MUGA Stoic PC3, 19,800 yen laptop review: a very cheap but unexpectedly usable PC

A great value for money machine that can play streaming video with no problem.

Engadget JP (Translation)
Engadget JP (Translation) , @Engadget_MT
2020年09月2日, 午後 04:54 in egmt
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MUGA Stoic PC3

This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.


t was back in December 2017 when news broke that discount store chain Don Quixote would be launching a Windows PC for 19,800 yen excluding tax. The machine dubbed the MUGA Stoic PC, seemed to sell quite well, partly because it was cheap and partly because it was scary, but with 2GB of memory and 32GB of storage, it was really limited to stoic use. However, a year later, the successor model, MUGA Stoic PC2 which doubled the memory to 4GB was released at an unchanged price. I hear that this was also quite popular.

Since there was no introduction of a successor in 2019, it was thought that this series would end with "2", but in May of this year, they introduced the Nanote of UMPC for 19,800 yen as well. Then on August 28, the MUGA Stoic PC3 was released. The price is still 19,800 yen.

MUGA Stoic PC3
The MUGA Stoic PC3, which I got successfully on launch day.

As for the specs of the MUGA Stoic PC3, the CPU has been changed from the Atom in the previous series to the Celeron N3350 (Apollo Lake), the 4GB of memory has been left unchanged, and the storage has been doubled to 64GB. The Celeron N3350 is the CPU that has been used in low-cost entry-level notebooks and tablets around 2017.

It's a very common build for a laptop, and it's bold enough to not have any logos on the top panel. The weight is 1.350g. The AC adapter is a slender coaxial type, and the cable length is about 1m 17cm, which seems to be a little short for pulling it from the outlet of the floor.

MUGA Stoic PC3
No logo on the top board.
MUGA Stoic PC3
Speakers on the back.

MUGA Stoic PC3
AC adapter included.

The display of MUGA Stoic PC3 is a 14" IPS LCD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels in Full HD. I'm sure there are individual differences, but the color temperature is quite low on the unit I bought. The manual adjustment by the "color management" is thought to be indispensable. By the way, the manufacturer is KEIAN.

MUGA Stoic PC3
A "normal" computer that can be found anywhere.

The terminals are a USB 3.0 port on the left side, power supply, and mini-HDMI output. A mini-HDMI conversion cable is included. On the right side, there is a USB 3.0 port, an earphone jack, and a microSD card slot.

MUGA Stoic PC3
A mini-HDMI conversion cable is included.

The keyboard is available in Japanese only, but when I actually typed on it, it felt a little dry to the touch, but it is generally good. The camera is about 300,000 pixels, and although there is a feeling that it is a little weak in low light, the image quality is fine for use in a Zoom conference.

MUGA Stoic PC3
Japanese language layout is a little cramped on the right side.

Touchpad operation is comfortable and free of sluggishness, but two-finger scrolling is unintentionally zoomed or touch-selected when you change the way you touch. It will take a couple of days to get it right.

I also benchmarked the MUGA Stoic PC3 with CINEBENCH R15, and the CPU is 84cb and OpenGL is 10.16fps, which is almost the same as the values measured by the Celeron N3350 for some time.

MUGA Stoic PC3
Totally unsuitable for heavy processing.

The included app is WPS Office, a Microsoft Office compatible app from Kingsoft, but the official website now offers a free upgrade to WPS2, so I got the WPS2 without any labor. The storage space at the time of completing the update and other tasks was about 39.9 GB.

MUGA Stoic PC3
Approximately 40 GB of storage remaining in the manufacturer's standard state.

I actually did some writing tasks, and it was surprisingly normal to use it. I can normally do tasks like surfing the net, reading PDFs, and writing in a text editor. There was no slow typing. In addition, the video of YouTube could be played in Chrome as well as Edge without any problem, and the meeting by Zoom was OK.

One of the benefits of going from an Atom to a Celeron CPU is that the graphics engine is now the Intel HD Graphics 500. It also has HDMI output at 4K resolution. The frame rate is only 30p, but it's perfectly fine for PC-based work.

MUGA Stoic PC3
HDMI output is possible at 4K resolution.

Performance is always at full capacity, and you'll need to customize it by deleting every background task you don't want, but it's a bit much for 19,800 yen. I bought it with the intention of it being an enthusiast's computer with limited usage, but it has betrayed my expectations in a good way. It's truly a good value for money.

The MUGA Stoic PC is good for adults to use, but I think it would rather be used as a remote classroom computer for elementary and middle school students. In any case, textbooks are on paper, and notes and reports are also submitted on paper. As long as they can watch videos on a widescreen, they're OK, and they won't do any text typing at the same time. The fact that the graphics-heavy game does not run at all can be said to be good.

If your child's remote class starts unexpectedly and you need computers for your kids, and two of them, don't panic, dad, go to Don Quixote.


This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.

 
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