- Nov 25, 2012
Running dual operating systems, and switching from one to the other is simple.
Screen offers good viewing angles and vibrant colors.
Premium build material.
Robust keyboard connection.
Decent battery life.
Extremely slow to charge.
Very little improvement in performance compared to the Bay-trail powered tablets.
A lot heavier than the Surface 3.
Cube has attracted lots of attentions with their line of affordable 2-in-1 convertible tablets since early 2014. Now they have two lines of convertible tablets: the premium Core-M powered i-series tablets, including the Cube i7, Cube i7 CM, Cube i7 Stylus and Cube i9, and the more affordable Atom-based iWork series, such as the iWork 10, iWork 10 Ultimate, iWork 11 Stylus, and the all new iWork 12. There are some exceptions, though. The Cube i6, i10 are not premium Windows tablets like the i7 and i9, instead, they are Atom based tablets, designed mainly for basic tasks.
As confusing as Cube’s product naming is, the all new iWork 12 is definitely Atom-based. With a 12.2-inch screen and a kickstand, it bears a striking resemblance to the more premium Skylake Core M powered Cube i9. Running on an Atom Cherry Trail X5-Z8300 CPU and 64GB eMMc drive, the iWork 12 is more of an entry-level convertible than a powerhouse hybrid. The RMB1,599 ($244) price may seem low compared to similar systems such as the ASUS T100HA, but it is still a tad higher than the price of the iWork 10 Ultimate ($152.4), which rocks the same internal setup. Are the $82 extra bucks a worthy investment for more screen real estate and a kickstand, let’s find out.
Cube iWork 12 Main Specs
• OS: Windows 10 Home 64bit & Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
• Display: 12.2-inch IPS, 10-point multi-touch, IGZO
• Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1200 (16:10)
• CPU: Intel Atom Cherry Trail X5-Z8300 Quad-core Processor
• CPU Frequency: 1.44GHz – 1.84GHZ
• GPU: Intel HD Graphic Gen8
• RAM / Storage: 4GB / 64GB
• Function: WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, OTG
• Camera: 5MP back camera, 2MP front camera
• Battery: 9,000mAh
• Extend Port: USB 3.0 port, TF Card Slot, Micro USB, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, Micro HDMI
• Weight & Size: 930g / 302.9*194.9*9.15mm
Packaging and Accessories
The Cube iWork 12 comes with very nice packaging. Inside the box you will find a tablet, a wall charger with a micro USB plug, an OTG adapter, a user manual and a warranty card.
Design and Build
As we mentioned above, the iWork 12 has an identical design to the Cube i9, with a 12.2-inch display dominating its front and a 2-angle kickstand on its rear. The white bezel removes the feeling of cold black technology, and the Magnalium rear side gives the tablet a premium look.
The left side plays host to a slew of ports and slots. You can find a Micro USB port, a Micro HDMI port, a 3.5mm headset jack, a Micro SD card and a full size USB 3.0 port.
The keyboard port can be found on the bottom side of the tablet.
As always, a power/standby key and a volume rocker on the top side.
The built-in kickstand can open to two different angles, satisfying the needs of using the tablet in different occasions.
Overall, this machine seems to belong in a class way above that of its price point, so kudos to Cube for continuing to provide compelling value in terms of construction. As the overall design remains quite similar to that of the i9, the weight and size are also nearly identical. The iWork 12 tips the scales at just 930g, although far from being the slimmest or lightest tablet out there, it is still quite portable by any definition.
The keyboard cover for the Cube iWork 12 is exactly the one designed for the more premium Cube i9, and it matches the design of the Microsoft Surface Type Cover. It is very thin, light, and won’t add much weight to the tablet.
The tablet and the keyboard clip together quickly and easily, without much force or maneuvering. When in place, it’s a solid connection which seems like it could take some punishment without breaking apart.
Like we mentioned in the review of the Cube i9, the keyboard itself is very well designed, with ideal space between different keys, it also offers decent key travel, which gives you tactile feedback when you type. And we really love the ability to set it flat against the desk or at a more keyboard-like angle. We’d always rather use a full-sized laptop keyboard, but in the absence of that this Keyboard Cover is the very next best thing.
The trackpad is reasonably sized, and it has distinct left and right click zones, and supports gesture control as you would expect. Unfortunately, unlike the Surface Type Cover, when you fold the keyboard cover around the back of the iWork 12 and the keys are still active.
Display and sound
The Cube iWork 12 rocks a 12.2-inch IPS display at the resolution of 1920*1200. The display is bright, vibrant, with wide viewing angles.
Even when compared to top offerings such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, the Cube iWork 12 doesn’t pale in comparison in the display department. And you can’t really tell the difference in pixel density from a normal using distance.
With that said, I did notice more reflection when compared to top Android tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, using it outdoors should be challenging.
The Cube iWork 12 has stereo speakers, placed on the left and right side of the tablet’s chassis. Sound quality is respectable for a budget tablet, but not truly remarkable. It’s not too harsh or tinny, and having stereo sound is great for watching movies. Top volume is decent, but lacks the low-end bulk and power of the best tablet speakers such as the ones on the iPads and Galaxy tablets. The 3.5mm audio jack has no problem driving our high-end headphones to an ear-splitting level, and we could hear a lot of details through the headsets.