[REVIEW] JOI Book SK3000 – Productivity-focused Laptop with 4G LTE

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The brand name “JOI” may be unfamiliar to some but they already are in the laptop-sphere for more than 7 years. The brand was found by a local ICT company, SNS Network (M) Sdn Bhd from Ipoh, and introduced their first device to the Malaysia market since 2013.

Qualcomm is partnering with SNS Network (M) Sdn Bhd launched Malaysia’s first Windows on Snapdragon ARM64 laptop, the JOI Book SK3000. It’s also the first always-connected PC that features a Snapdragon X20 4G LTE modem.

Here’s a first look video of the JOI Book SK3000

JOI Book SK3000

In the box

JOI Book SK3000 Inside The Box

Inside the box are the laptop, some documentation, USB Type-C to Type C cable, and a 30W PD charger.

Design

JOI Book SK3000 Design

A brief glance, the JOI Book SK3000 does look heavily inspired by the fruit brand which isn’t a bad thing. It comes with only one colour options; Gray and equipped with a narrow bezel 12.5-inch Full HD IPS display panel.

Weight at only merely 1kg laptop is pretty portable and has an impressive rigid built. The aluminium chassis has chamfer edges all around making it comfortable to hold and bring it around.

JOI Book SK3000 Keyboard

It has a standard 78 keys chiclet keyboard with matte finishes, features short 1.4mm travel distance which tactile and responsive.

JOI Book SK3000 Trackpad

Coming to the trackpad, it has a rather long rectangle shape design and support Windows 10 Precision Touchpad Gestures.

JOI Book SK3000 Webcam

The webcam is located strangely at the bottom of the display and does the job as a webcam for video conference application like Zoom Meeting, Microsoft Teams, Skype and more.

Display & Speaker

JOI Book SK3000 Display

The glossy 12.5-inch display in 16:9 ratio has a high pixel per inch and wide viewing angle thanks to the Full HD resolution IPS display panel. The display can go pretty bright with high contrast.

Two speakers are firing upwards below the display and they are quite tiny. It would get slightly distorted even at 70% volume. A 3.5mm earphone or wireless earphone would come in handy and deliver much better sound quality with Qualcomm aptX codec.

Performance – Always-On, Always Connected with 4G LTE

JOI Book SK3000 Qualcomm Snapdragon 850

Addressing the elephant in the room, the JOI Book SK3000 is probably the first laptop to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset which launched officially here in Malaysia. It uses the 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute System on Chip (SoC) which features Kyro 385 Octa-core processor with clock speeds up to 2.96GHz, Adreno 630 GPU, Hexagon 685 DSP and Snapdragon X20 4G LTE modem.

This ARM64 processor delivers an always-on, always-connected experience. This means it gets incredibly fast start-up times and has all your stuff updated like email, notification and etc if a 4G SIM card inserted into the laptop. It works similar to how a smartphone function instead it runs on a full-fledged Windows operating system. It’s much secure and safer to use your own internet rather public WiFi that exposed to any intruder who sharing the same network.

Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC runs on Windows isn’t something new and it didn’t go well when it was first introduced a few years back with Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. The main obstacle was software optimization to runs on ARM64 processor, there weren’t many native apps for it back then.

Microsoft did release 64-bit emulator last month on preview version, this brings closer supports to any kind of Windows applications regardless of 32-bit or 64-bit X86 applications.

The configuration of Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 with 4GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage technology performed pretty decently, especially on apps that run natively including Microsoft Edge, Office, Mail, Spotify, Netflix, WhatsApp, Telegram and much more where you can download it from Microsoft Store. How I wish JOI offers 8GB variants, as the 4GB of RAM get easily filled up with just a few tabs of browsers.

Here’s the Geek Benchmark 5 test result;

It’s comparable with Intel Y-series chipset that focused on power efficiency and the result wasn’t that far off comparing with Intel i3 10110Y. Besides that, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 is fanless and thermal throttling never in its dictionary.

Connectivity & I/O Ports

JOI Book SK3000 has all the connectivity that a laptop needs like a dual-band AC WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 which more than enough for most wireless peripherals.

JOI Book SK3000 4G & microSD
microSD card slot & nanoSIM slot

Due to lightweight and slim design the I/O ports on this laptop are pretty limited, there’s a single USB Type-C for charging and file transfer, 3.5mm combo audio port, microSD card for storage expansion and a nano-SIM or your 4G SIM card. An external dongle is recommended to connect external devices like monitor, USB Type-A storage or other peripherals.

JOI Book SK3000 I/O

Battery Life

The laptop is packed with 4,500 mAh battery that promises up to 10 hours of usage with just a single charge. Throughout our test, the laptop does promise very close battery life where I’m getting around 7 to 8 hours with some work on the web, watch YouTube, few episodes series on Netflix and some music on Spotify.

It has an impressive power-efficient for such small 4,500 mAh battery, which even smaller to some other smartphones out there. All it takes is less than 2 hours to fully charge from 0% to 100% with the provide 30W charger. Imagine if it packed with a standard laptop battery size, I believe this laptop can last days.

Pricing and Availability

The new JOI Book SK3000 will only be available starting 6th January 2020 with MSRP of RM 2,199. First 200 customers will receive a Microsoft 365 Personal, a backpack and a box of face mask with the purchase. For more info and where to buy:- https://bit.ly/3aM27n3

Disclaimer: This content is sponsored by JOI Book Malaysia

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JOI Book SK3000 Review
  • Build
  • Performance
  • Connectivity
  • Battery Life
  • Value
4

Verdict

The JOI Book SK3000 may not be perfect, but it excels in battery life and combined the best of laptops and mobile devices. The inclusion of 4G network is useful, and its integration within Windows 10 is flawless.

This could be the beginning of ARM64 transition for laptops that now still struggling between performance and power-efficiency. Look at what Apple has done with its Apple Silicon chip, the M1, delivers performance at high power-efficiency. The top cherry is software optimization which Microsoft could be a latecomer, but they didn’t give up and released some good productivity app on its Microsoft Store. We may be seeing more and more ARM64 powered laptops next year as Qualcomm also released few new Qualcomm Snapdragon Compute Mobile processors like Snapdragon 8cx Gen2 with 5G network support.

Pros: 

  • Always-on, Always Connected Experience
  • Lightweight & Robust Built
  • High Power-efficiency 

Cons

  • 4GB of RAM & Non-expandable
  • Doesn’t support 64-bit software
  • Limited I/O ports

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