Vizio CT15T-B1 Thin+Light Touch review:

Excellent, but missing some finishing touches

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Configuration, performance, and battery life
The Vizio CT15T comes in two configurations: the one reviewed here, the B1, and the B0 with a 2.3GHz quad-core AMD A10 A10 4657M with AMD Radeon HD 8670M graphics, a 128GB SSD, and 8GB of memory. The AMD version sells for just slightly less at $1,189.99. Also, they are both Microsoft Signature systems. That means, among other things, that it's free of third-party bloatware.

Though it looks like some screws can be removed on bottom to access the inside, judging by the design and Vizio's system information, this is not a system easily upgraded. That said, what you get is pretty competitive with similarly priced ultrabooks (if not slightly better).

Performance -- both on our benchmarks and anecdotal -- is very good. Like all Windows 8 notebooks we've tested using a solid-state drive, the CT15T wakes up in a matter of a few seconds and a cold boot takes less than 10 seconds.

There were no slowdowns when doing normal everyday tasks like Web surfing, making Skype calls, streaming movies and music, word processing, and light photo and video editing. The integrated graphics didn't have any trouble playing back high-bit-rate 1080p content, but you probably won't want to play newer PC games with the settings cranked up.

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Battery life is excellent. Vizio claims up to 8 hours battery life and our results weren't far off. On our video playback battery drain test, the CT15T ran for 7 hours before shutting down. Doing less intensive things like wireless Web browsing or word processing along with some power management could get you closer to that reported battery life.

Despite some odd omissions like an SD card reader and backlit keyboard -- especially given its price -- the Vizio CT15T-B1 is an excellent laptop. It would just be better and more worth its price if it had those things.

Multimedia multitasking test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Apple iTunes encoding test
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Video playback battery drain test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test Windows laptops.

System configurations:

Vizio CT15T-B1
Windows 8 (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-3635QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 32MB Intel HD 4000 Graphics ; HD 256GB SSD

HP Spectre TouchSmart 15-4010Nr
Windows 8 (64-bit) w/SP1; 1.9GHz Intel Core i7- 3517U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 32MB (Shared) Intel HD 400, 500GB HD + 32GB SSD

Asus Zenbook UX51Vz
Windows 8 (64-bit); 2.1GHz Intel Core i7-3612QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 640M / 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 512GB ADATA XM11 SSD (256GB x 2)

Acer R7-571-6858 Touch Notebook
Windows 8 (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 3337U; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 32MB (Dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 4000; HD 1 24GB SSD HD 2 500GB 5400rpm hard drive

What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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