One of the lareview additions to the catalog is the Book One, a hybrid notebook PC that looks like Microsoft’s Surface Book. It is only available in one configuration (it’s simple), rather muscular, costing almost 2800 euros (2795 euros to be exact). If you want to crack after reading the review, head to one of the Porsche Design stores or the Bleujour brand, also seller of Book One. It is this one which sent us the latter for our review.
Beautiful device than this Book One from Porsche Design: it is one of the first hybrid laptops which combines both the physical properties of a “convertible” and a “detachable”. Clearly, the 13.3 inch touch screen of the Book One can rotate 360 ° to position itself on the back of the keyboard; and it can also separate completely from the keyboard and be used as a simple large Windows 10 tablet. Not bad !
The Book One is therefore a true contortionist and can be used as desired: in a classic ultraportable PC, like a tablet or even in “tent” mode (inverted “V” position) or in “support” mode (key of the keyboard against the table, screen facing the user).
High tech bodywork
To showcase its ergonomic advantages, nothing beats a case with an impeccable finish. Rounded edges, tapered lines, the Book One is adorned with an alloy of aluminum and steel anodized, finely cut and machined. Lines that are clearly inspired by the “bodywork” elements of German racing cars!
Not to mention the hinges on the screen that remind us of mechanical cogs, much like those you would find in an engine. These are also made of metal, of course, and are integral with the part which serves to accommodate the tablet.
The touch slate is held in three points by an electromagnet system that is reminiscent of that of the Microsoft Surface Book.
To eject it, just press the little button on the right side of the keyboard part for a little longer. Note that this key works whether the machine is turned off or on, which is very practical.
The Book One weighs its weight … and is unbalanced
Placed on the scale and affixed against the height rod, the Book One adopts the overall dimensions in force in the world of convertibles or ultraportability (31.14 x 22.6 cm).
Together, tablet and keyboard, however, have a fairly high weight of 1.56 kg and a maximum thickness of 1.78 cm in the closed position. In comparison, the lareview HP Specter x2 (12 inch) convertible or the very recent Asus ZenBook Flip S weigh 1.13 kg and 1.11 kg respectively and have more or less the same configuration. It will be immediately clear that, unlike these two competitors, the Book One has two batteries, one in the keyboard and the other in the tablet.
Tablet which alone weighs more than 760 grams. So when it is attached to the keyboard and the screen opening angle does not exceed 110 °, everything is fine, the machine remains in place, whether it is placed on a table or on the knees . But if you push the screen too far back, the keyboard part can no longer offset the weight of the slate. The whole rocks dangerously and, dragged by its weight, falls backwards! Thus, typing machine text placed on the knees becomes a somewhat dangerous exercise … for Book One.
Keyboard, touchpad, fingers or stylus, choice of weapons
Let us continue our ergonomic analysis by specifying that the keyboard is of good size, occupies the internal tray well but offers a fairly hard typing comfort. Note also that the separate keys are backlit (three possible intensities) but that the light beam is quite faint. Worse, we do not clearly distinguish the small pictograms relating to the shortcuts that can be activated using the Fn + F1 to F12 keys.
The touchpad, for its part, has a generous sliding surface, well proportioned and pleasant to wander with your fingertips.
If you’re a fan of handwriting, be aware that Book One comes with a stylus using Wacom technology. His body is a little angular but holds well in hand. The mine offers several thousand pressure points, so it is possible to draw more or less thick lines without going through a specific setting in the note taking or drawing app chosen. We hardly noticed any latency between the moment when we printed a gesture on the surface of the screen and its materialization in the form of lines on Paint.
There are two full-size USB 3.0 sockets on the left side of the keyboard, as well as a USB Type-C socket. This serves both as a data transfer interface and accommodates the tip of the AC adapter (plug format) for recharging the battery.
A second Type-C connector (Thunderbolt compatible) is located on the tablet and has the same functions. For fans of working on two screens, note that a USB Type-C to HDMI adapter is delivered in the box.
Finally, the last connection element present, the microSD reader, which is very practical for expanding the machine’s storage capacities or, for example, emptying photos taken using a smartphone.
Lots of (beautiful) pixels
Now let’s move on to our hard technical reviews. As usual, we open the ball with the evaluation of the 13.3 inch touch screen. The panel chosen by Porsche Design is IPS type and displays the Windows interface and your applications in QHD + (3200 by 1800 pixels). Result, it is mandatory to play on the scale of Windows 10 and increase it to 150% minimum so as not to tire the retina (tiny icons, characters too small). The fact remains that, from our point of view, such a quantity of pixels on a screen of this diagonal does not serve much, apart from making it “rich” on a technical sheet, especially if it is mainly used for to work.
Who says touch screen says protective glass. That of Book One is particularly brilliant and loves to keep fingerprints. And if usually playing on the tilt angle of the screen is a good idea to get rid of light parasites, as we explained above, here is better to avoid!
After passing under the probe, the slab of this ultraportable is brighter than that of current competitors, with an average maximum value of 406 cd / m2. The contrast ratio is not to be outdone since it exceeds 1120: 1. Clearly, no matter what content you see on the screen: the color rendering is good. In addition, we did not detect any major color defects, except for a very slight blue veil, often seen on the lareview generation IPS screens.
A classic high-end ultraportable engine
On the Book One, all of the components are behind the 13.3-inch display. The menu here consists of an Intel Core i7-7500U processor that takes care of calculations and graphics (as is often the case with ultraportables), 16 GB of memory and 512 GB of SSD. On paper, the whole has everything to succeed but we noticed some small inexplicable slowdowns in usual apps (navigation, word processing). Or even waking up sometimes a little difficult, with the obligation to restart the machine wildly by hand. Whether the tablet is connected to the keyboard or not. Despite our investigations, we did not find any throttling or other material manifestations that may explain this. Mystery.
Comparing the results obtained by Book One with those obtained by other current competing hybrids (more affordable), we realized that Porsche Design is a little behind. Especially when it comes to mobilizing graphic resources, even briefly. Difficult for the 3D controller built into the Core i7 to easily display complex 3D images on as many pixels.
Hearthstone turns in native definition, the very old titles pass without concern until 1080p. However, do not expect to survey the planets of Star Wars Battlefront II, blaster in hand, or the landing beaches of Call of Duty: WWII with this Porsche Design. You would be very disappointed.
Still, Book One aims to shine in office apps, web activities and multimedia (from Full HD to 4K) in good doses. He can also allow himself some forays into the world of retouching or developing digital photos or video editing.
An appreciable thing, even stressing all the components, the ventilation remains very silent: 33.4 dB maximum were measured (29 dB at rest). Corollary, under these conditions, the mercury soars. We noted almost 50 ° C on the back of the slate. It’s way too hot!
Fortunately the keyboard battery is there
Last but nevertheless important review of our protocol, that of endurance. The Book One was subjected to our usual reviews: loop video playback (recorded on the SSD) with maximum brightness and our versatile autonomy scenario, with the screen set to 200 cd / m2. We did several cycles and once all the results compiled, it appears that by combining the power of the two batteries, the Book One holds 8:51 in 480p video playback, 7 h 10 with a film in 1080p. In versatile autonomy (mixture of opening / closing of window, word processor, spreadsheet, playback of streamed videos, etc.), the battery couple takes 8 h 36. Good scores, for sure.
On the other hand, as soon as you disconnect the tablet from the keyboard, the music is no longer the same, especially in versatile autonomy where you fall to 2 h 22 minutes maximum. In video playback, we gain a handful of minutes of rab but little more. In short, do not expect to be able to use the tablet alone for too long, keep the charger at hand or, failing that, the keyboard part to avoid running out of fuel at the wrong time!