Pros lightweight, good looking, roomy keyboard for a 11" laptop, touchscreen, reasonably fast for basic tasks, good value
Cons mediocre battery life, screen attracts a lot of glare in bright light.
Summary I bought this last week as a birthday present to myself since my netbook was on its last legs and I was ready to upgrade to a more powerful machine. I picked this notebook because I wanted something small and lightweight, and because one of the sales assistants at Best Buy convinced me that I'd be better off choosing a touchscreen laptop if I wanted to get a Windows 8 based machine. I'm happy I listened to that advice! She was right, all of the hidden menus of Windows 8 are so much easier to access by touch than by using the trackpad.
What strikes me most about this laptop, is that it looks and feels like a much pricier laptop than it actually is. It's easily as pretty as any high-end laptop I've seen, though it's not quite as slim. The lid is purplish dark gray brushed metal and the keyboard is black on silver. The bottom of the machine has a soft rubbery feel to it that provides good grip when you carry it. All surfaces look more matte than shiny, but still pick up a few smudges. The whole thing feels very sturdy, which is a good thing as some slim notebook can feel a little too flimsy.
The touchscreen and trackpad are nice and responsive. I worried before that using a touchscreen on a laptop would feel awkward, but the experience of switching back and forth between using the screen and the trackpad feels surprisingly natural. I find myself using the trackpad for most basic tasks, while switching to the touchscreen to access menus but I imagine that you could just stick to one or the other and it'd work out fine. I really like how the trackpad buttons are integrated into the pad itself. The keyboard is surprisingly roomy for a 11.6" laptop, and the keys are very comfortable to type on despite being kind of shallow. It would have been nice if the keys were backlit, but since this is a budget laptop that isn't a big deal. The display is pretty nice. Not HD-worthy, but good enough for surfing the web and watching movies. The glossy screen can provide quite a bit of glare though which might become a problem if I ever try to use it outdoors.
The performance is pretty good. I don't play games so I'm not sure how well it would perform using resource intensive apps, but for the surfing, email, video and wordprocessing apps I use the speed of this machine is more than enough.
The battery life is the only big drawback on this machine that I've been able to find. I get about 3.5 hours on it, which isn't terrible but still on the lower end of what I'm comfortable with. And since the battery isn't removable, you're stuck with relying on finding a power outlet if you want to use this for longer than a few hours at a time. If this machine had cost me more than $650 I think that might be a bigger deal to me that it is now. But for the price point I bought it at, I'm still happy enough with what I'm getting for my money to overlook that fact. It helps that the power charger is a nice one piece affair (think old cell phone chargers) which makes it less bulky to carry.
Overall I think this laptop is an excellent buy for anyone who wants a touchscreen notebook but doesn't want to spend over $700 for one. It's an excellent value.
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