I bought a Teclast F7 — 24 Mar, 2018

Since 2014 I've been using a Dell 17R-5737 laptop, it's a cool laptop (despite the horrible screen) but it's a 17" heavy thing that I hate carrying.

I wanted a cheap laptop to bring anywhere, I searched for a budget laptop and came across a nice deal for a Teclast F7, it costed me 245€.

Laptop

The specs are not bad for the price:

The Great things

Looks

The laptop looks great, it's a nice and thin 14" machine weighting around 1kg. You get big keys and touchpad.

Screen

This is one of my favorite aspects about this laptop, the colors look vibrant and the white is really white (not blueish), the resolution is great for the screen size (1920x1080) and the brightness is OK. This is an IPS screen, so it means that viewing angles are also excellent. My unit came with a screen protector, and a protector for the screen protector, so I had to remove two plastics from the screen. The screen protector made the screen look glossy, after I removed it I was presented with a matte screen (the removal was really easy).

Construction

The laptop is all metal, it has some nice metal edges and it's really sturdy, this thing feels like a premium quality laptop.

Unlocked BIOS

The BIOS is fully unlocked, I managed to unlock the CPU power for increased performance, despite being a fanless laptop the cooling seems to be great.


The OK things

Keyboard

The keyboard is nice to type on, but it's definitely worse than the keyboard of my dell laptop, the key travel is ok, it's easy to get used to it and write fast. There is no backlit and the printing on the keys is far from premium.

Touchpad

The touchpad is BIG and I like it that way, it supports gestures and is really precise.

Battery

I got around 6 hours of battery life with light usage and the CPU power unlocked, this look fine to me.

SSD Expansion

This laptop supports an extra SSD, that's great, the problem is that it only supports a small form factor (M2 2242) which may be hard to find.

RAM

6GB of RAM is not great but I can't ask for more in this price range, it's enough for average use and it should be more than enough if you manage to run a lightweight linux distro.

Sound

The speakers are not too loud but they are OK if you are not in a noisy room, there's barely any bass, I didn't notice any sound distortion, so I think the audio is ok.


The BAD things

Storage

My unit came with an 64GB Sandisk eMMC, I didn't benchmark it but it seems fast enough for the average user, the problem is the capacity, it should have at least 120GB. After the Windows updates the disk was close to being full, I solved that with the Windows native disk cleaning tool, after that and with some apps installed I got about 25GB free space.

Linux support

I've tried running Antergos and Xubuntu 18.04 Beta Live, everything seems to work except for the touchpad (wich is a shame), I wanted to use Linux on this laptop but for now it seems that I will be stuck with Windows. (If you manage to run Linux on this thing please e-mail me). Edit: I managed to run linux with a kernel patch.

Coil whine

This may be a big issue for some people. When connected to the power socket the computer starts to make a weird noise when fully charged, it's not too loud and I can only notice it when I am really close to the computer in a silent room, but it may be louder in some units.


Is it worth it?

If you don't mind using Windows it is a great laptop for light use, I have no problems browsing the internet with 4-5 tabs open, libreoffice and some light games. If you want video editing or other intensive tasks this is not the laptop for you. If you want Linux on this you may find troubles with the touchpad support, if I manage to make it working I will update this article in the future).

Edit: I managed to run linux with a kernel patch.