The first thing that struck me about the Fydetab Duo was that it was heavier than I expected a “tablet” to be, which is a stark contrast to the sharp, light design of the system. The device alone weighs 754 grams, and with the magnetic stand and magnetic keyboard cover, it weighs 1325 grams.
This weight is certainly not a problem to carry out alone, but if you want to carry a laptop at the same time, it may be a bit overwhelming. So for the Fydetab Duo, you can understand that it is close to the large iPad Pro in form, but closer to the basic iPad or iPad Air in price.
The Fydetab Duo’s screen immediately reminded me of the TNT go, which I had briefly used and couldn’t get out of my head, with similar text rendering technology and a solid, clear display of Chinese characters. the Duo’s LCD screen looks a bit more transparent and clear, with a maximum brightness of 500 nits. It’s not as bright as my other iPad Pro 2018, but the overall look and feel is much better than my iPad mini 6, and there’s no jelly effect. Subsequent experiences also confirmed that the bright LCD screen provides a solid foundation for the overall experience, whether it’s writing in the office, or watching 4K video, and is the most impressive aspect of the device.
After the screen was lit, I began to examine the appearance of the Fydetab Duo, a circle of silver metal frame design is not particularly impressive, but gives a sense of coherence, the design of the back of the body a plastic makes me dream back to the Pixel C, but unfortunately will not light, guessing that may be related to enhanced signal; the left side of the bezel integrated a Type-C interface, 3.5mm headphone jack, volume buttons and SIM and SD card slot, the top of the power button integrated fingerprint recognition, interface functionality The interface functionality should be quite sufficient. I personally hope that a Pro version of more Type-C interface, more C more beautiful.
If you’re familiar with tablets like iPad and accept the idea of “adding a screen stand and keyboard cover to a screen”, you won’t be unfamiliar with the FydeTab Duo’s form factor. I’m still more used to the completely separate design than the one that integrates the stand with the body, and I can also buy replacement accessories separately if they are damaged (after using it for a month or so, the corners are starting to show wear, as you should be able to observe in the subsequent photos).
I got the red version, suede face outward adsorption, bracket damping feeling is very good, stand up after a very solid, fingers can rest assured that the screen poking; angle can be infinitely adjustable, the maximum can support almost vertical to the machine.
I like the inner layer of the keyboard cover processing, smooth and a little damping; key caps look slightly cheap, but the feel of the strike is not bad, the key range is moderate, knocking down can still feel the obvious rebound. Keyboard feel I’m not a professional, I do not do too much to comment, to meet my daily office on the line. It is worth mentioning that this keyboard cover can be used in two angles, knocking are quite solid, but I prefer to put completely flat.
This touchpad only the lower part can be pressed, and also feel loose enough to be crisp, is the whole link I think the most need to improve, should also be the most difficult to overcome the new entry manufacturers a link. The main problem is that the external monitor will have the problem of mis-touch, and even drift when pressed, usually brought into the conference room with the feeling that everything seems to be normal, so I use the external monitor when all external mouse and keyboard.
There is also a stylus in the package, which can be stored on the side of the keyboard cover at any time, so you can pick it up and write. The stylus needs to be loaded with a #9 battery before it can be used, and from this design it should be a more traditional capacitive pen that doesn’t require any Bluetooth pairing process and has excellent battery life, and the damping of the pen tip on the screen feels good. The only pity is that the delay is relatively large, while writing code occasionally draw a flowchart, play a draft to organize ideas enough, but also in addition to the touchpad to assist in the screen precision touch; if you can tolerate the delay, in Sketchbook copy drawing, cut a screen annotations also OK, but I do not recommend for a long time handwritten notes.
By the way, the stylus, keyboard cover and stand are all included in the package, so you don’t need to buy them separately, and the experience is complete right out of the box.
In addition to these points that can be felt in the hands, after a few weeks of use, I found that the battery life became another advantage. The Fydetab Duo has a solid 10 hours of battery life in an indoor Wi-Fi environment, I guess because the system itself is quite clean and lightweight, and the browser has a very low resource overhead for I guess it’s probably because the system itself is quite clean and light, and the browser is highly sophisticated in managing the resource overhead of tabs, and the device itself is equipped with an 8nm-based arm chip (RK3588S).
The RK3588S chip is a new generation of the RK3588S, with 4 A76 cores and 4 A55 cores. The GPU is interesting, using the same generation of 8 Gen1 performance leap after the arm public version of the architecture, but with the positioning of the high-end G610 instead of the flagship G710, the good thing is that the two micro-architecture is the same, only in the name and the number of cores are different (RK3588S is 4 GPU cores). So it seems that the focus of this chip is still on graphics performance, the pressure should not be so great in the face of heavy web tools rendering up.
The Fydetab Duo is powered by FydeOS, which is individually adapted to the hardware. Digital enthusiasts should not be unfamiliar with this system, and those who have just heard of it can roughly understand it as a localized version of ChromeOS (there is actually an open source version of openFyde, so you can use it yourself if you like).
When I first heard about ChromeOS many years ago, my first reaction was “How can a system be considered a system with only a browser? With the development of Internet technology, even a browser alone can accomplish professional tasks, and web-based phenomenal products like Figma are the best illustration. I myself have long been used to moving around in Fishu documents and multi-dimensional forms, and using photopea to open and modify PSD files. For me, working on the web has become the norm.
Back to the system itself, because of ChromeOS, after years of iterations and updates, FydeOS has reached a level of overall stability and functionality that you can trust. You can also use Fydetab Duo as an Android tablet to download common third-party applications on your cell phone, for leisure and entertainment, and to help with online classes.
If ChromeOS was simply de-Googleized, it wouldn’t take much to introduce the system, however, FydeOS still gave me some small surprises – localization.
On ChromeOS, users need to sign in to a Google account to use subsequent features (such as the Android subsystem), and the whole experience is basically confined to Google’s ecosystem, including the browser extension store, Android app store, etc. This is neither realistic nor possible for domestic users. -Users can log in to the system with a local account on the Fydetab Duo, just like a traditional PC. On the project machine I’m using, the built-in Linux and Android subsystems are also available out of the box after creating a local account.
In addition, FydeOS has a built-in app store to replace Google’s Chrome Web Store and Google Play Store, including their selection of tested Android apps that work on the big screen, recommended Chrome browser extensions, themes and related web apps, and the OneDirve/Nut Cloud app from the FydeOS team for users to mount cloud storage. This app store seems a bit redundant for enthusiasts (of course, you don’t lose anything by browsing), but for the average user it’s definitely the first thing you’ll open when you enter the system, a reassuring landing after crashing into a niche system. The app store isn’t the only option either, as you can still use Google’s Web Store to get the most complete expansion of the ecosystem, or use the built-in Open Gapps tool to open the door to the Play Store ecosystem.
Throughout the initial setup process, the most obvious feeling I had about FydeOS was “friendliness” and “openness”: it didn’t stop me from going anywhere I wanted to go, and if I wanted help, it was happy to give it a hand. This kind of temperament is mostly found in community products, which is really valuable.
As a half-wordsmith, my biggest worry is that this kind of niche system supports the not-so-perfect ShuangPin Chinese input method. FydeOS has not yet improved the guidance for new users, which led me to use the open source project on Github for a long time, and then I found out that the “true text rhyme” input method actually supports both full spelling and double spelling (see the picture below for the specific supported double spelling scheme). It can be used directly in Chromium browser and Android subsystem. For the actual experience of using it, please refer to the same RIME-based input method engine that I use on macOS: it has good performance and can meet daily office work, but it is not ready to use out of the box, and it takes some time to maintain the lexicon. Generally speaking, diphthong input is no longer my main problem with FydeOS.
I won’t bother with the rest of the localization points, they are rather detailed, such as the Linux subsystem image is modified to a domestic Ali cloud image, and the file management has a built-in FyDrop for cross-platform file transfer on the LAN. The latter is based on the open-source Snapdrop, which is fast and versatile, so many of my configurations and files on my Android phone (such as game archives, AdGuard backups, etc.) can all be dropped over to the Android subsystem for quick deployment.
One of my points is that the functional ceiling of a tablet device and the experience associated with it depends largely on the accessories, which determine what kind of form the screen should take. And the booming ecosystem of third-party accessories means that there are many good and inexpensive alternatives for consumers.
I am well aware of my own hardware requirements for large-screen devices and the corresponding use scenarios, layer by layer.
Only a screen that can be touched: corresponds to occasional entertainment and leisure needs, and can only be used for browsing video and audio, or occasional web browsing, reading articles, handwritten notes.
With a stand and keyboard, it supports application split screen: corresponding to all needs outside of work, watching videos, long web browsing, IM chatting, etc.
With macOS/Linux desktop: for all needs, including work.
Unlike my previous Android tablets and iPads, Fydetab Duo can go to the third tier, and thanks to the USB 3.1 interface and the system’s support for high split screen, I’m more used to using an external monitor if it’s an office. In the past two years, there should be a few monitors with reverse charging and USB expansion, but the one I have at home was purchased at the beginning of my career, so I had to get an extra docking station that supports 4K 60Hz, but not at work.
The keyboard cover and touchpad are not the best solution for an external monitor, whether at home or at work, I use the Minority K3 short axis keyboard and wired mouse, the feel and control will be much better, closer to the traditional desktop experience.
Although FydeOS will automatically switch between desktop mode and tablet mode depending on the accessory, I later found that the desktop mode is quite optimized for touch operation, such as the application window can be freely scaled with one finger, while the tablet mode requires frequent switching of tasks/split screen and calling out the Dock bar, so I seldom use the tablet mode.
Next is the migration workflow, which is generally smooth, mainly because some of the usual libraries or IDEs still lack Linux Arm support, such as Pycharm, etc. It’s no wonder that VScode is listed as the first item in Essentials in its own app store. This mainly depends on how well the arm ecosystem is supported by each company.
It’s important that the browser extensions I was using basically migrated properly, but here’s where the data synchronization comes in: my bookmarks and passwords are basically kept in Brave Browser and Safari, and I need to use the browser extensions to synchronize them. If you’re new to this process, I’d also recommend giving bookmark and password management tools like Raindrop.io and Bitwarden a try along the way.
I also found a few ChromeOS-specific apps in the included store that are significantly easier to hook up, such as Keep Awake, Cog system information viewer, and Caret text editor, which make up for some of the missing features on the desktop. If you have more useful ChromeOS apps/open source projects, you are welcome to share them in the comment section, thanks.
In the standby test under Wi-Fi environment, it dropped 60% in two days and three nights, which is not a bad performance considering that there are a bunch of apps open in the background. As of this article, we have received three system updates, which mainly improved the system stability and input method experience, etc. This article is based on FydeOS v15.1-SP2.
With the solid foundation laid by ChromeOS, coupled with careful localization and sincere hardware, Fydetab Duo has just been born and already stands on the pass line, stable enough for gamers, geek enthusiasts or enterprise users like me, and with future system and security updates guaranteed, the tossing limit is also high enough. After using it for a while, what I expect is that the general public in the market will have a better understanding of such systems, hardware products and the ecology behind them, and realize that there is actually a third path to choose besides PC and Mac.