Panache Air PC review: A Pocket size PC
Vardhaman Technology recently launched Panache Air PC, a compact PC-on-stick running Windows 10 Operating System, similar to the Intel Compute Stick. This tiny dongle can transform your TV or monitor with a HDMI port to a PC. It runs on Windows 10, and the company says that it is the first pocket PC in the world to launch with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system installed. We got our hands-on with Panache Air PC, so lets go ahead for review.
Pananche take the advantage of new Intel Atom processors which is small in size, low power requirements and to make a PC not much bigger than a Flash drive. The Panache Air PC sports the compact chassis with an HDMI plug on the end, the same quad-core “Bay Trail” Intel Atom Z3735F system-on-chip and the same 2GB RAM and 16GB/32GB storage. The stick is powered from a microUSB connector, but you’ll need a 2A power supply; as we expected, the 0.5A USB socket on the back of our TV couldn’t get the Air PC to boot. The model we reviewed comes with genuine Windows 10.
The limitations of such a small PC are evident as soon as you set it up. The single USB port is one of the bigger problems. This means if you want to have a keyboard and mouse plugged in at the same time, you need to use a wireless keyboard and mouse with a single receiver. Even then, there’s nowhere to plug in a card reader or a USB drive, so getting files on and off the Compute Stick could be a bit tricky. This is an old-fashioned way of looking at things, of course; you could just use OneDrive or equivalent for your file transfers and upload photos straight from your smartphone or Wi-Fi-enabled camera. If you want to add USB ports there’s always the option of a hub, but you’ll need a powered model; we tried a passive hub and it couldn’t even power a wireless keyboard adaptor and a USB key at the same time.
Panache Air PC has 802.11b/g/n rather than 802.11ac chipset, but only supports the 2.4GHz rather than 5GHz band. This won’t affect unless you have age old WiFi router in your home or Office. The Air PC does have built-in Bluetooth which is good option take help you to connect bluetooth peripheral like keyboard,mouse,mobile, etc. You can also use Intel’s Remote Keyboard app on your smartphone or tablet in conjunction with a server on the Panache Air PC, which works reasonably well for some light web browsing.
The Panache Air PC has a Quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3735F processor, and its performance isn’t upto much, but considering the form factor and price we can’t expect much. As far as productivity goes the Panache Air PC copes with most tasks fairly well, such as browsing the web or playing Full HD video, but try opening a web page in another tab while one is still rendering and everything will grind to a halt.
We love the idea of Panache Air PC. Slower than a laptop but more expensive than a Chromecast, the Panache Air PC feels more like an awkward compromise between Netbook and pure streaming device than its own, well-rounded product. Yes, you can bring the Panache Air PC with you anywhere, but it’s useless without a number of other accessories that don’t travel well.
In a nutshell, the Panache Air PC can easily become your second PC. You can use it to monitor your Twitter and Facebook feeds. You can browse Web on it, and also run slideshows, and stream movies. But it’s not a PC replacement. You shouldn’t rely on it for extensive task. It’s a great $130 (Rs 8,599) pocket PC that can make your dumb TV smart. But there’s a reason why the chipmaker isn’t marketing this device as a gaming computer. Because it’s not. As long as you don’t have such high expectations from it, the Panache Air PC will serve pretty well.