x
This website is using cookies. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. More info. That's Fine
HPC:Factor Logo 
 
Latest Forum Activity

Topton L4 | Revenge of the Netbook?

1 2
C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2021-12-13 2:00 PM
#
Avatar image of C:Amie
Administrator
H/PC Oracle

Posts:
16,500
Location:
United Kingdom
Status:
The recent resurgence of a number of small form factor keyboard-equipped devices has been heartening to see over the last couple of year. The market place has been flush with several different manufacturers who have been jostling for a position in the market based upon a wide range of factors. Yet is price really a key factor in the decision making of those of us who appreciate such small footprint device? And just how low is too low when it comes to price?

Robert Jones dives into the Topton L4 (and its plethora of different third party brand identities) to assess the competencies and performance of what is perhaps by far the cheapest contender in the 2021 sub-notebook device category. Can the L4 live up to the hype of its Chinese no-brand (and completely anonymous) manufacturer and is it an effective competitor to the likes of the GPD Pocket at a killer pricing point in an increasingly crowded market?

Read Robert's review at the link below and let us know your thoughts on the Topton L4 (etc, etc, etc.) here on the forums.

View: Topton L4


If you think you have got what it takes to write a review here on HPC:Factor and have something you'd like to review, get in touch!
 Top of the page Quote Reply
WallyB110 Page Icon Posted 2021-12-13 5:58 PM
#
Avatar image of WallyB110
H/PC Philosopher

Posts:
286
Location:
United States
Status:
I was about to buy this a few weeks ago and held out for this review. Glad i did, Battery life is bad. 2 hours or so :-(

Getting a J720 instead ;-)

-Walt B

Thank you so much for the review ;-)
 Top of the page Quote Reply
robertojones Page Icon Posted 2021-12-13 7:17 PM
#
Avatar image of robertojones
Subscribers
Factorite (Elite)

Posts:
134
Location:
United Kingdom
Status:
Quote
WallyB110 - 2021-12-13 5:58 PM

I was about to buy this a few weeks ago and held out for this review. Glad i did, Battery life is bad. 2 hours or so :-(

Getting a J720 instead ;-)

-Walt B

Thank you so much for the review ;-)


Glad to have been of service! I was expecting a few compromises for the price, but it's just so poorly implemented (IMO) that it's not pleasurable to use for more than a very short time. I think you'll have a lot more fun with the J720, even with its limitations some 20+ years after release there's just something about it that makes you want to find excuses to use it. I had one for a short time (sold to fund my other projects) and found myself taking it with me everywhere, using it to take notes, run timers, play games and just generally tinker with.
 Top of the page Quote Reply
dl1av Page Icon Posted 2021-12-15 3:11 PM
#
Avatar image of dl1av
Subscribers
Factor Fanatic

Posts:
56
Location:
Germany
Status:
OK, this one is really cheap - indeed. You get what you pay for, so it may be usable for some tasks one used a Raspberry Pie with an external display before.

On the other end of the line is a new GPD-convertible as a follow-up for the GPDmicro-PC.

It looks promising, convertible touch screen, all the ports one could need (including RS232) and a decent power. All in ones hand with about the same dimensions as the micro-pc.

But.... the price-tag is also "awesome" and it is expected to sell for about 1500USD after the just starting Indiegogo-campaign.

I love these cute devices and they remind me of the old days of the palmtops but they are less practical to use than a palmtop 30 years ago. Today there is no extra software developed for them, no organizer for the use on the go and on these little displays. They all run in full-HD and with the common PC-software which depends on bigger and bigger screens over the last decades. Without any optimized software they are "nice to have" and "cool for meetings" but to play with my agenda or to iterate with some calculations I prefer to have a minimum of a 13" display to do serious work.

Personally I use a MicroPC and I am in the queue for an Astro but this is only for geek-fun and not for business




Edited by dl1av 2021-12-15 3:22 PM
 Top of the page Quote Reply
robertojones Page Icon Posted 2021-12-17 11:51 PM
#
Avatar image of robertojones
Subscribers
Factorite (Elite)

Posts:
134
Location:
United Kingdom
Status:
Quote
dl1av - 2021-12-15 3:11 PM

I love these cute devices and they remind me of the old days of the palmtops but they are less practical to use than a palmtop 30 years ago. Today there is no extra software developed for them, no organizer for the use on the go and on these little displays. They all run in full-HD and with the common PC-software which depends on bigger and bigger screens over the last decades. Without any optimized software they are "nice to have" and "cool for meetings" but to play with my agenda or to iterate with some calculations I prefer to have a minimum of a 13" display to do serious work.



I agree - Although both Windows and KDE / Plasma have got quite a long way in becoming more touch-friendly there are not a lot of applications yet that work well with touchscreens and especially not on small screens - Terminal-based stuff is great but for most of what I do at the terminal in either OS I don't need much processing power at all, so I may as well be using an ARM-based device and benefit from the better battery life and cooler running. I'm not much of a fan of Android but I think it might be the best option at the moment for small touchscreen devices - So maybe the Gemini / Cosmo / Astro machines are the way to go for now, unless you really need Windows or a more powerful CPU. My biggest issue there is that quite a few apps don't work so well in 'landscape' orientation - I'd be interested to hear how you get on with your Astro though!

Edited by robertojones 2021-12-17 11:53 PM
 Top of the page Quote Reply
dl1av Page Icon Posted 2021-12-20 4:09 AM
#
Avatar image of dl1av
Subscribers
Factor Fanatic

Posts:
56
Location:
Germany
Status:
The guys at Planet Computers take their time to finish the product (also chip shortage kicks in), so I think the Astro will arrive by end of Q1/2022 the earliest. Maybe I try a Cosmo first.

As a daily driver I use a Doogee S80. It is like from the "slate" portable computing category of 2002, reminds me of my Fujitsu-Siemens of that time. It is big enough to use it with keyboard and mouse but the Android stuff is not really fit for the landscape mode and other HID than the touchscreen.
There are a few applications that make good use of landscape mode (amateur radio stuff for decoding teletype and fax) but overall it is just an Android cellphone.
 Top of the page Quote Reply
WallyB110 Page Icon Posted 2021-12-20 5:26 AM
#
Avatar image of WallyB110
H/PC Philosopher

Posts:
286
Location:
United States
Status:
Astro ?
 Top of the page Quote Reply
dl1av Page Icon Posted 2021-12-20 8:28 AM
#
Avatar image of dl1av
Subscribers
Factor Fanatic

Posts:
56
Location:
Germany
Status:
Quote
WallyB110 - 2021-12-20 6:26 AM

Astro ?


https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/astro-slide-5g-transformer/x/2071...


The engineer from the former Psion PLC is involved and responsible for the design (Martin Riddiford)

Edited by dl1av 2021-12-20 8:31 AM
 Top of the page Quote Reply
timob0 Page Icon Posted 2021-12-20 10:44 AM
#
Avatar image of timob0
Subscribers
Factor Fanatic

Posts:
64
Location:
Germany
Status:
Many thanks for the review! Very thorough and to the point :-)
 Top of the page Quote Reply
C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2021-12-31 7:19 PM
#
Avatar image of C:Amie
Administrator
H/PC Oracle

Posts:
16,500
Location:
United Kingdom
Status:
Ah, it's arrived on the Google first page finally (with its star rating) if you search for: Topton L4
 Top of the page Quote Reply
gct
gct Page Icon Posted 2022-03-10 1:52 AM
#
Status:
Thank you for the detailed review! I really wish I had seen this before I got mine (unbranded/7X-133 delivered days before this review published), and my gripe was discovering post-purchase that the SSD is as you say, a B-keyed 2242 SATA SSD whereas the marketing material from where I purchased led me to believe it would be compatible with M-/B+M-keyed NVMe 2280. Oh well, so I have a spare 2280 now.

I also did a clean Windows 11 install using workarounds, but like an idiot, I did not back up all of the drivers. I did copy the Goodix TouchSetting.gt file, but to this day my touchscreen has never worked properly. The audio was a nightmare to get working, and the designer really dropped the ball on using keyboard keys as the mouse buttons. I also ended up using Autohotkey, but it doesn't respond in all windows (such as device manager).

I have been using it lightly, with low expectations that have actually been met pretty well, except my touchscreen still doesn't work. This is the first review I have found that backed up the drivers and worked with a fresh Windows installation. Is there any way I could get the touchscreen driver and/or configuration from you? I would be enormously grateful!
 Top of the page Quote Reply
robertojones Page Icon Posted 2022-03-10 9:52 PM
#
Avatar image of robertojones
Subscribers
Factorite (Elite)

Posts:
134
Location:
United Kingdom
Status:
Quote
gct - 2022-03-10 1:52 AM
Is there any way I could get the touchscreen driver and/or configuration from you? I would be enormously grateful!


I've put a full dump of the drivers here as a zip file: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/16_fG6rGZAgcriJXmGWFN6Xk1mS61ElsV?usp=sharing

It's quite a big download, I'm pretty sure some of the drivers here are either duplicates or redundant but I didn't take the time to find that out - The touchscreen worked fine after restoring those drivers though so I assume the necessary driver is in there somewhere.

For Autohotkey I believe there's a way to run the scripts with raised privileges - I seem to remember there were still some dialogs where I couldn't use the mouse buttons though.

Please let us know how you get on - I've since sold on the machine I bought but glad to help if I can!
 Top of the page Quote Reply
gct
gct Page Icon Posted 2022-03-11 9:33 PM
#
Status:
Thank you so much Robert!

I updated the Goodix Touch driver from the device manager using the package you have generously shared, and the touch screen worked instantly. This is great now that I at least have a fallback pointing method for those rare windows/dialogues where the mouse buttons don't work.

I feel a bit guilty since I was basically begging for a file download, before seeing the forum's contributor policy. I have been enthusiastic about UMPCs and owned a few since 2008 or so, but never knew about the HPC so I wouldn't even know what I could contribute.

Let me know if it would be polite to make a $10 or $15 Paypal donation to you or the forum operator to contribute a bit to coffee or hosting expenses.
 Top of the page Quote Reply
Jake Page Icon Posted 2022-03-11 10:05 PM
#
Avatar image of Jake
Moderator
H/PC Elder

Posts:
2,480
Location:
Choking on the stench of ambition in Washington DC
Status:
https://liliputing.com/2022/03/chuwis-new-minibook-is-an-8-inch-conv...

This is interesting, especially the price. I have the original Chuwi, which has a weird battery monitor bug to the point where you have to physically disconnect/connect battery to get a proper read-out (the battery life itself is fine).

That said, I really like the Chuwi. Reasonably fast, stable, a Right Shift (imperative for helping my poor typing). I use mine frequently.

Not sure I need one right now, but Robert may have a curiosity after selling his Topton. But I would hope Chuwi has figured out the battery issues. They've upgraded the CPU but dumbed down the entry-level RAM to 6GB. Not sure if 8>6 makes a difference for the light usage that this type of machine would already insist upon.

Jake

Edited by Jake 2022-03-11 10:07 PM
 Top of the page Quote Reply
C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2022-03-12 9:17 AM
#
Avatar image of C:Amie
Administrator
H/PC Oracle

Posts:
16,500
Location:
United Kingdom
Status:
Quote
gct - 2022-03-11 9:33 PM
Let me know if it would be polite to make a $10 or $15 Paypal donation to you or the forum operator to contribute a bit to coffee or hosting expenses.
If you want to support the site, tere is a donate button on the home page, if you want to thank Robert directly, I recommend you PM him.
 Top of the page Quote Reply
1 2
Jump to forum:
Seconds to generate: 0.093 - Cached queries : 52 - Executed queries : 27
Server Time now is: Saturday, 13 August 2022 - 10:37