The world of the laptop and two-in-one device is a crowded one at the moment and Windows 10 has really excelled at providing an operating system that is both lightweight and features packed for the budget to mid-range device to run quite well. Venturer look to be making waves and this environment and whilst their latest device, the PrimePro 12 TS, is not without its flaws, the sum of the parts is commendable.
The Prime Pro 12 TS easily feels like they have learnt from the mistakes of previous models. It looks a lot better, it feels more premium and most importantly it runs smoothly.
A 12-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels proves to be just perfect for day to day interactions. Of course, this is a touchscreen device and therefore prone to large, oily fingerprints, something that is very difficult to avoid. One thing I will say about the screen and whilst it’s hardly a negative a small quirk is that the display is off-centre due to the camera on the left-hand side. Once noticed it’s impossible not to notice again. Everything is fine when running this in portrait mode, however, adopting landscape to plug it into the keyboard it just feels a little Asymmetric.
The keyboard bundled with the unit is a great feature and one that will attract many a business person who isn’t interested in the high price of the Surface line. By comparison with the previous Venturer model we looked at, the keys are greatly improved, there is decent spacing and enough travel so that you know that you press the button once you’ve pressed it. Early usage finds that the keyboard dock was a little unresponsive and this annoyed me to some degree. I felt I needed to push a little harder for the keyboard to respond, building up speed saw letters being dropped however once I got the knack I was able to build up speed whilst also pushing the buttons to a degree that I was sure of that the keyboard had received the signal. Over time this went away and now it’s very simple to type without issue. Perhaps the keys had a “bedding in” period of sorts.
The magnetic connection between the keyboard and the screen is very strong, I never doubted it for one moment which is commendable. When connecting the screen to the keyboard it always worked the first time, there was no fiddling around trying to find the connection and with a solid “thunk” you knew you were there.
The touchpad is great. Measuring almost 5 inches by 2 inches, there is plenty of travel in any direction. With no moving parts and stylishly cut into the keyboard’s base, there is little that can go wrong with it.
One thing that can be said about the unit as a whole is that it’s not the lightest, in fact, the whole thing bundled together is quite heavy. Weighing in at 1500 grammes, it’s on the heavier side, but thrown it in the bag and it’s not that noticeable.
Folding the device up and putting it away is initially quite tricky but after using it for a few days you realise just how simple that actually is and becomes second nature. Once bundled up everything feels secure and protected save for the exposed microSD card, the one big problem on the exterior of the device. This popped out once on the train and landed on the table. Whilst it only happened once, it was one time too many. I noticed it and felt it as I tapped it with one of my knuckles however on a busy train or leaving a flight this might be less than ideal. Perhaps a little piece of tape might hold things together a little better but who wants that?
Port-wise the Venturer Prime Pro has a lot to offer. Some my gripe there is only one USB, however, I never noticed the need for more. The mini HDMI is handy however I feel it’s a little redundant and was replaced by the micro HDMI and the micro USB was something I never found a use for.
The addition of the rear camera is a peculiar one and the device could do without it. For most of the time, I forgot it was there and whilst it is only two megapixels I guess it might be handy for capturing a business card but it certainly isn’t going to record your holiday memories. With a fixed focus and strange zoom in appearance, the photos feel as if there should be a warning that objects may be closer than they appear.
In the unboxing video, I was unsure of the volume switch, as to whether or not it was a handy placement. In usage it became invaluable. Easy to find and as it’s a button it was actually more responsive than other options like rollers.
Windows 10 runs very well. Initially, I was highly concerned as upgrading to the latest version of Windows 10 took a ridiculous amount of time. After almost 24 hours I finally had the machine up to date. This concerned me as I figured things were quite slow when it came to the Intel atom 1.83 gigahertz processor inside, coupled with 4 gigabytes of RAM. Thankfully once updated the machine appeared to be pretty quick. I rarely noticed any slow down when opening multiple applications and even managed some light gaming with some older titles downloaded through GOG Galaxy.
To boot the device from fully powered off to a usable state took roughly 20 seconds. When using the device it lasted for around 5 hours doing a little word processing and web development, nothing too intensive. The media playback on the screen worked well, movies look good and the full HD display impressed. The speaker was acceptable however as with most speakers there is always room for improvement. Viewing photographs, the colour representation was pleasantly more than adequate and at no stage did it appear washed out. The screen gets a solid thumbs up indoors. Outside, one a sunny day things were a little different. With the brightness up full, the screen’s glossy finish made things impossible to see, a real shame.
The Venturer Prime Pro 12 TS is a very good alternative if you aren’t prepared to spend the money for the typically recommended Windows 10 experience. At £350 it is a little more than a budget laptop however you do get a more accessible experience having the choice to leave the keyboard behind and that might be worth that price difference.
I have enjoyed my time with the Ventura prime pro12 TS. It’s an interesting form factor from a company daring to be a little different. The Prime Pro does turning heads and people have asked questions. I can nit pick, but there is nothing I can really complain about, it’s a strong package at a good price and worth considering if you’re looking for a portable Windows 10 two-in-one device.