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Review XIDU PhilBook Max Convertible: Dark touch screen and little performance

Andreas Osthoff, 👁 Andreas Osthoff (translated by DeepL / Ninh Ngoc Duy), 09/27/2019

Too expensive. The PhilBook Max is a 14.1 inch convertible for just over 400 euros. The equipment is fine, but the manufacturer XIDU unfortunately relies on a dark display and a slow Celeron processor.

XIDU PhilBook Max
Processor
Intel Celeron J3355
Graphics adapter
Memory
6144 MB 
, DDR3, Dual-Channel
Display
14.1 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 156 PPI, Capacitive, CMN N140HCA-EAC, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
FORESEE 128GB O1229B, 128 GB 
, , 97 GB free
Soundcard
RealTek ALC269 @ Intel Apollo Lake SoC - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm Stereo, Card Reader: microSD
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.8 x 325 x 221 ( = 0.7 x 12.8 x 8.7 in)
Battery
36.1 Wh, 4750 mAh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 14.4 Watt power supply, 12 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
1.52 kg ( = 53.62 oz / 3.35 pounds), Power Supply: 154 g ( = 5.43 oz / 0.34 pounds)
Price
439 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case, equipment and input devices

The dark grey plastic case of the XIDU PhilBook Max meets the expectations of the price range. The workmanship is fine and you don't have to worry about the stability in everyday use. Only the two hinges should be a bit tighter. Very good: On the bottom, there is a maintenance flap for access to the M.2-2280-SSD.

With two USB 3.0 ports, the microSD reader and the mini HDMI output, you should get along well in everyday use. The WLAN module from Intel (Wireless-AC 3165, 1x1) is very reliable and we didn't notice any problems. We also like the keyboard very much. The key stroke isn't very long, but the keys don't rattle around and there's a lot of feedback. Thanks to the two-stage backlight you can still see something even in dark environments.

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Size comparison

330 mm / 13 inch 219 mm / 8.62 inch 15 mm / 0.591 inch 1.4 kg3.09 lbs325 mm / 12.8 inch 221 mm / 8.7 inch 17.8 mm / 0.701 inch 1.5 kg3.35 lbs310 mm / 12.2 inch 209 mm / 8.23 inch 16 mm / 0.63 inch 1.2 kg2.65 lbs
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Average of class Convertible
  (7.5 - 197, n=132)
62 MB/s ∼100% +167%
XIDU PhilBook Max
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
23.2 MB/s ∼37%
Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II SDXC)
10.16 MB/s ∼16% -56%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Average of class Convertible
  (19.2 - 246, n=129)
77.1 MB/s ∼100% +190%
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
33.9 MB/s ∼44% +27%
XIDU PhilBook Max
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
26.6 MB/s ∼35%
Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II SDXC)
22.68 MB/s ∼29% -15%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
353 MBit/s ∼100% +8%
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387
Intel Wireless AC 9462
348 (min: 332, max: 353) MBit/s ∼99% +6%
XIDU PhilBook Max
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
328 MBit/s ∼93%
Chuwi LapBook Pro
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
284 (min: 200, max: 301) MBit/s ∼80% -13%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387
Intel Wireless AC 9462
326 (min: 274, max: 361) MBit/s ∼100% +6%
XIDU PhilBook Max
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
308 MBit/s ∼94%
Chuwi LapBook Pro
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
306 (min: 239, max: 358) MBit/s ∼94% -1%
Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
279 MBit/s ∼86% -9%

Display - PhilBook with dark IPS panel

The 14.1-inch IPS screen is highly reflective due to the touch screen. That's not unusual, but in combination with the very low brightness of an average of just 175 cd/m², the image often looks too dark even in bright interiors. In the open air you can completely forget about the use. However, the subjective image impression is still fine, which is due to the very good contrast ratio. Screen bleeding is no problem for the panel. All in all, the competition offers much brighter screens in the price range of 400 Euro.

Subpixel arrangement
Subpixel arrangement
Outdoors
Outdoors
186
cd/m²
198
cd/m²
193
cd/m²
169
cd/m²
179
cd/m²
175
cd/m²
155
cd/m²
162
cd/m²
156
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
CMN N140HCA-EAC
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 198 cd/m² Average: 174.8 cd/m² Minimum: 1.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 78 %
Center on Battery: 178 cd/m²
Contrast: 1193:1 (Black: 0.15 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 4.3
ΔE Greyscale 5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
61.6% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 39.4% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2
XIDU PhilBook Max
CMN N140HCA-EAC, , 1920x1080, 14.1
Chuwi LapBook Pro
BOE CQ HV140FHNM-N61, , 1920x1080, 14
Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019
BOE BOE0719, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387
Chi Mei N140HCA-EAB, , 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
-36%
-26%
-3%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
38.4 (20.4, 18)
42 (21, 21)
-9%
34 (15.2, 18.8)
11%
42 (23, 19)
-9%
Response Time Black / White *
28.8 (16.4, 12.4)
29 (15, 14)
-1%
28 (14.8, 13.2)
3%
28 (16, 12)
3%
PWM Frequency
25000 (20)
200 (90)
-99%
2000 (99)
-92%
24500 (20)
-2%
Screen
-11%
7%
-14%
Brightness middle
179
297
66%
307.6
72%
262
46%
Brightness
175
268
53%
295
69%
242
38%
Brightness Distribution
78
77
-1%
90
15%
87
12%
Black Level *
0.15
0.625
-317%
0.34
-127%
0.505
-237%
Contrast
1193
475
-60%
905
-24%
519
-56%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6
5.23
13%
7.31
-22%
5.49
8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
20.2
9.53
53%
11.92
41%
10.63
47%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.3
3.94
8%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5
6.72
-34%
6.8
-36%
4.84
3%
Gamma
2 110%
2.38 92%
1.909 115%
2.3 96%
CCT
6197 105%
7015 93%
7695 84%
6347 102%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
39.4
63
60%
57
45%
39
-1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
61.6
96
56%
87
41%
61
-1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-24% / -17%
-10% / 0%
-9% / -11%

* ... smaller is better

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
28.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 ms rise
↘ 12.4 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 67 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
38.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.4 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 41 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.5 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 25000 Hz ≤ 20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9268 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

CalMAN Greyscale
CalMAN Greyscale
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN grayscale calibrated
CalMAN grayscale calibrated
CalMAN saturation calibrated
CalMAN saturation calibrated
CalMAN ColorChecker calibrated
CalMAN ColorChecker calibrated

Performance, emissions and battery life

The performance is certainly one of the biggest problems of the PhilBook Max. The Intel Celeron processor offers very little performance with its two cores (2 threads). In the best case this is enough for demanding activities (writing e-mails, surfing), but when running applications in the background it becomes problematic and the system reacts much slower. Multitasking should also be avoided. 

The processor also has a clear disadvantage in a competitive comparison, even the much cheaper Medion Akoya offers more performance. At least the PhilBook Max is passively cooled, so it's always a silent device. 

Thanks to the integrated video decoder, the playback of high-resolution videos is not a problem. On the 128 GB SSD (M.2-2280, SATA-3) the user has about 97 GB at his disposal. The transfer rates are not particularly high, but at least better than with conventional HDDs. 

The WLAN runtime with a brightness of 150 Nits is almost 6 hours, with full brightness it's only 5 hours.

Cinebench R15 Loop

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260Tooltip
XIDU PhilBook Max Intel Celeron J3355, Intel Celeron J3355: Ø89.8 (89.56-90.33)
Chuwi LapBook Pro Intel Celeron N4100, Intel Celeron N4100: Ø251 (249.39-252.12)
Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019 Intel Core m3-6Y30, Intel Core m3-6Y30: Ø198 (196.89-200.66)
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387 Intel Pentium Silver N5000, Intel Pentium Silver N5000: Ø227 (224.67-233.04)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Average of class Convertible
  (19 - 179, n=304)
106 Points ∼49% +123%
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387
Intel Pentium Silver N5000
76 Points ∼35% +60%
Chuwi LapBook Pro
Intel Celeron N4100
69 Points ∼32% +45%
Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019
Intel Core m3-6Y30
66 Points ∼30% +39%
XIDU PhilBook Max
Intel Celeron J3355
47.6 Points ∼22%
Average Intel Celeron J3355
 
47.6 Points ∼22% 0%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average of class Convertible
  (33 - 830, n=313)
304 Points ∼7% +238%
Chuwi LapBook Pro
Intel Celeron N4100
251 Points ∼6% +179%
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387
Intel Pentium Silver N5000
233 Points ∼5% +159%
Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019
Intel Core m3-6Y30
198 Points ∼5% +120%
XIDU PhilBook Max
Intel Celeron J3355
90 (min: 89.56, max: 90.33) Points ∼2%
Average Intel Celeron J3355
 
90 Points ∼2% 0%
PCMark 10 - Score
Average of class Convertible
  (872 - 4677, n=105)
3199 Points ∼41% +177%
Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Netac SSD 256GB
2138 Points ∼28% +85%
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387
UHD Graphics 605, N5000, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1902 Points ∼24% +65%
XIDU PhilBook Max
HD Graphics 500, J3355, FORESEE 128GB O1229B
1154 Points ∼15%
Average Intel Celeron J3355, Intel HD Graphics 500
 
1154 Points ∼15% 0%
XIDU PhilBook Max
FORESEE 128GB O1229B
Chuwi LapBook Pro
64 GB eMMC Flash
Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019
Netac SSD 256GB
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387
64 GB eMMC Flash
Average FORESEE 128GB O1229B
 
Average of class Convertible
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-66%
80%
-73%
13%
274%
Write 4K
43.94
13.46
-69%
81.78
86%
6.435
-85%
48 (43.9 - 52.1, n=2)
9%
95.7 (1.168 - 194, n=98)
118%
Read 4K
20.35
7.071
-65%
33.97
67%
5.91
-71%
15.4 (10.4 - 20.4, n=2)
-24%
35 (0.536 - 114, n=97)
72%
Write Seq
105.3
422.4
66.69
347
771 (27.9 - 2372, n=94)
Read Seq
235.5
502.1
268.9
422
1094 (74.7 - 2677, n=93)
Write 4K Q32T1
82.18
14.68
-82%
152.9
86%
7.795
-91%
101 (82.2 - 119, n=2)
23%
274 (1.212 - 747, n=98)
233%
Read 4K Q32T1
102.48
24.31
-76%
175.4
71%
22.76
-78%
98.2 (93.9 - 102, n=2)
-4%
283 (1.189 - 570, n=98)
176%
Write Seq Q32T1
256.1
114.2
-55%
464.9
82%
82.99
-68%
346 (256 - 436, n=2)
35%
924 (18.4 - 2985, n=98)
261%
Read Seq Q32T1
281.1
140.7
-50%
529.6
88%
150
-47%
409 (281 - 537, n=2)
45%
1753 (68.9 - 3522, n=98)
524%
Write 4K Q8T8
121.89
162 (122 - 203, n=2)
33%
598 (122 - 1435, n=17)
391%
Read 4K Q8T8
133.83
114 (94.1 - 134, n=2)
-15%
692 (134 - 1315, n=17)
417%
3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Average of class Convertible
  (132 - 5965, n=239)
1024 Points ∼100% +229%
Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019
Intel HD Graphics 515, Intel Core m3-6Y30
670 Points ∼65% +115%
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387
Intel UHD Graphics 605, Intel Pentium Silver N5000
576 Points ∼56% +85%
Chuwi LapBook Pro
Intel UHD Graphics 600, Intel Celeron N4100
430 Points ∼42% +38%
Average Intel HD Graphics 500
  (293 - 444, n=7)
355 Points ∼35% +14%
XIDU PhilBook Max
Intel HD Graphics 500, Intel Celeron J3355
311 Points ∼30%
low med. high ultra
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 27.6 15.3 5.6 5.1 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 7.6 4.7 4.3 fps

Temperature

Max. Load
 44.3 °C
112 F
41.1 °C
106 F
27.3 °C
81 F
 
 39.8 °C
104 F
38.1 °C
101 F
26.9 °C
80 F
 
 28.7 °C
84 F
28.4 °C
83 F
26.3 °C
79 F
 
Maximum: 44.3 °C = 112 F
Average: 33.4 °C = 92 F
31.4 °C
89 F
40.9 °C
106 F
42.8 °C
109 F
30.8 °C
87 F
38.9 °C
102 F
40.3 °C
105 F
29.3 °C
85 F
34.5 °C
94 F
35.2 °C
95 F
Maximum: 42.8 °C = 109 F
Average: 36 °C = 97 F
Power Supply (max.)  39.9 °C = 104 F | Room Temperature 20.8 °C = 69 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 33.4 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 30.3 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 44.3 °C / 112 F, compared to the average of 35.4 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 42.8 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23.9 °C / 75 F, compared to the device average of 30.3 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 28.7 °C / 83.7 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.9 °C / 84 F (+0.2 °C / 0.3 F).
Stress test top side
Stress test top side
Stress test bottom
Stress test bottom

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2030.230.62527.726.53130.527.34031.126.25028.926.46324.823.88024.322.61002424.212521.421.816021.724.820021.730.225020.732.131520.636.140019.943.250019.550.463018.853.280018.363100017.964.6125017.261160016.558.2200016.358.9250015.855.4315015.556.7400015.659.2500015.456.7630015.659.5800015.561.81000015.456.81250015.353.21600016.253.2SPL2971.3N1.226.9median 17.2median 55.4Delta2.410.2414340.940.339.3393938.238.938.138.236.235.835.73535.935.935.433.837.4343933.34232.245.231.548.630.455.929.962.129.766.628.870.428.673.628.575.828.472.428.172.327.968.927.772.427.676.727.674.927.567.127.361.627.256.227.250.240.884.34.155.8median 28.6median 62.12.313.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseXIDU PhilBook MaxChuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
XIDU PhilBook Max audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (71.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 27.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (11.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.6% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (26.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 78% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 19% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 79% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 16% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.68 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (12.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.6% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (11.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (36.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 95% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 3% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 97% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 2% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Consumption

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.38 / 0.46 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.6 / 6.4 / 8.7 Watt
Load midlight 16.2 / 22 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery life


Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387
N5000, UHD Graphics 605, 41 Wh
555 min ∼21% +62%
Chuwi LapBook Pro
N4100, UHD Graphics 600, 38 Wh
491 min ∼19% +44%
Average of class Convertible
  (153 - 1010, n=255)
456 min ∼17% +33%
Chuwi AeroBook 13 inch 2019
6Y30, HD Graphics 515, 38 Wh
372 min ∼14% +9%
XIDU PhilBook Max
J3355, HD Graphics 500, 36.1 Wh
342 min ∼13%
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
5h 42min

Pros

+ High contrast IPS display
+ Neat case
+ Practical input devices
+ Illuminated keypad
+ Noiseless

Cons

- Very low processor and system performance
- Highly reflective display
- Low screen brightness

Verdict

In review: XIDU PhilBook Max. Test device provided by XIDU.
In review: XIDU PhilBook Max. Test device provided by XIDU.

The XIDU PhilBook Max is currently available for around 400 euros. It comes with a 14.1 inch convertible with a neat case, practical input devices and the most important interfaces. But the two big weaknesses are the display and the performance. Although it is an IPS screen with an actually decent picture impression, the brightness is very low. Together with the reflective screen surface, it is hardly possible to use it in bright rooms or even outdoors.

It is also important to be clear when it comes to performance that the planned tasks must not be too demanding. When updating or installing, the device is fully loaded, so you can forget about multitasking. 

Low performance and dark display: The PhilBook Max offers some positive features, but performance is often the limiting factor. Here the competition simply offers more.

The price is still too high in our opinion, at just over 400 Euros. Especially from Chuwi there are better offers in this segment or even for less money.

XIDU PhilBook Max - 09/25/2019 v7
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
61 / 98 → 63%
Keyboard
77%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
36 / 75 → 47%
Weight
69 / 20-75 → 89%
Battery
67%
Display
74%
Games Performance
15 / 78 → 19%
Application Performance
48 / 85 → 56%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
55 / 91 → 60%
Camera
35 / 85 → 41%
Average
62%
74%
Convertible - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review XIDU PhilBook Max Convertible: Dark touch screen and little performance
Andreas Osthoff, 2019-09-27 (Update: 2019-09-28)