Pros: Affordable price point, 14.1 inch display, vast battery life, attractive design
Cons: 2 GB of RAM, not suitable for extensive multitasking, entry level processor.
Packard Bell isn't the name brand it used to be a few years back. In fact, most of you might not even know of the brands existence. That said, I used to have a Packard Bell laptop so I was pleasantly surprised to hear about one of their most promising and inexpensive laptops; the Packard Bell N1400BK.
On its latest venture Packard Bell doesn't aim at the power user but at the more modest user. It's latest launch doesn't intend to compete against a high end macbook or even a high end Asus. No, this laptop has a very simple purpose; it aims at being your go to "travel" and "casual laptop", even doing the part of desktop replacement for those who don't really see the point of buying a laptop with a ton of bells and whistles they're not really going to take advantage of.
It's latest model packs a 14 inch display, eMMC storage, 2 GB of RAM and the latest Windows 10. It is, by all accounts; a cloudbook. Today we get to the meat of it and review the model to study with some depth if it's really worth your time and money or if you should simply move onto something else as we dive head first onto the review of the Packard Bell N1400BK.
You should buy this laptop if...
If you don't want to spend a lot of money. If you're looking for a laptop to take with you everywhere you go. If you're not looking to make great demands on a laptop aimed at simple tasks. If you're going to use your laptop to surf the web and watch videos.
You should NOT buy this laptop if...
If you're looking for a machine that will work at full throttle. If you're looking for a laptop that can handle extensive multitasking. If you're looking to use any sorts of design or editing software. If you need a laptop to store all your personal information.
In depth review of the Packard Bell N1400BK
Simple yet elegant design
While many cloudbooks boast heavy colors as design statements, the Packard Bell N1400BK does no such thing, looking to blend in with the crowd through a very elegant space grey design. Its weight falls far below standard laptops and assumes a very lightweight 2.95 pounds which should make it pretty easy to take with you on your travels and commutes.
The display boasts a standard HD resolution with 1366 by 768 pixels, pretty much the standard resolution within its price range. Sure enough, a Full HD resolution would be better but keep in mind that this laptop is aiming also at providing a solid battery life and a standard HD resolution allows for such a thing.
The keyboard, as is customary at this point, is a standard chiclet keyboard that lacks both backlighting as well as a dedicated numeric pad. It's quite ergonomic and its trackpad is vast enough to allow for a confortable use of gestures.
Overall, we're big fans of the aesthetics chosen by Packard Bell for this particular model. Sure enough it doesn't have any of the shiny features present in the latest and greatest laptops but all things considered it's a pretty attractive model to easily carry around.
As a cloudbook, the Packard Bell N1400BK does not pack any high end specs in terms of performance. It boasts a rather simple set of internals which are spearheaded by an Intel Atom X5 processor that relegates the work to its 4 cores at a base speed of 1.44GHz and a turbo speed that goes up to 1.92 GHz of clock speed.
This, along with its 2 GB of DDR3L RAM and 32 GB of eMMC storage should prove to you that this is not a laptop designed for heavy duty tasks. On the contrary, this model was built to allow you to get some work done on the go. It's suitable for stuff like editing documents, browsing the web, streaming netflix shows and chatting with friends but that's about all you're gonna get with this set of specs.
It's not a laptop aimed at gaming and if you intend on using it with that pourpose in mind then i'm afraid to say you'll be sorely dissapointed in terms of performance.
Can I increase the base storage?
This is a pretty good question and one that we get a lot when talking about cloudbooks. You can't natively expand storage but you can either use cloud storage or, better yet, make use of a powerful external USB drive that you take along with you to artificially expand storage at a low cost.
Anything else I should be aware of?
The Packard Bell N1400BK in review does not pack a DVD reader as you might've guessed though its connectivity suite isn't all that bad boasting both a standard USB 3.0 port as well as an additional USB 2.0 port and an HDMI output so that you may connect the computer onto a bigger display such as a TV set or external monitor.
It also comes with an HD webcam and a pretty decent battery. All in all, the battery life on the Packard Bell N1400BK should be expected to play along the lines of the 5-6 hour mark when not conducting any intensive tasks. We say this due to the 10.000 mAh battery that's under the hood.
Wrapping things up
In closing this review of the Packard Bell N1400BK, this is a pretty decent laptop for casual users. People who are looking for a laptop for tasks such as browsing the web and catching up on their favorite netflix shows should find this model very attractive.
Though it's true that this model isn't going to help you design the next big app, it can be argued that the best laptop is the one that you'll take with you everywhere you go and thanks to its extensive battery life along with its lightweight for factor, this laptop lends itself very well for that purpose.