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TCL’s first-ever laptop has a competitive price point, but it’s no bargain

A new cheap laptop option has entered the ring

TCL is certainly making waves at CES 2022, announcing new phones, new tablets, new TV motion processing tech, and even a pair of wearable display smart glasses.

Of course, there was one TCL product that managed to slip under the radar for many, with the Chinese manufacturer also announcing its first-ever laptop, dubbed the TCL Book 14 Go, which will arrive at some point in 2022.

Based on its name, we’ve deduced that TCL is likely positioning the Book 14 Go as a budget offering that brings consumers an even cheaper alternative to the Microsoft Surface Go 3.

At $349 (around £257 / AU$482), the TCL Book 14 Go is certainly priced competitively, though its meager specs suggest it won’t quite be a bargain, unlike the company’s excellent TVs.

Analysis: it’s cheap, but at what cost?

In terms of specs, the ARM-based (Snapdragon 7c CPU) Windows 11 laptop sports a 14.1-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 1366 x 768 resolution, which is underwhelming to say the least. Regardless of the Book 14 Go’s low price point, 720p would be a disappointing resolution on a phone, let alone a laptop in 2022.

We also wouldn’t expect much in terms of graphics processing, as the TCL Book 14 Go is burdened with an Adreno 618, which is the same GPU featured in a wide number of mid-range Chinese handsets from manufacturers like Realme, Vivo, Xiaomi, Oppo and more.

Thankfully, the TCL Book 14 Go does provide a decent offering in the storage department, with 128GB of the onboard variety along with an SD card slot for optional storage expansion. It also offers 4G LTE functionality and up to 12 hours of battery life, which seems about right at this price.

While some commenters have pointed out that there are cheaper Chromebooks on the market with better specs, larger displays and higher 1080p resolutions, those options obviously lack Windows 11, which is easily the TCL Book 14 Go’s biggest selling point – it will be interesting to see whether consumers opt for Windows 11 over decent specs when the TCL Book 14 Go eventually launches later this year.

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