Infinix InBook X1 Review: An Interesting Balance
Infinix has recently branched out into the laptop category, much like its rivals in the smartphone space, Xiaomi and Realme. With prices starting as low as Rs. 35,999, the company is staying true to its value positioning, and bright colours fit right in with Infinix’s smartphones which are aimed at younger buyers. The company is also boasting of a few features that people today look for, such as quick charging. Let’s see whether Infinix has found a niche for itself, and whether it can compete not only with well-established PC OEMs but also the new crop of upstarts that are already making waves in India. Here’s our full review of the Core i5-based version of new Infinix InBook X1.
Infinix InBook X1 price in India
Although Infinix has launched two separate models, the InBook X1 and InBook X1 Pro, they are pretty much identical. There are two variants of the InBook X1; at the time of launch, introductory prices started at Rs. 35,999 for the base variant which has a 10th Gen Intel Core i3 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, while the other option with a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD was launched at Rs. 45,999. Infinix’s own website claims that the actual MRP of the Core i5 version is Rs. 59,999, which is a significant difference. However, it’s only available through Flipkart which has it listed for Rs. 49,999, so we have used that as the basis of our value-for-money determination for the purpose of this review.
The InBook X1 Pro is only available with a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD, and its introductory price was Rs. 55,999. There are a few other subtle differences between models. First, the Pro version has a fingerprint sensor while the two lower-priced ones lack this convenience. Secondly, the former ships with a Wi-Fi 6 module while the latter two only support Wi-Fi 5.
All three options are available in bright, bold colours called Nobel Red and Aurora Green, as well as the more subtle and professional Starfall Grey. They are said to be available through Flipkart, though availability seems to be limited.
Infinix InBook X1 design
The first thing that struck me about my review unit was its colour, and of course that’s exactly what Infinix intended. Quite a lot of people might like a laptop that’s this attention-grabbing, since there aren’t really many others like it. The bold red and green options will stand out wherever you take them, and if you like that, either one could brighten up your day. Most people will probably stick with grey though.
Infinix has gone with a dual-textured lid; most of it is a standard sandblasted metal but a thick, distinct band at the top has a more polished finish with a brushed texture. The Infinix logo is fairly small and unobtrusive. I did notice slight fingerprint smudges after using this laptop for a week but these were easy to wipe away.
The colour runs all the way across the lid and a bit of the rim is visible around the screen when using this laptop, which can be slightly distracting. The lower half has the same sandblasted texture as most of the lid, and the trackpad surface is colour-matched as well. You’ll see slim black plastic borders around the screen, and a fairly thick chin – Infinix hasn’t gone with a taller aspect ratio to fill this space like many other manufacturers do nowadays. There’s a very slight bump at the top, which makes space for the webcam and also acts as a lip with which to open the lid.
The keyboard does have a column of dedicated paging keys, which is nice. However the arrow cluster is a little compressed and Print Screen has been demoted to a Fn key combo. Interestingly, the Fn row keys are set to their own functions by default and you’ll need to use the Fn modifier to do things like adjust brightness and volume. There doesn’t seem to be a way to swap this either. They layout is decent overall, and typing is fairly comfortable. Backlighting is good to see in this segment, and you can choose between two levels of brightness.
On the other hand, the trackpad is just awful. The mechanism feels extremely cheap and makes a very loud, awkward click sound – so much so that I consciously started tapping instead of using the physical click. It also isn’t balanced very well and I often inadvertently wound up both right- and left-clicking when pressing many parts of it even without applying much pressure. The size, placement, and texture of this trackpad are decent enough, but using it is still difficult.
The InBook X1 weighs 1.48kg which is a little heavier than some of its competitors. However, it’s only 16.3mm thick and overall, it’s still very portable. The metal body feels quite solid. The screen does wobble slightly but the hinge feels firm, and you can push the screen all the way back so it lies flat. The lid doesn’t flex at all when pressure is applied and the keyboard tray also holds up to vigorous typing without bending.
Infinix ships the InBook X1 with a 65W wall-wart style power adapter and a detachable 2m USB Type-C cable. Surprisingly the laptop also has a slim DC power input for charging. The polarity and input power specifications are printed on a label on the bottom of the laptop but I don’t see why anyone would want to hunt for a compatible charger since this also works out to 65W and won’t necessarily charge the laptop quicker.
On the left, you’ll find an HDMI 1.4 video output, a USB 3.0 Type-A port, two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C ports (only one of which can be used for display output and charging), and a physical switch to disable the webcam, which is an interesting touch and works exactly as you’d expect. There’s another USB 3.0 Type-A port as well as a USB 2.0 port on the right, along with a microSD card slot, 3.5mm audio jack, and security lock slot.
Infinix InBook X1 specifications
Surprisingly, Infinix has gone with Intel’s 10th Gen ‘Ice Lake’ processors for its debut laptop lineup, not the current 11th Gen. The InBook X1 is available with either a dual-core Core i3-1005G1 or quad-core Core i5-1035G1, while the InBook X1 Pro ships with a quad-core Core i7-1065G7 CPU. While not the latest or fastest of Intel’s offerings, these should still be quite competent. They’re all manufactured on a 10nm process and have 15W nominal TDPs. The Core i7 option features intel’s integrated Iris Plus GPU while these Core i5 and Core i3 processors have weaker Intel UHD integrated graphics.
Both InBook X1 variants have 8GB of RAM, while the InBook X1 Pro has 16GB. This is LPDDR4X RAM which means it’s soldered and not upgradeable. The Core i3 variant has a 256GB SSD while the Core i5 and Core i7 options have 512GB of storage. Infinix says it has used M.2 NVMe SSDs so an upgrade should be possible though it isn’t clear whether users will find it easy to open up the chassis.
All three have the same 14-inch 1920×1080 full-HD display, with a 60Hz refresh rate, 300nits peak brightness, 72 percent NTSC colour gamut coverage. The battery capacity is 55Wh and Infinix promises 13 hours of video playback time, plus charging to 70 percent in 55 minutes. There are bottom-firing stereo speakers with separate tweeters and woofers, plus DTS audio enhancement, and two integrated mics. The webcam has a 720p resolution.
My review unit arrived running Windows 11 Home. Infinix doesn’t appear to have preloaded any software of its own, and other than the usual apps that Microsoft includes with Windows, there isn’t any bloatware at all – not even a trial version of a security suite. The Microsoft Office apps are installed but Infinix doesn’t include a license or subscription.
Infinix InBook X1 usage and performance
I received the Core i5-based variant of the InBook X1 for this review. Although the specifications on paper aren’t exactly up-to-date, there’s nothing wrong with previous-generation hardware. Day-to-day performance was smooth and trouble-free, and buyers looking for a reasonably priced laptop in the thin-and-light segment are unlikely to have very heavy workloads anyway, so the InBook X1 should remain good enough for at least a few years.
If you’re a student, home user, or office worker who mainly needs to browse the Web, create documents, chat and email, even with some light creative work thrown in, you’ll be fine. The keyboard is comfortable enough for productivity, with a slightly spongy but adequate travel and a quiet overall action. As described earlier, the trackpad is a huge letdown, but even this can be adapted to.
The display has a matte finish which is great for avoiding reflections. I found the 150 percent default scaling in Windows a bit wasteful of screen space, and changed it to 125 percent immediately. Colours aren’t especially vibrant, but videos are enjoyable enough if you’re watching casually. Viewing angles are decent and content doesn’t get washed-out. Sound is loud and voices in videos are crisp. Music reproduction wasn’t particularly clear or detailed especially in the high-end.
As for benchmark performance, PCMark 10 reported scores of 3,757 and 2,946 in the standard and Extended runs, respectively. Cinebench R20 managed 419 and 1,472 points in its single- and multi-threaded runs, and the POVRay rendering benchmark took 3 minutes, 14 seconds to complete. In comparison, the similarly priced base variant of the Realme Book Slim (Review) with its 11th Gen Core i3 did better in most tests, but not in content creation situations where the four cores of the Core i5 in the InBook X1 were able to apply themselves simultaneously.
3DMark’s Time Spy and Night Raid tests managed scores of 560 and 7,445 respectively, while the Fire Strike Extreme scene managed 780 points. Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s built-in benchmark delivered only a 14fps average running at 1280×720 at the Low graphics preset, so you’ll clearly be limited to older or much simpler games if you want to play any.
The PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD was fairly snappy, with sequential read and write speeds of 2501.1MBps and 1838.4MBps respectively, along with 950MBps and 865.2MBps random reads and writes as measured by CrystalDiskMark. Compressing a 3.24GB folder of assorted files using 7zip took 3 minutes, 40 seconds while encoding a 1.3GB AVI video to H.265 took 1 minute, 28 seconds.
The centre of the keyboard got a bit warm when heavy tests were running, but the InBook X1 never became too hot to use comfortably. I could only just about hear the cooling fan when heavy tests were pushing the CPU to its full capacity. Hot air is exhausted towards the screen through the hinge barrel, and you could actually use this laptop on your lap if it’s just for casual work.
Battery life is good, but not great. I was able to get through 8-9 hours of usage with some breaks in between on an average workday. However, the heavy Battery Eater Pro benchmark drained the InBook X1 completely in just 1 hour, 50 minutes. It was able to charge from zero to 41 percent in 30 minutes and 69 percent in an hour, which is marginally slower than Infinix’s claim.
Infinix has managed to hit a pretty low price point for a slim-and-light laptop with an all-metal body, backlit keyboard, and 14-inch display. There are a few convenient features such as the webcam switch and USB Type-C fast charging, but also some quirks, mainly the cheap trackpad. The main way that Infinix seems to have reduced cost is by going with previous-gen processors, and that really isn’t such a bad thing considering that even older laptops are expected to work for at least 3-4 years before they are outpaced by software.
This obviously isn’t the right laptop for gamers or anyone who needs serious processing power for content creation or any other kind of work. However if you’re a student, professional or even home user who just wants to cover the basics of productivity, entertainment and communication, you now have another worthwhile choice in the laptop market.
Given that Infinix’s pricing strategy is not very clear and availability seems to be limited, we will have to go by the current market price, which is Rs. 49,999 for the Core i5 variant. This means it goes head-to-head with the Xiaomi RedmiBook 15 Pro (Review) which has a better processor but weaker display and fewer convenient features. All in all, Infinix does make a compelling case for itself, and the InBook X1 is worth considering at this price.
Catch the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360, at our CES 2022 hub.
For all the latest Technology News Click Here