REVIEW: Venturer BravoWin 10KT
Is it a tablet? Is it a laptop? This 2-in-1 hybrid looks like a netbook … remember those?
What’s small, heavy and remarkably affordable? Six years ago the netbook – purse-size laptop computers – were hailed as the next, ahem, small thing. Times have changed and tablets have swept across the globe. There are even some saying that tablets are dead already. So the appearance of a gadget that is both a tablet and a netbook combined is perhaps a little confusing. However, so good value is the Venturer BravoWin 10KT that it’s kinda hard to argue with.
The mobile world
Travel has gone mobile. Everyone has a phone on them, and many travellers use them to blog, keep a diary, take and upload photos to social media, etc. But there are some of us – TravGear.com included – that need to type. Incessantly, type. Forever, type. It’s all they do, these people (us). These same people – be they bloggers, businesspeople, writers – don’t really want to carry round an MacBook Pro while they travel. They do it, but they don’t like it. Who wants to carry £1,200 worth of crafted aluminium through a dodgy bus station late at night? Cue the Venturer BravoWin 10KT, which is going for an absolute song at £150.
The Venturer BravoWin 10KT is heavy-ish, weighing-in at 1kg. Compared to an 11-inch Macbook we happened to have nearby – which weighs just 920g and has a slimmer design and, yes, a bigger screen – the BravoWin 10KT doesn’t compare that well. But hang on. The BravoWin costs a relative pittance. OK, so the hinge that ties the tablet screen to the rather hollow-sounding keyboard. So what? Its costs £150! When detached, the tablet weighs 600g, which compares reasonably well to the 583g of a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the 437g of the latest iPad.
Head in the clouds
The Venturer BravoWin 10KT runs a pared-down version of Windows 10. What’s genuinely different to previous versions is that new documents and photos and saved to Microsoft’s own OneDrive cloud storage service. That’s handy – the cloud makes everything easy to access from any device, anywhere – but doesn’t this make Windows 10 exactly like Google’s Chromebook? The only difference is that cloud storage here is a choice – you can just use the Venturer BravoWin 10KT as a standard tablet/laptop/hybrid/2-in-1 … whatever it is.
What Windows 10 also has is Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, which is impressive. However, as usual with Windows devices, whatever iteration it is, the main problem is … Windows. It’s slicker than ever, yes, but it’s still riddled with error messages and general ‘you can’t do that’ approach to usability. The Dropbox app that wouldn’t take its activation code, the Store icon that flashed up error messages while an app was downloading … none of them fatal to the experience, but all making you think that there must be a better OS out there (or how about no OS at all?) Seriously, PC users might not notice, but if you’ve ever been anywhere near an Apple product, beware.
Day to day use
We took the Venturer BravoWin 10KT out for a few days work, visiting a conference and generally indulging in writing sessions and some entertainment. With an old and
Although it’s possible to just go ahead and use Windows Mobile, the faffing about getting documents onto the device didn’t appeal, so we grabbed the Evernote app and just started typing, and saving to the cloud. The Evernote Touch app we used is actually for word processing than the Evernote app on the Mac computer we usually rely on, so all was good. Ditto for entertainment; we downloaded Netflix and the BBC iPlayer, and just got on with it.
Picture & sound quality
The Venturer BravoWin 10KT is a netbook. With a removable screen. And it’s cheap. A great way of travelling without the burden of expensive gadgets, it’s got all the core qualities of a travel-friendly product; you can work on it effectively, and you can rip-off the screen and use it to read ebooks. We just wish it were a few grams lighter …