A global computer brand – XiDU – has carved itself a pretty solid niche making fashion-and-portable laptops. I’ve recently reviewed the PhilBook Max touchscreen laptop on these pages and found it to offer excellent value for money: convertible 2 in 1 laptop with 360°flip design which makes it a perfect choice for daily use. With the new Philbook Max, XIDU is making the dreaded ‘move upmarket’ by offering a higher specification machine than ever before. On paper, XIDU still delivers your money’s worth: the XiDU Philbook Max offers 6GB of RAM, 128GB SSD large expandable storage, and 14.1 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) touchscreen display, all wrapped up in a very handsome metal body with 4.9mm ultra-narrow border which offers immersive visual experience. Importantly, PhilBook Max is powered with Intel Apollo Lake J3355 (Dual-Core, 2.0 GHz Up To 2.5 GHz), power savings at low frequency which means you can do more with faster speeds.
It’s difficult not to be impressed by the PhilBook Max ‘s unique design which includes A.D metal case with a frosted texture, and high-class metal brushed edges. In addition, its equipped backlit keyboard caters to the demands of persons who work at night. Its high resolution enables to provide better view experience, as well as protect your eyes!
For a 14.1-inch machine, the Philbook Max is usefully light and compact, measuring up at 12.79 x 8.66 x 0.65in and weighing 1.39kg. With two USB 3.0 ports, a mini-HDMI socket and the DC 12V/3A port, the Philbook Max is well connected. A MicroSD card slot and 3.5mm audio in/out jack round things out. Fire up the Philbook Max and you’ll find yourself looking at a rather fine, fully laminated FHD display. That’s much brighter than I expected in this price bracket. The 4.9mm side bezels are certainly impressively slender.
Sitting below the screen you’ll find a more than backlit keyboard. The travel of keys is just about ideal and there’s a good level of feedback. The backlight and clearly distinguished power button are welcome features, although as with all the other XIDU notebooks the keyboard is of the international type. Furthermore, the large, one-piece laptop with 2 in 1 design has a pleasant, slightly matte finish and a very precise click-action.
Unlike other XIDU laptops, the Philbook Max has a slot for a 128GB SSD in the underside. The early version came with 64GB SSD storage and the expansion bay empty so you could add as much extra capacity as you wanted. My review machine came with a 128GB SSD pre-installed. The exact specification of the Philbook Max changed to cater to different daily demands. If given the choice I’d actually prefer a cheaper 128GB SSD option. Why? Because the Philbook Max works beautifully with Linux. I tried both Ubuntu 19.04 and the Intel-backed Clear Linux distro on the Philbook Max and they ran faultlessly.
By XIDU’s standards, the quality of the loudspeakers is good — there’s no distortion and even a little bit of bass — while the 720p webcam and microphone are not bad either. Sound from the 3.5mm audio jack is clean and static-free. Finally, just to clarify something I’m regularly asked about, XiDU Philbook Max laptops arrive with a bona fide English version of Windows 10 Home rather than a Chinese-language version. If you want to get, Grab it Here…