The EZBook X4 is an upgraded version of the EZBook 3L Pro. That 14″ laptop with a new backlit keyboard, and the new Gemini lake Intel Celeron N4100 CPU with DDR4 2400Mhz RAM. Sadly it still retains the TN 1920 x 1080 panel which is the biggest con of this laptop. When viewed straight on the screen for a TN panel is great, good colours, good brightness and evenly lit. But once you move or stand up the colours of the screen shift out. This is only on the vertical viewing angles, the horizontal viewing angles are just fine. So when using the laptop on a table it isn’t a big issue but for sharing content with others like viewing a website or watching a movie this will be a problem.
But one good aspect of this screen is the panel has a matte anti-glare coating so it’s visible in bright light and even in direct sunlight. Reflections aren’t an issue. However, Jumper should have gone with an IPS panel and not this TN panel.
The new Celeron N4100 is up 200Mhz in speed over the N3450 with 2mb more cache, DDR4 2400Mhz support and 4k HDMI 2.0 output from the micro HDMI port. The RAM is faster than the old EZbook 3L Pro or EZBook 3 Pro. But we get 2GB less of it which isn’t great. The 128GB SATA3 M.2 SSD is fast enough and you can now install up to a M.2 22mm x 80mm drive in size, the default installed one is a BWIN SSD (2242 in size). The speeds are good of this drive with around 500 MB/s reads and 450 MB/s writes.
Performance when looking at Geekbench 4 scores is up 25% for single core scores and 19% for multicore scores over the Apollo Lake Celeron N3450 found in the earlier models. The bios power limits are unlocked but changes made to the power limit don’t seem to save. It’s 9W TDP they have set Jumper for the power limit so 3W over the default 6W TDP Intel recommends. And if you use the software unlock TDP / Power Limit method you can set the TDP to unlimited but make sure you do my little EZbook X4 heatsink thermal pad mod, otherwise, it will hit 96 degrees C. Stock thermals weren’t good on my unit due to a copper heatsink that wasn’t sitting 100% flush on the N4100 chipset.
Wireless AC and BT 4.1 is handled by the common Intel Wireless AC 3165 chipset with twin antennas and is soldered onto the motherboard. Speeds cap out at around 350Mbps transfers and the range is good. The battery is a 37Wh one like the previous models and depending on your use good for up to 7 hours or over. 5 hours if doing demanding tasks and around 3-4 hours if gaming with the brightness set high.
The speakers (4 of them) are a bit on the weak side with some software boosting and tweaks you can get them to sound much better. The 3.5mm headphone jack is clean and no static on my unit which is great.
Gaming without the power limit or heatsink mod is slightly better than the Celeron N3450. But increasing the TDP after the mod resulted in a good 300% FPS boost to games like Project cars that went from 5 FPS stock to up to 25 FPS after the mod. It’s worthwhile if you want the maximum performance and don’t mind the bottom getting quite hot. After the mod stock thermals dropped 20 degrees c.
The backlit keyboard is a great addition for the price and great to type on, same goes for the large touchpad. It’s one of the better ones on tech priced around $280. But there is one thing I don’t like the keys are silver and this means it can sometimes be hard to see those keycaps in bright light.
Overall the EZBook X4 is a great laptop, performance is up we have a backlit keyboard and room for all M.2 SSD sizes. However it’s far from perfect, no IPS panel and only 4GB of RAM. If Jumper adds a matte IPS screen, 8GB RAM option it will be one of the best of the new Gemini Lake budget laptops. maybe they will do this put on the EZBook 4 Pro?