or the Asus Transformer Mini with its stunning aluminium frame.
The kickstand is excellent, which is made out of aluminium. It’s infinitely adjustable, just like on the far more expensive Surface Pro and allows you to prop up the laptop on a desk or your lap. With it folded away, you can lay it completely flat, too.
Another point in the Linx’s favour is that it comes with the keyboard attachment in the box. This connects to the main body of the tablet with a magnetic strip located at the bottom of the tablet and it feels very comfortable to type on. There’s a slight flex in the base when it’s tilted, but with the keyboard placed flat on a solid surface and stays there. The trackpad under the spacebar is a pleasure to use, too; it’s accurate and doesn’t suffer from any tracking problems at all.
On the side of the laptop, you’ll find a USB 3.0 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a micro-HDMI output, a microSDHC/XC card reader and a micro-USB port used for charging. The power button and volume rocker are at the top. And two sideways-firing speakers are found near the bottom of the tablet. In comparison to other budget 2-in-1 laptops, the speakers are caetainly better than average.
Finally, you also get both a front- and rear-facing cameras here; they’re only 2-megapixel units, though, which makes them useful only for the occasional video call. For wireless connectivity, the laptop has dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0.
Linx 12X64 review: Display
The laptop comes with a 12.5in 10-point multi-touch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS display. There are better dispays about but at this price, it’s pretty good, especially with its Full HD resolution.
With a respectable contrast ratio of 1,148:1, the laptop is able to achieve an impressively low black level of 0.25cd/m2 at maximum brightness. Put into perspective, the HP Stream 11 struggles to compete with a contrast ratio of only 325:1.
It’s a little on the dark side, though, with a peak measured brightness of 290cd/m2. This might be a problem if you intend to use the laptop outside in daylight but most of the time it’s perfectly OK.
Colours do lack potency, though, and the Linx only covers 63.2% of the sRGB colour space. By comparison, the Surface 3 is flawless at a measured 97.6% sRGB. Colour accuracy is rather poor, too, with an average Delta E of 4.36 and a ridiculously high maximum of 19.3. Still, for everyday use, it’s just about acceptable. You can do photo editing on it, just don’t expect people to see the same on a colour accurate screen.
Linx 12X64 review: Performance
Being an inexpensive 2-in-1 laptop, the Linx 12X64’s performance was never going to be its strongest asset. Unsurprisingly, it has a low-power 1.44GHz quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor and 4GB of dated LPDDR3 SDRAM.
For browsing the web, light multitasking and office work, the Linx has enough power, but throw anything demanding at it, such as multiple Chrome tabs and you’ll find it lagging.
I ran Geekbench 4, the multi-platform CPU benchmark and wasn’t surprised to see a score of 705 and 2,037 in its single- and multi-core benchmarks. It’s one of the lowest scoring laptops I’ve come across.
Don’t expect to game on it, either. Average frame rates of 10.2fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.0 and 5.4fps in GFXBench Car Chase, indicate the laptop’s Intel HD Graphics 400 integrated GPU will struggle to play anything remotely demanding.
Linx 12X64 review: Price and competition
The Linx 12X64 is available for £275 at Amazon. Its nearest rival is the Asus Transformer Mini, which can now be found for £310. It features the same processor, but has a smaller 10.1in display and comes with a bundled stylus.
Linx 12X64 review Verdict
I never expected the Linx 12X64 to be a high-performance machine and wasn't, at only £275 for a 2-in-1 Windows 10 laptop with a Full HD display and a bundled detachable keyboard, the Linx is an excellent low budget option.
If you are watching the pennies and want a portable, multi-purpose Windows 10 machine, buy the Linx 12X64. If you can afford to spend a little more, I would choose the Asus Transformer Mini it is a superior choice with better battery life and a better looks.