The Martian A8 notebook is available via GearBest, and currently there are seven SKUs to choose from. Prices start at about $350 for the cheapest SKU with a Core i3-4010U processor and 4GB of RAM. The top SKU, based on the Core i7-4650U processor, is listed at $526. At press time, some SKUs are out of stock, and none of them are on sale. The SKU we tested is priced north of $400, but you can use the “fudzillaA8” coupon to get it down to $362, which sounds like a much better deal.
This is hardly bargain bin pricing, but then again, we’re talking about a proper notebook based on Core-series processors rather than Atoms. Looking at this price bracket in EU markets, we can find a number of similar systems, but most of them ship with glossy 1366x768 panels. FullHD models tend to cost a bit more, and there are next to no comparable devices with a matte display.
There is a lot to like about the A8, but we can’t escape the feeling that the design needed a bit more polish. As far as aesthetics are concerned, the cooling grille on the bottom just looks wrong and compromises the otherwise sleek design. Since it’s based on a two-year-old platform, the A8 also lacks support for 802.11ac wireless and there’s no USB Type-C port.
On the other hand, performance is still adequate, despite the fact that we’re looking at 22nm silicon. New 14nm processors would have been preferable, but they would make the A8 substantially more expensive, which is why it’s understandable the vendor opted to stick to cheaper 22nm processors instead. At $362, you just can’t expect the latest and greatest Intel CPUs.
Martian A8 pros and cons:
- Excellent matte display
- Good overall performance
- Touchpad and keyboard
- Unoriginal MacBook clone looks
- Weak speakers
- Certain SKUs are too pricey for the spec