At the IFA, the German manufacturer Trekstor, which is particularly well represented in the lower price segment, presented the Surfbook A13B, a new notebook. The device should be slim, light and practical – and thus ideally suited for use on the move.
We wanted to find out more and subjected the much praised notebook to an extensive practical test. On the following pages you will find out whether it is really so practical, affordable and recommendable.
Design and workmanship
The Surfbook A13B looks like a modern Ultrabook. The flat and light construction knows how to inspire. Visually, the silver-coloured housing blends perfectly into almost any environment.
The device is amazingly well processed. So it surprises – and convinces – for example with its low weight of only 1.24 kilograms, which results from the production of aluminium and plastic. Only the lid is made of aluminium, the rest is made of plastic. So the Surfbook A13B can’t keep up with the expensive competition here. Despite this lightweight construction, the notebook is robust enough to withstand everyday stress. The display can be opened and closed without any problems. The hinges are also well made and sufficiently robust.
Overall, we rate both the design and the workmanship of the device positively.
The notebook’s display measures 13.3 inches in the diagonal. With a FullHD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) the resolution is sufficiently high. All images are sharp, colors and contrasts are good. For the average user, the display of the surfbook should offer everything that is needed.
The built-in average display can certainly not meet the highest demands. However, this cannot be assumed for a comparatively inexpensive model. The Surfbook A13B with its display is one of the stronger models in its price range. It does not have to be measured against much more expensive devices.
Those who know that they can’t expect the very best display will be satisfied with the Surfbook’s display. Perhaps the average user is even pleasantly surprised by the clear contrasts and pleasant colours with sharp display at the same time. We can’t find any points of criticism and certify the Surfbook A13B by Trekstor an excellent display.
In addition to the display, the device of course has numerous other features. These include, for example, the built-in stereo loudspeakers, which we noticed positively in the test. Thanks to these speakers, the notebook is also suitable for playing music or movies – in combination with the display already described in more detail, the speakers for the latter purpose provide the best conditions. The quality of the loudspeakers is again extremely good for the price range.
The notebook is driven either by a “Pentium Silver N5000” processor from Intel in combination with the graphics chip “UHD Graphics 605”, or by the “Celeron N4000” processor, also from Intel, supported by the graphics chip “Graphics 600”. The first, somewhat more powerful processor is clocked with a maximum of 2.7 GHz. In both variants there is 4 GB of RAM available, which is quite good for a mid-range model.
The internal memory of the device is 64 GB, which is comparatively small. The vast majority of other notebooks offer significantly more internal memory. Users of the surfbook may be faced with space problems if they want to store a lot of data. However, the M.2 SSD slot, which allows the installation of a second storage medium, provides a remedy here. If the internal memory is not sufficient, which is likely for frequent users with a lot of data, the problem can be solved. On the negative side, however, the purchase of a second SSD could be a costly affair. Fortunately, however, prices have been falling for some time now. The price is expected to halve again in 2019.
However, the notebook offers sufficient connection options. Especially for people who want to use the device for professional purposes such as presentations or the like, the offered selection of slots is a real advantage. The Surfbook has not only two USB 3.0 ports, but also a mini HDMI port. The latter is not a matter of course for laptops of this kind. The built-in card reader may also seem practical to some users – among other things, it facilitates the quick use of data stored elsewhere. The front camera and microphone are also useful for professionals. These two components of the Surfbook also make it suitable for video conferencing. In the professional context, the device can score in any case. A negative note is the truly weak resolution of 0.3 megapixels – a value that is absolutely not up-to-date or appropriate.
Furthermore, the Surfbook is equipped with dual-band WLAN with 2.5 and 5 GHz and a Bluetooth interface with Miracast option. The 4,600 mAh battery is large and lasts a long time. So if you want to use the device on the road, you don’t have to worry about running out of juice after a short time.
Another positive aspect is the fact that Windows 10 is pre-installed. The restrictive S mode can be easily switched off. A one-year Microsoft Office subscription is also linked to the Surfbook – a real plus.
The features of the Surfbook can be described as usual on the market. It does not have any outstanding features. At the same time, however, all the essential components of an average notebook are present. Only the low storage capacity is noticeable negatively. It can be compensated by the installation of a second SSD, but this compensation is associated with additional costs for the user and the cost of purchasing the second storage medium.
Performance: On-road Test
In practice, the Surfbook A13B proves that it is a solid device. The performance offered is sufficient for ordinary activities – for example surfing the Internet or running ordinary office applications – in any case. It should be noted that we have tested the stronger model with Pentium processor.
For very demanding purposes like gaming or photo editing the device is less suitable. During these activities, the processor and RAM quickly reach their limits. But at League of Legends we were able to achieve between 30 and 60 frames per second. At this point, however, it should be pointed out that the Surfbook was obviously not created for these activities – the insufficient performance for these purposes can therefore not be regarded as a point of criticism here.
It can again be stated that the notebook can withstand normal loads. To a certain extent, multitasking is also no problem for the device. Multiple open tabs or running Office and Internet applications at the same time do not cause problems for the device. The average user should be satisfied with the performance of the device. All in all, it cuts a good figure.
The trackpad is pleasantly large and has a pleasant pressure point. The keyboard didn’t quite convince us, because the typing feeling is a little spongy – a typical problem of cheap rubber dome keyboards. However, it is definitely sufficient for occasional writing.
We were impressed by the battery life of the device, because while surfing we didn’t get the battery empty during the day despite the load of several windows and programs. When used for office activities, battery life of over 12 hours is possible.
Conclusion to Trekstor Surfbook A13B review
The device scores in many respects. For the average user, who wants to use it mainly for office applications and surfing the Internet, it is absolutely recommendable. With the one-year Microsoft Office subscription, the pre-installed operating system, the low weight that makes it portable, the long-lasting battery and the good price-performance ratio, the Surfbook A13B is the ideal device for these usual purposes.
The performance offered is also sufficient for these applications. All in all, it should be clear to the interested party that he is purchasing a device that was created for precisely these purposes. If you want to play gaming, edit videos or do similar challenging things, you should use a different device. Anyone who wants to buy a solid notebook for work, study or surfing should have access. The good transportability is a great advantage.