- Intel Core i7-3517U (1.9GHz)
- 6GB DDR3 RAM
- 500GB HDD + 24GB SSD
- 13.3" IPS LED (1920 x 1080), NVIDIA Geforce GT 620M
- Windows 8 (Free Windows 8.1 Upgrade)
Powerful stylish ultrabook with a few flaws 02/09/2013
This is a really thin, stylish laptop. The i7 and dedicated graphics card have been great for gaming and watching videos. The full HD screen is really sharp, and it actually looks larger than my 15.4" screen laptop. As with other ultrabooks, it's very light and portable.
Some other reviews mention that there's a lot of flex in the keyboard, but I don't see it. I find it really easy to type on, despite the keys being flatter than on a notebook.
There are only a few notable cons. First the fan is on the bottom. If you sometimes type on your lap, you can block off the vent and make the machine and your lap really warm. That being said, I'm not sure where else they had space to put it. Also, the vent goes across the entire bottom, so you likely won't block off all of it.
The larger issue is the trackpad. It looks nice, but there are 2 problems. First, it's really, really big. Big is good up to a point, but it gets in the way. When you rest your hands on the laptop, they will frequently hit the top corners of the trackpad, and the palm rejection isn't great. This can be especially irritating if you're programmer. You'll be typing on one line, and then 100 lines above.
The second issue is that because the pad is so big, it's really easy to click the wrong button. This isn't helped by the fact that the entire trackpad is smooth, so you can't tell by touch what part you're on. There is a black line down the center of the pad, but, like most people, I don't look at the trackpad while I use it.
To give you an idea how big the trackpad is, the touchable part of my Galaxy Nexus' screen fits inside the it. Approximately 2 of the trackpads on my work Dell Latitude, which is only slightly too small, can fit inside it. It's just needlessly large.
The performance is even better when you replace 1 of the 2GB memory modules with 8GB. It's really easy, and for only $50, there's no reason not to.
It's worth noting that the power cord is really thin. In most instances it probably isn't an issue, but it was for me. I have a reclining sofa, and the thin cord slipped between the cushions and got caught in the opening mechanism. This shorted out the cable. None of my other laptops have had cords that thin, so it wasn't an issue.
I really don't like Windows 8, but I won't go into that here. I only use Windows 8 for games. I installed Ubuntu on it, and as expected, I had issues with UEFI. I installed Ubuntu fine, but then couldn't get into Windows. Installing and running Boot-Repair on Ubuntu fixed the issue, but it's still annoying. There are many forum entries on it if you get stuck.
All things considered, it's worth the price. There are a few annoyances, but I think they're things I can get used to in time.
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