Dialogue Flybook V5
Small and capable, but uncomfortable to use
- Portable, tablet-convertible form factor, good speed, built-in 3G capability, good battery life
- Uncomfortable to use, needs a memory card slot, needs more tablet function buttons
The tiny Flybook V5 is aimed squarely at the business user. It's very mobile, has 3G capability and it can function as a tablet PC. However, it's a hard-to-use laptop and it's missing some useful tablet features, such as a dedicated button for rotating the screen.
Price$ 3,350.00 (AUD)
Dialogue's Flybook V5 has the physique of an Eee PC, the heart of a bigger laptop and the style of a tablet PC. In short, it's an undersized, ultraportable tablet PC with a decent CPU.
The Flybook V5 is very small, which makes it very mobile, but it's also quite hard to use. As always, life is about compromises, and with the Flybook V5 you have to weigh up its light weight and tablet-convertible screen against its lack of proper touchpad or TrackPoint-style pointer control and decent-sized keys.
The unit weighs only 1.3kg. It's 23cm wide and 16cm deep — so it's a little wider than the ASUS Eee PC 900 (Windows XP version), but the Eee PC is actually deeper. Because of this, Dialogue hasn't been able to include a touchpad. It also hasn't included a typical, keyboard-centred, TrackPoint-style device: instead, there is one in the top right-hand corner of the base, which takes a while to get used to. In fact, it's very hard to get used to. You can hold the Flybook V5 like a PSP and use your thumbs to navigate (there's also a thumb-roller for scrolling), or you can try using it in the traditional fashion, but with your left hand pressing the left- and right-click buttons. Left-handers are the big losers in this configuration.
The keyboard itself has keys that are only slightly bigger than those on the Eee PC, so typing long documents can be tiring. The keys do possess good travel and bounce, and there aren't any oddly positioned keys. Heat doesn't travel up through the keyboard after the unit has been in use for a few hours, but the bottom does get noticeably warm. A fan kicks in to extract the warm air generated by the internal components, and it can get a little noisy. It was very noticeable when watching videos.
With an 8.9in screen that has a resolution of 1024x600 pixels, Windows Vista Business edition looks quite good, and it runs smoothly, too. The notebook has an Intel Core 2 Duo U7600 ultra low voltage CPU, along with 2GB of RAM and a 1.8in, 80GB, 4200rpm hard drive. It'll run office applications very comfortably, and you can also run multiple applications (such as your office suite, e-mail, Web browser and music player) without the unit getting very sluggish. However, it was a little slower than we were expecting when encoding 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files: it took 2min 28sec, which is about 8sec slower than expected. The 80GB drive is enough for storing plenty of music and videos for when you want to unwind.
Dialogue pitches the Flybook V5 directly at the business market. It includes a built-in 3G antenna and SIM card reader, and supports tri-band HSDPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks, so it can be used globally. It's very much a tool for getting online and checking your e-mail, as well as sending text messages, but with its built-in webcam and microphone ports (the built-in array microphone isn't effective), it also allows video calls to be made. To facilitate Internet connectivity at hotspots and hotels, it has built-in 802.11g wireless networking, a Gigabit Ethernet port and even a 56Kbps modem. You also get an ExpressCard slot, which you can use to plug in an 802.11 draft-n adapter, for example.
However, the Flybook V5 is skimpy when it comes to ports and slots. The ones we've just mentioned are the main attractions, and apart from those you only get two USB 2.0 ports, a headphone port, a D-Sub port and a TV-Out port. These are all on the rear of the unit, so there aren't any ports on the left- and right-hand sides of the base, nor at the front, where the battery is located. The battery has a rating of 10800mAh, and it lasted just over three hours in our worst-case scenario test (looping a video in high performance mode with the screen brightness all the way up). This is a good result for such a small laptop (its 6-cell battery doesn't even stick out from the chassis at all).
In tablet mode, the V5 feels incomplete. There aren't any dedicated buttons on the screen that allow the screen orientation to be changed, nor are there any left- and right-click or shortcut buttons on the bezel. Basically, all you have to control the unit is the stylus (or your finger). Using Vista's built-in tablet functions, the unit's handwriting recognition wasn't the best we've seen, but the pen was accurate when it came to navigating the screen. Menu items could be selected easily, and drag-and-drop operations were also effective. You'll want to put in some practice when using the handwriting function to take down notes (or else you can just use the on-screen keyboard to tap out and insert sentences into your documents).
We do wish the V5 was a little more versatile in tablet mode. But it could be that we're just spoiled from having used better-featured tablet PCs in the past, such as Fujitsu's LifeBook T2010 (3.5G). It's a little too cramped to be used for writing long documents, but that's to be expected of a unit this small. On the plus side, it's easy to carry, has built-in 3G capability and decent speed.
Join the newsletter!
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Apple iPhone X
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Micro
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Xbox One X
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Lenovo ThinkPad celebrates 25 years of cutting edge technology
- Crowdfunding campaign to bring wireless charging to the Macbook
- Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixelbook, Google Home Mini & Max: Everything Announced At Today’s Google Event
- MSI GE73 7RF VR Raider Gaming Laptop: Full, in-depth review
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Get set for Amazon Australia Black Friday launch
- Destiny 2 PC review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCOracle CRM OD (On Demand) Consultant - Telecom IndustryVIC
- CCSolaris / Oracle SPARC administratorVIC
- FTSystems ArchitectNSW
- CCSenior Application SpecialistNSW
- FTSAP Lead Solution ArchitectOther
- CCPega ArchitectVIC
- FTSenior Change ManagerNSW
- FTJunior Front End DeveloperOther
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- TPIT Technical WriterNSW
- FTLevel 1 Application Support (POS)QLD
- FTInfrastructure/ Hybrid Cloud Architect - Government OrganisationVIC
- FTSenior Siebel DeveloperACT
- FTMid-Senior PHP DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCSenior AngularJS DeveloperNSW
- FTMarketing and Advertising Project/Sales SupportOther
- TPTechnical Project CoordinatorVIC
- FTSenior Strategy Specialist - Direct / ConsumerOther
- FTService Desk CoordinatorVIC
- TPBusiness Analyst | AO6 | Government ContractQLD
- FTDevOps EngineerNSW
- CCNetwork ArchitectVIC
- CCCloud Test EngineerNSW
- FTSalesforce Platform LeadOther