Micromax Canvas Lapbook L1160 Review

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We’ve covered a wide swathe of the budget Windows 10 laptop segment, right from the RDP Thinbook and Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 11 to the most recent iBall CompBook Exemplaire. Most of the laptops here have essentially the same barebones specifications, with just enough power to run Windows, with the only differentiating factors being build quality and design.

Micromax showed off its own offering back in May this year, and today, we have our hands on the Canvas Lapbook L1160. Priced at Rs. 10,499, it’s quite a bit cheaper than other 11.6-inch laptops in its class, but it’s time to see if this price cut comes at the cost of compromises.

Micromax Canvas Lapbook L1160 design and build
An 11.6-inch laptop has a few distinct advantages, one of them being the compact nature of the device. It’s very light at just 1.1kg so you’ll hardly feel it in your backpack or a handbag. It’s also quite slim when closed, which we really like. The Lapbook is built entirely of plastic but despite that, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the lid has very little flex and the hinge has good torsion so it doesn’t flap about too much in use.

Looking at the laptop, you can tell that Micromax has tried its best to mask the fact that it’s a budget device. The grey lid breaks the monotony of the full-black base. We quite like the texture used here as it doesn’t pick up fingerprints that easily.

There are two USB 2.0 ports, a LAN port, a combo headphones and microphone socket, a full-sized HDMI port, and a microSD card slot. The fit and finish of the chassis could have been better in our opinion. The power button is a bit fiddly and so is the charging socket, which only works when the plug is lined up perfectly. It’s a shame we don’t have a USB 3.0 port, which is sorely missed.

There are no vents underneath or around the hinge area because the SoC used here is typically meant for tablets, so there’s no need for active cooling. The keyboard and palm-rest area are built from a single piece of plastic, to minimise flex while typing. The chiclet keys themselves are quiet and have decent travel, making typing quite comfortable. The trackpad buttons are a bit spongy and they tend to get in the way while typing.

Micromax Canvas Lapbook L1160 specifications and features
Powering the Lapbook is a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735F SoC, running at 1.33GHz with a turbo frequency of 1.8GHz. It’s the same SoC that we recently saw in iBall’s budget laptop and is something you’ll come across in many other offerings too in this price segment. It’s not a bad option, but it is a bit dated and we really wish Micromax had used something newer like the Atom x5-Z8300. The latter doesn’t offer major performance gains but its smaller fabrication process would have given a nice boost to battery life.

There’s also 2GB of RAM, 32GB of flash storage (eMMC), a VGA webcam, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and Bluetooth. The Lapbook L1160 packs in a non-removable 4100mAh battery. You get Windows 10 Home 32-bit with a couple of Windows Store apps, but no trial-period antivirus programs or utilities from Micromax. In fact, the software is so barebones that you don’t even get support for the touchpad to enable any sort of gestures (scrolling, two and three finger swipe, etc).

Micromax Canvas Lapbook L1160 performance
The Canvas Lapbook L1160 performs decently well for most mundane tasks. Boot-up time is quick and multitasking isn’t as much of a pain as we had expected. There is of course a hint of sluggishness that’s omnipresent, and it doesn’t matter if you’re juggling between Chrome tabs or simply opening the Control Panel; you can’t escape the lag. We never had the laptop overheat on us but its bottom does run a bit warm, even in a chilly office.

The display has a 768×1366 pixel resolution, which although low, isn’t too bad on such a small screen. Viewing angles are not great but colour reproduction is decent. The laptop handles media files pretty well, including 4K videos. This is mostly thanks to the built-in video decoding engine in the SoC. There are stereo speakers above the keyboard which produce decent sound. Vocals aren’t too pronounced and the volume doesn’t get too loud even when maxed out, but the speakers are good enough for that occasional song or video you might play.

We ran our usual benchmark tests in order to gauge the Lapbook’s performance, but most of them refused to run due to the low specifications. In PCMark 8, we managed to get 1061 and 1420 points in the Home and Work test suites respectively, but 3DMark didn’t work. The laptop’s internal storage can be expanded up to 64GB via the microSD card slot. We would have liked a full-sized slot here but the microSD solution means the card won’t stick out from the side, should you choose to use the slot for additional local storage.

The 4100mAh battery lasted for 5 hours and 50 minutes in PCMark 8’s battery test, which is very good. Under regular, less intensive usage, we were able to squeeze out nearly 8-9 hours of battery life, which means this laptop will last through an entire workday and then some.

Verdict
At Rs. 10,499, the Micromax Canvas Lapbook L1160 is a decent Windows 10 laptop to consider if you need something of this size. If your work involves a lot of typing then we recommend putting in a bit more for a 14-inch laptop like the RDP Thinbook, which has slightly larger and better spaced keys, making it more comfortable. Plus, you get USB 3.0. 

Despite the average build and lack of USB 3.0 connectivity, the Lapbook L1160 is still a decent option to consider if you’re looking for a compact, Windows 10 laptop on a very tight budget.
 

Price (MRP): Rs. 10,499

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Good battery life
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Ships with Windows 10

Cons

  • Dated SoC
  • No USB 3.0 ports
  • Build could have been better
  • Keyboard feels cramped 

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Design: 3
  • Display: 3.5 
  • Performance: 2
  • Software: 4
  • Battery life: 4
  • Value for Money: 4.5 
  • Overall: 3.5

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