CNET First Look
An entry level laptop that doesn't feel cheapHP Pavilion TouchSmart 11z has sharp looks, long battery life, and a touch screen for under $500.
-I'm Dan Ackerman. We are here taking a look at the HP Pavilion 11. This is in a way a spiritual success to one of our favorite laptops from a couple of years ago. That was an 11-inch HP called the dm1z and we love that one back then because for about 300 or 400 dollars, you've got an 11-inch ultra portable laptop that didn't weigh a ton, worked fairly well, was a big step up from the netbooks that were still popular around then. This new version, the Pavilion 11, ups the ante quite a bit by adding a touchscreen which you really do need for Windows 8 and of course it's got that Windows 8 tile interface which works well on a smaller 11-inch screen like this. Of course, there are a couple of tradeoffs 'cause this guy starts at 399. We have a 429 upgrade here. We have a slightly bigger hard drive. You're dealing with an AMD processor, which just is not gonna be as speedy as a basic Intel Core i3 processor, which is only 4 gigs of RAM. And you don't have a lot of the fancy extras like an SSD hard drive or even Bluetooth which you can get as an add-on here in the base model. I would normally say that 399 or even 450 for something like this, you know, it's 3.4 pounds, it's not super light, it's not super slim, but when you consider it costs less than an iPad, you know, it's actually a pretty sharp design with some metal accents on it and a pretty solid keyboard, I think that's a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, this is to run a file of one of my pet peeves. I found that web surfing and on a smaller screen with a lower resolution, you have to do a lot of that 2-finger scrolling to go up and down a webpage. It kind of is a little sluggish at times and that's really what you spend a lot of your time doing and I partially blame that lower power AMD CPU here. I found that to be pretty annoying. I'd be willing to spend a little bit more to trade up to a faster CPU either an Intel 1 or you can actually throw 50 bucks on top of this and go up to the next level of AMD CPUs, the A6 instead of the A4. Now, for about $400, you still get a pretty thinnish, lightish, well-constructed design, and a touchscreen which is pretty tough to find in this price range, but I'm not sure if this is the go everywhere, everyday laptop for me. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the HP Pavilion 11.