Founded by Ntmer Technology, Robo & Kala is a fairly new consumer electronics brand. Robo stands for intelligent devices and technology, while Kala stands for people. As the name suggests, the brand aims to represent machine and human integration. In the fall of 2022, Robo & Kala released their debut: the Robo & Kala Laptop. Integrating ARM architecture, Qualcomm and Microsoft, this laptop boasts an ultra-thin body and an incredibly long battery life among other impressive features.
Rono & Kala’s latest release is available in five striking colors. The folks at the company sent us its stunning Sea Pine Green variant. Other options include Moon White Blue, Sakura Pink, Space Grey and Starry Night Black. We spent a few days with the laptop and here’s what we think.
Weighing a total of 1.5lbs and featuring a thickness of 0.28 inches, the Robo & Kala Laptop is as lightweight as it can get. This makes it an ideal device to be carried on the go. Extremely stowable and easily portable, it’s perfect for students or folks who need to travel with their devices. Though it is thin and lightweight, the company claims that it features durability, too. According to their promise, its anodized aluminum alloy body makes it quite tough and resistant to wear.
The Robo & Kala 2-in-1 Laptop consists of two pieces: a display and a magnetic keyboard. The two pieces attach with the help of a set of pogo pins that provide a secure connection with a satisfying click sound.
The rear of the display features a kickstand for when you’re using the device in laptop mode. We were thoroughly impressed with the kickstand on this machine. Firstly, it offers excellent flexibility and is thankfully not tight unlike many other kickstands we have seen on laptops. It is easily capable of being moved between 30 to 165 degrees using just one hand. The sides of the display host little grooves for you to be able to comfortably house your finger when opening the kickstand. It’s little details like these that made us appreciate the effort invested by the company to deliver an excellent device.
We must confess, though. The Robo & Kala Laptop skimps on ports. Unfortunately, this is the case with a lot of modern laptops. We complained about the same issue while reviewing the Lenovo Slim 7 Pro X. All you will come across is a volume rocker and a power button on top of the display, and a pair of USB 3.2 ports on its side. Considering the charging port is one of the two 3.2 ports, there is a serious lack of connectivity on this laptop that could affect productivity. We can excuse the absence of an HDMI port and a MicroSD card slot, as this laptop isn’t really targeted at business or creators. However, everyday users, casual gamers or students could have really benefited from at least one Type-A port and a 3.5mm audio jack.
We were immediate fans of the keyboard on the Robo & Kala Laptop. It is extremely intuitively designed and hosts well-sized keys with not even the punctuation keys trimmed down. The nonexistence of a numpad gives the laptop its weight and size. The keyboard is backlit, offering four levels of brightness. The Function keys are well-thought-out and facilitate a range of functionalities. Apart from the usual volume, brightness, backlighting and playback controls, they offer a snipping tool as well as Home and End keys. The snipping tool was incredibly useful for taking and saving screenshots, and definitely saved a lot of time. It was a relief to see at least the Home and End keys up there, since the Page Up and Page Down keys are absent on this laptop.
One of the two best features of the keyboard is its travel. With a travel distance of 1.3mm, the keyboard is amazing to type on. The keys are snappy, tight and responsive. They don’t feel hollow; the click is reassuring. The second best feature is how quiet the keyboard is. The keys barely make any sound, which makes the laptop perfect to be used in shared settings.
The Robo & Kala Laptop (almost) aces the touchpad as well. It is well-sized and positioned well. It’s very slightly inclined towards the right side, but leaves plenty of space on its left, thus, making it ideal for left-handed and ambidextrous folks too. It’s also fairly responsive and gave us absolutely no jitter. The click is not too tight, and requires a fair amount of force by the user. However, and this is the only gripe we had with the touchpad, its right side felt unsteady and a bit wobbly. It feels a bit loose and even produces an unnecessary sound.
Display and Smart Pen
The Robo & Kala hosts a 12.6-inch AMOLED display. Sporting a resolution of 2.5K, it covers 98% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and boasts a brightness score of up to 600 nits. If you work next to a window, don’t worry about the glare of the sun making it hard for you to work on this machine. The insanely impressive brightness score easily tackles the sun. We can wholeheartedly vouch for that part.
We watched a bunch of 4K content and while we weren’t stunned, we weren’t disappointed either. The colors are pretty good, and so is the brightness. We felt as if the display could have benefited from a bit more focus, detail and precision, though. Moreover, the saturation is just okay. While contrast levels are sufficiently impressive, we would’ve liked to see more richness in the content.
The display is also multi-touch enabled and accepts up to 10 finger points. It is an extremely responsive, smooth and user-friendly display that gave us absolutely zero hiccups. The laptop ships with a stylus, or Smart Pen, as the company calls it. It magnetically attaches to the side of the laptop. The absence of a physical docking station for the pen may concern some people, but we can assure you that the strong magnets provide an extremely secure connection to the laptop’s right side. The experience of using the Smart Pen was nothing less than amazing. It glides very smoothly across the surface of the display and is perfect for anyone who wishes to give digital art a try. There is negligible delay and absolutely no palm rejection.
There are multiple configurations of this laptop. It starts with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. However, the version we received features a whopping 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD. As mentioned previously, the laptop runs on an ARM-based processor. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 powers the machine and provides it with a max clock speed of 3.0GHz. We didn’t experience any stutter or lag during testing. Casual gaming was handled pretty well too, as well as a sufficiently good degree of multitasking.
However, if you’re looking for a hardcore rig that would support processor-intensive tasks such as video editing, 3d rendering, or intense gaming, look elsewhere. ARM-based processors aren’t exactly known for managing intensive workloads as they use a simplified, less power-hungry method of processing.
One of the most impressive features of the Robo & Kala Laptop’s performance is how quiet and cool it is when it’s in use. I performed the same benchmark tests on my personal laptop at the same time as when I was testing this laptop. My PC was extremely loud, while this machine performed every task extremely quietly and stayed cool, too. This was made possible because of the fanless design and the zero noise dual cooling system that the laptop features. For improved heat dissipation, it makes use of a double heat pipe and a large graphene.
The laptop ships with a 65W GaN Type-C charger that thankfully doesn’t look like a brick like most other laptop chargers. It is small, portable, features a foldable plug and powers a 41.4Wh Polymer battery. Like most other features, the battery life on this laptop is extremely impressive as well. If you’re not engaged in intense work, it will easily last you around 15 hours before it runs out of juice.
Camera and Speakers
The Robo & Kala Laptop hosts two cameras. There is a 13MP rear camera that allows shooting in 4K and a 5MP front camera with a resolution of 1080p. The camera results are just okay. The rear camera is definitely sharper than the front. The latter is a bit grainy, but more than suitable for your everyday video conferencing needs. The colors are not too shabby, though it could use a little more sharpness. I also didn’t see a privacy shutter which is a standard feature on most modern-day laptops. But the inclusion of a rear camera was a plus point for sure.
The speakers on this laptop are surprisingly excellent. I was not expecting that as I always keep my expectations from laptop speakers low. The sound imaging came through with every layer of the orchestra standing out on its own. The treble is clearly more prominent than the bass, and the mids are pleasant as well. There is sufficient space in the orchestra and it doesn’t sound like the instruments are clustered. The volume is also fairly impressive for a laptop.
All in all, the Robo & Kala is an excellent machine. It is an all-rounder for sure. It boasts a lightweight, portable body with excellent aesthetics, a silent and intuitive keyboard and a well-sized touchpad. Its display is extremely responsive to touch and features sufficiently impressive colors, too. Performance-wise, the laptop scored fantastic in all the tests. The battery life is pretty long-lasting as well, and the speakers sound amazing. For just $800, this laptop is nothing less than a steal.
Is It Hardcore?
The Robo & Kala laptop is reasonably priced and offers excellent performance, an easily portable body, a powerful battery and a responsive display. If you’re looking for an upgrade without breaking the bank, this is the laptop to go for.