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Cube i9 CDK07 Docking Keyboard Review

Klaus Hinum, Sven Kloevekorn (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 09/18/2016

Popular design. The CDK07 docking keyboard transforms the Cube i9 into a full-fledged convertible PC. The design of this dock is similar to that of the "Touch" cover from Microsoft. In this review, we will check how the docking keyboard fares in comparison to the Microsoft product and how good the Cube i9 is as a convertible PC.

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Cube i9 CDK07 Docking Keyboard (i9 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 515, Core: 500-797 MHz, Memory: 932 MHz
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
12.2 inch 16:10, 1920 x 1200 pixel 186 PPI, Multi-touch, KDC0000, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-Y Premium PCH
Storage
FORESEE 128GB O1229B, 128 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: Headset, Card Reader: Micro-SD, Sensors: Kionix KXCJ9 3-Axis Accelerometer, Keyboard Dock
Networking
Realtek RTL8723B USB 2.0 (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 11 x 303 x 195 ( = 0.43 x 11.93 x 7.68 in)
Battery
38 Wh, 10000 mAh Lithium-Ion, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 5 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Primary Camera: 5 MPix
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet Keyboard Dock, Keyboard Light: no, 12 Months Warranty, fanless
Released
02/01/2016
Weight
1.302 kg ( = 45.93 oz / 2.87 pounds), Power Supply: 179 g ( = 6.31 oz / 0.39 pounds)
Price
589 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

For the original German review, see here.

The CDK07 docking keyboard is a copy of the "Touch" cover of the Surface products. It has a matte surface, which is comfortable to touch and leaves no fingerprints. This surface will protect the display. The cover attaches to the device with two magnets and can be turned forwards and backwards. However, the keyboard remains on when is turned back, which limits the tablet use. The workmanship is good and the device looks reliable.

Keyboard

The English chiclet keyboard of the dock offers a comfortable stroke distance and has a good layout. In our tests, we were able to type comfortably on the keyboard using the 10-finger system and input text as fast we do on the MacBook Pro 13 Retina. Subjectively, the MacBook keyboard is better, but it is hard to explain why. When the docking keyboard is flat on the table, it has no flex, which makes typing very comfortable. When it is tilted, the keyboard clatters a little but is still comfortable to use. A disadvantage of this position: the bottom of the display can barely be touched by the finger as the flat angle of the material hides it. Unfortunately, this is the area where the Windows 10 task bar usually is.

Touchpad

The small, integrated ClickPad of the dock is not as good. The finger can glide over it well, but it is hard to click. The pad moves the cursor with every click and may not react to all clicks. For our test model, only the bottom left side registered clicks, but these were often recognized by Windows 10 as menu clicks, which would open the start menu. "Drag & Drop" operations are tough. However, using only a tap for clicks allows users a more comfortable operation of the device. In any case, an external mouse is recommended.

The poor clickpad reduces the overall great impression of the dock.
The poor clickpad reduces the overall great impression of the dock.

Convertible 2-in-1

The keyboard dock complements the Cube i9 very well: it is thin, light and works as an extra layer of protection for the display. If you want to be productive with Windows 10, this dock is a clear recommendation, as it offers both keyboard and touchpad.

Verdict

The CDK07 docking keyboard is a good addition to the Cube i9. It can transform this tablet into a convertible. The docking, material choice and ergonomics of the device are very good (or at least well copied from Microsoft). The keyboard is reliable but is currently only available in English. The ClickPad is not as good, due to the clicking issues. It offers a smooth surface and other features. Overall, the keyboard dock is a good investment for all Cube i9 owners.

The Cube i9 gets 2% more in the rating due to its light weight as a convertible. Despite having a great keyboard, we must rescind the 2% raise due to the touchpad, which can ruin the user experience.

The Cube i9 and the CDK07 docking keyboard are available on Gearbest directly from China. Currently, sellers are offering the Cube i9 at 396.44 Euros (~$447) and the keyboard dock at 49.79 Euros (~$56). However, the import costs must be added to this tally. Furthermore, if you need service or support, the device will need to travel back to China.

The CDK07 is a much better option than a Bluetooth keyboard.
The CDK07 is a much better option than a Bluetooth keyboard.
Thanks to USB-C, the device can use docks and port connectors and become a proper PC (the Anker dock in the picture had issues getting power via the USB-C of Cube i9).
Thanks to USB-C, the device can use docks and port connectors and become a proper PC (the Anker dock in the picture had issues getting power via the USB-C of Cube i9).
The Anker charger works well.
The Anker charger works well.
The Kensington docking station adds two monitors (1080p HDMI, 4k DP) and LAN.
The Kensington docking station adds two monitors (1080p HDMI, 4k DP) and LAN.

No Pro / Contra Data found for specs ID 33669

Cube i9 CDK07 Docking Keyboard - 09/20/2016 v5.1(old)
Klaus Hinum

Chassis
84 / 98 → 86%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
80%
Connectivity
39 / 80 → 49%
Weight
71 / 35-78 → 84%
Battery
81%
Display
81%
Games Performance
50 / 68 → 74%
Application Performance
68 / 87 → 78%
Temperature
90%
Noise
90%
Audio
45 / 91 → 49%
Camera
26 / 85 → 31%
Average
64%
80%
Convertible - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Cube i9 CDK07 Docking Keyboard Review
Klaus Hinum, 2016-09-18 (Update: 2017-05-23)