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Chinese manufacturer Jumper has never cracked the formula for an excellent ultrabook It’s tried ¬– the company’s EZBook 3 Pro was among the thinnest and lightest around. But its efforts often suffered mediocre design and meager battery life, failings that put Jumper behind the very best.
Today’s ultrabook arena has even grown more competitive. Juggernauts like the premium Dell XPS 13, sleek MacBook Air, and the flashy Asus ZenBook UX305UA have grabbed the spotlight. If you’re going for these popular quick choices, you’re aware they work great, and they rarely cost less a grand. A gap that needs to be filled.
Jumper’s new Ezbook X3 tackles these entries head-on, especially on design. It has an Apollo Lake N3350 quad-core processor, 6GB of RAM, 64GB flash-memory storage and a 1080p display – all for the affordable. If that sounds familiar, it’s because both the specifications and price are almost identical to ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook, which won our Editor’s Choice award.
The Ezbook X3 caught our attention because of its value, but we fell in love with the build quality and design. Can the Jumper also reel us in or is it, like past Jumper ultrabooks?
In 2017 Jumper introduced the EZ Book 3, a 14-.3-inch laptop that combined a low sticker price (than most Chromebooks at the time) with a quasi-premium design language that melded silver and black for a macho, luxurious look.
That design, was inspired by Apple’s MacBook Air and the same gas been carried over to the latest recipient. The design here is a silver chassis black in between the keys and around the screen. It’s a very small, thin system that weighs only 3.9 pounds, making it incredibly portable on daily commute to college or work. The use of a matte display lid and aluminum lid and lower half makes for a good combination, just like you have on premium laptops.
If you look at the Ezbook from the side, it copies the MacBook Air’s tapered profile. On each side, there are three ports: two USB 3.0 ports, one microSD card, one HDMI and one audio ports, along with a proprietary power connector.
As with most MacBook Air clones, the power button sits on the top right-hand side of the keyboard. Nothing special here, though. There is a 0.3 mega-pixel on the top of the screen, and the speakers are average, unlike the impeccable rear-firing MacBook Air speakers.
The 1080p IPS display produces realistic colors with decent viewing angles. It’s matte meaning you can use it outdoors, but it isn’t as bright as the Dell XPS 13’s screen. A full HD resolution on a 13.3-inch display is a great combination, delivering higher than average pixel density, which translates into sharper pictures and text.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Like most 13-inch laptops, the keyboard is relatively small and exhibits some flex. That should not be a concern unless you intent to type on it forcefully. The keys are well spaced and have good feedback, without being too springy, especially the full-size Shift keys. On the downside, it lacks a ‘print screen’ button.
The standard-size touchpad is responsive, placed on a level that’s a bit too different from the palm rest level for our liking. You’ll notice some noise when clicking the right or left buttons, which is something you expect at this price point. Jumper bundles the touchpad with a free piece of software called Touchpad-blocker which blocks any accidental clicks while typing on the keyboard.
The Celeron CPU used here bests most competing atom-based devices and offers considerable processing power. Also, the 64GB flash memory is double what you get on most Chromebooks that happen to be the Ezbook’s main competitors. If you need better storage performance, you can easily replace it via a free M.2 slot, something you rarely find even on spendy notebooks. With 6GB of RAM, this is clearly a capable laptop that easily replaces Chromebooks in the budget category.
Battery life is reasonable at 5 hours 12 minutes, when you take it on a YouTube watching marathon. That’s about average for the category, but almost half what you get with the larger capacity 54 watt-hour unit on the Asus ZenBook UX305UA or the 56-watt hour battery on the Dell XPS 13. If you don’t prioritize all day battery life, you’ll find the Jumper a great travel companion.
The Jumper Ezbook X3, is many ways, is a big step forward for the company’s already exciting ultraportable line, with an elegant, eye-catching design at a reasonable price. Particularly, it improves on screen resolution while providing decent battery life and option to upgrade the storage into a true SSD, something competitors can’t claim.
Is there a better alternative?
For the price and design, the Ezbook is an easy system to recommend. The only other alternative is Apple’s MacBook Air, but its damn expensive, but still offers real value for the extra money you spend. If you want to stay within this price, the only other choice in this case is the ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook, our Editor’s Choice.
Apart from a sleek design and excellent battery life, the Asus DHM4 offers an exciting Chrome OS experience that rivals most Windows 10 LAPTOPS. It gets double the battery life of most budget notebooks, and for students or travelers, that sounds like a lot. It remains our top pick in the budget category.
Should I buy it?
Yes. A MacBook Air-like design and reasonably pricing for a laptop that offers Windows 10 sounds like an overkill. If you’re on a budget and need a capable, portable laptop, the Ezbook is for you.