All in - a Zed PC review

Can I-LIFE Digital attain its goal of democratising technology? We review the ZED PC to try to find out

Tags: DesktopsI-LIFE Digital (.i-life.us/)United Arab Emirates
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All in - a Zed PC review Declutter your workspace with the cable-free Zed PC set up.
By  David Ndichu Published  October 22, 2017

There’s a certain sweet spot for modern computing devices. An ideal balance between portability and functionality. Numerous attempts have been made to achieve this holy grail, leading to a vast array of PC form factors.

The Zed PC all-in-one is takes up this challenge, attempting to offer users the perfect blend of versatility with the power of a fully-fledged PC.

I-LIFE Digital, the manufacturer of the Zed PC says its mission is to democratise technology for the masses by offering affordable innovations. Like the pioneering Asian smartphone brands of the early 2000s that took the smartphone from a status device to a mass product, the potential to disrupt the PC industry is huge, and potentially lucrative.

To disrupt an industry with the legacy of the PC will take something special, however. Does the Zed PC have what it takes?

I-LIFE Digital, with its thumbs up logo, offers a full range of electronic devices, with laptops, smartphones under the Fivo brand, tablets which sells under the ITELL brand, smartwatches, VR gear and accessories. 

Design

You cannot fully categorise the Zed PC. Although officially an all-in-one, it sits somewhere at the intersection of a convertible PC, an all-in-one and a giant tablet, all wrapped in a body with a distinctly Apple feel to it. It is available in two colours, silver and pearl white.

The main computing unit is housed behind a 17.3” LCD tilting display with a 10-point touch screen. The design is sleek and looks more like a tablet than a PC. The stand can tilt from 10° to 30° allowing users to choose their most ergonomically comfortable view. Straight of the box are a pair of wireless mouse and keyboard, that connects to the PC through a tiny adapter that goes behind.

All the ports are hidden at the back, including USB 3.0 connections, power and the audio jack.  But you really only require one cable with the Zed PC, and that is the power connection. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth should take care of all the rest.   

The result is a clutter-free clean desktop environment very much in tune with an increasingly wireless era.  

One of the key highlights of the Zed PC is its in-built battery, unlike all the all-in-ones I have come across. This means you can be truly mobile and move the PC whenever you want in the house. The 2500 mAh battery supports up to three hour of runtime when the PC is unmoored from its power source.

Performance

The Zed PC is powered by an Intel Celeron processor. To keep prices slow, the ZED PC had to make certain sacrifices. One of this was with the processor, meaning there’s no of the powerful Intel Core processor. Mind you, Celeron is more than adequate for everyday use, so the average user will not notice any difference.

You do however get Intel HD Graphics with the ZED PC, delivering smooth and high-res video and audio. The Zed PC also features clear and loud built-in stereo hi-fi speakers. At this, the Zed PC excels over tablets, notorious for their tinny sound. If you are like me and prefer headphones, you experience the same rich sound via Bluetooth pairing.

The new Zed PC features a capacitive 10-point multi-touch display with an edge-to-edge design that enables smooth touch control.

Storage is taken care by a 500 GB hard drive with 3 GB DDR lll RAM. This can be upgraded via miniSD card, of up to 64GB. There’s a 2-megapixel Full HD webcam for video calls.

The Zed PC screen resolution is 1600 x 900. Resolution is one of the more confusing aspects of displays for most people. In this case, the Zed PC really cuts it close with 1600 x 900 pixels for its 17.3” screen. Any size even slightly higher than that would require the more familiar 1920 x 1080 screen, otherwise the differences become noticeable.  

There’s a 2.0 MP camera for video calls. Again, it’s not the highest quality camera considering the standard resolution for smartphone camera has risen to 5.0, but it’s decent enough for clear video calls. My mum said so when I called her!

Verdict

I-LIFE wanted to create a device with the versatility of a tablet and the full capabilities of a PC, a no easy task by any means. You could end up with a clunky device that delivers neither. I-LIFE got a great deal right. The Zed PC is portable enough to move around the house, from the kitchen counter for those mouth-watering recipes, to the living room for bingeing on Netflix. Meanwhile, it has enough power to be used as a fully-fledged PC for your SOHO.

The ZED PC is priced at AED 1099-with one-year warranty-the cheapest all-in-one from the main vendor brands would be twice that. There are obvious sacrifices including a lack of an Intel Core chipset or the non-Full HD resolution. However, this does not take away the capabilities of the ZED PC as a value-for-money all-in-one PC from a vendor intent on shifting the PC landscape.        

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