A long weekend in Glasgow in late November was not high on my list of places to visit, nothing against Glasgow or Scotland but the week previously it had been -10 degrees in Glasgow so armed with my long johns I ventured north of the border.
Let’s get the weather out of the way it was cold but not below freezing, it was dry with no rain or snow, some free time Saturday afternoon saw a visit to a Distillery not far from Glasgow, and while I do not drink alcohol I found the tour interesting and when we were returning to Glasgow after the visit there was the most amazing sunset. The nine notebooks come from four ranges Swift, Spin Convert, Detachable Switch and Cloud Book Aspire One 11.
Part of a new range of units recently launched, this is currently exclusive to Dixons/Currys and is a unit designed with the student in mind, either those off to university or maybe college, so it has to be a strong unit.
It is 37x25.5x2cm and weighs 2121 grams.
Going around the outside on the left edge are DC input a full size Ethernet port which is achievable by the base of the port flipping down, VGA, HDMI, two USB3 ports and a Kensington lock port. The front is clear. The right side has an SD Card slot, headphone out and a USB port then amazingly a DVD optical drive which like the Ethernet port is squeezed in by being a reduced height unit. The back is also clear with the screen going down to around 140 degrees.
If you move around then the most important things with a notebook/tablet are good battery life and unless you spend a good bit of time in the gym the weight of the unit or to be precise the lack of weight, this unit from ASUS ticks both boxes.
This ASUS Zen Book measures 32x22x1.2cm and weights 1344grams. Firstly as a normal notebook the slight copperish tinge to the lid, base and keyboard surround means no nasty fingermarks to show. Sadly this does not apply to the standard shiny black around the screen. The left side has a USB port, SD Card Slot, two pin hole LEDs with explanation, volume rocker and finally on/off button. The front and back are clear. The right side has DC input, USB port, USB 3.1 port, mini HDMI out and 3.
The word convertible brings my mind to cars where the roof opens out and in a way turning a Notebook into a Tablet is much the same transformation. This Pavilion unit from HP can be a standard Notebook however push the screen back through 180 degrees and you have a Tablet.
The HP Pavilion X360 Convertible laptop/tablet computer measures 32x22x2cm and weighs 1660 grams, the viewable screen is 29.5x16.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 13 inches the native screen resolution is 1920x1080.
As the start of the school year comes rushing up both parents and students start looking at new laptops. While the former want value for money and an assurance that it will do what is wanted of it, for the latter, style is also important.
In terms of basic specification the VivoBook Max X541SA should tick all the right boxes. It is available in an attractive brushed finish in either silver/white or red/blue and has a 15.6 inch 16:9 (1366 x 768) screen, an Intel dual-core Pentium processor N3710 1.6/2.56GHz (burst), 4GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive.
Adding a keyboard to a tablet is becoming a popular trend.
As it title of Latitude 12 Series 7000 2-in-1 might indicate, this Dell product is one of the new breed of hybrid portable offerings which goes by the model number of Latitude 7275. This product has been designed to attempt to give the user the best of both worlds when it comes to working with a tablet and a laptop within a single product. Central to this product is the Tablet with dimensions of 290 x 195 x 9mm (W x H x D) and weighing 638g. This 12.
The Latitude 3470 is a Dell laptop forming part of the 3000 series. This model has been designed for those users looking for a work machine that is reasonable priced.
This Dell 14-inch laptop has an understated appearance. Black in colour, the only real embellished seen on the unit’s casing is the appearance of a Dell logo on the top cover of the unit. Supplied with a two-piece power cord and battery pack, my review sample comes with an Intel Core i3 6100u CPU processor working in conjunction with an Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU. There is 4GB of DDR3 RAM.
If you want a PC to browse the Internet and to send a receive Emails there is an option that can avoid Windows. It is a Chromebook. This rather nice offering is from HP and unlike the very early Chromebooks you can still work offline.
The HP Chromebook 14 G3 measures 34x23.5x2cm and weighs 1605grams. The viewable screen is 31x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 14inches. The screen resolution is 1920x1080. It took me a while to get used to the turquoise blue colour of the screen and keyboard surrounds but this does not show fingermarks. The case back is white as is the keyboard. Chrome keyboards have always shown characters in lower case not a problem just different.
If you have touch then you should have Windows 10 as it was designed with that in mind, certain things like annotations only work with touch. So a Notebook and Tablet all in one with Windows 10 should be the way to go.
The unit is 29.5x20x1.5cm and it weighs 1176grams. Unlike some devices that are tablets with an attachable keyboard this unit is the conventional Notebook design with it becoming a Tablet when the screen in turned through 180degrees and then the keyboard and trackpad – although exposed – become dead until you turn the unit back into a conventional Notebook.
Some users prefer a notebook while others opt for a tablet. With this next product you get both options.
From its base in Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, Venturer has released its hybrid 2-in-1 Mini Notebook product. This unit is available in either BravoWin 10XT or EliteWin 11KT models. In both cases the Mini Notebook has a detachable screen which can act as a standalone tablet once it has been removed from the keyboard element with both the notebook and tablet running the latest Windows 10 operating system. This review is based on the slightly larger EliteWin 11K unit.
Not that long ago a 14inch notebook would be unlikely to display 1920x1080 this unit is IPS QHD (3K) which shows 2560x1440 and its quite useable. So what other features does this Intel i7 offering with Windows 10 have to offer.
The Gigabyte P34W measures 34x23.5x1.5cm and weighs just under 1.8kilos. This is a mixture of conventional and the latest, a Kensington Lock Port, Ethernet, VGA, USB3 (with charging when off), USB 3.1 and 3.5mm socket for headphone/microphone are the left side. The front has a line of five LED’s. The right side has USB3, SD Slot, USB3, HDMI and DC input. The rear is clear as the lid comes down to 135 degrees. The viewable screen is 31x17.
Although Windows 10 was available to some to download as early as August last year this is the first unit that I have reviewed that was designed to use Windows 10 and by that I mean it can use all the features that Microsoft had as selling points when they tried to persuade people to upgrade. A natively installed product this is what Windows 10 should be.
The HP EliteBook Folio G1 measures 30.5x20.5x1.5cm the last figure at the back and less than 1cm at the front, it weights 1230grams. The left side has a Kensington Lock Port, HDMI, USB3 and Micro SD ports. The front has nothing not even LEDs. The Right side headphone socket, USB3, SD Card port and finally DC charge socket. The back has nothing as the screen goes down over it to 135 degrees.
While better known for its range of motherboards, Gigabyte does have some other strings to its bow. The company also manufactures desktop systems, tablets and the subject of this next review, a gaming laptop. This is the Gigabyte P55 product.
Decked out in black with occasional orange highlights, the Gigabyte P55’s top cover features a silver Gigabyte logo. However it also has the habit of displaying fingers marks from time to time. Fortunately these can be removed with a brief sessions of rubbing. The solid build of this laptop, along with its dimensions of 380 x 269 x 34mm (W x D x H) and weight of 2.
This latest offering from Gigabyte will have gamers interested, as most will know the Gigabyte brand is built on fast motherboards and everything else builds on that, a lot of Desktops have Gigabyte motherboards but they brand notebooks themselves.
The Gigabyte P34W measures 33x23.5x2cm and weights 18.17grams. Like a lot of recent full size notebooks size and weight have been saved by the non-inclusion of an optical drive. If one is required you could always attach a USB one. So just what connections do you get. Starting from the back left a Kensington Lock fitment then an Ethernet Port and VGA out, two USB3 ports and finally headphone and microphone 3.5mm socket.
This small touch notebook is ideal for anyone needing to travel with a Windows PC. With most standard notebooks having the connections on the sides this goes about things differently, having almost everything at the rear.
The Acer Aspire V3 touch screen laptop measures 28.5x21x1.5cm and weights 1308grams. The stated battery life is seven hours so a day’s work on the road away from power is just about possible. The left side has a 3.5mm headphone socket on the left side as well as an SD card slot. The rear has an HDMI slot, USB3 port, USB2 port, Ethernet port and power input. Unlike a lot of small notebooks that use special leads all these sockets are full-size.
This is a fast and powerful Gaming Notebook yes the screen is not huge but it does display a huge screen resolution. When I first saw it I could not believe the clarity and sharpness which of course along with sound quality is what gamers demand.
This is the first notebook – of any size that I have seen – that has natively displayed 3200x1800. It is 32.5x23x2cm and the screen is 31x17.5cm. On first startup after entering the normal Windows required information a screen opens on the Desktop with a range of fifteen items that Aorus think you might need to adjust. This is part of SmartManager V3. This is a very powerful machine with an Intel i7 processor running at 2.5GHz.
This nice looking notebook is also powerful and has an Full HD 1080P screen although it is only 15.6inches. The surprising thing is that it looks the right size even though the majority of 15.6inch offering give a much lower resolution.
It is 38.5x26x2 and weights 2.2kilos. Most of the connections are on the right side so if you wanted this could be close to a wall or partition on your left if you wanted. The exception is the Kensington Lock port on the back left and an SD Card port on the front. So you have 3.5mm socket for headphones, three USB3 ports an HDMI port and an Ethernet port finally the DC power input. Often with notebooks speakers are an afterthought not so here as the sound is excellent from its four speakers.
The Asus Notebook X555MA is a 15.6inch screen notebook from Asus that runs Windows 8.1, it has an Intel i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard disc. The price is quite reasonable so what is not to like about this offering as it even has a DVD drive?
This notebook measures 37x25.5x2cm the last figure is at the back and it slims to only 1cm at the front, it weights 2120grams. The right side has the optical drive, a USB port, 3.5mm headphone socket and an SD card socket. The front is clear as is the back the former as it is so thin the latter as the screen goes back to 135 degrees. The left side has a Kensington Lock port, two USB3 ports, HDMI and VGA sockets, Ethernet port and DC input. The viewable screen is 34x19.
This is both a notebook and a tablet. It has touch screen ability as well as the latest HP touchpad technology. So is there anything in this unit that is not to like, well it is Windows 8.1 and there are cheaper units out there but nothing really.
The HP Envy Notebook X360 measures 38x25x2.3cm and weights 2.4kg. There is nothing on the back as the screen goes through 180 degrees. The right side has an SD card socket, two USB ports, HDMI port, Ethernet socket, DC input point and a Kensington lock port. The front goes down to only .7cm thick so has nothing, the left side has a +/- rocker for volume, beside this is a 3.5mm headphone socket and another USB port, finally an on/off flush button.
A rather nice business notebook with a range of security features from both Intel and HP. The items not immediately available on this unit are available via a dock, so you not end up taking extra weight out and about with you.
It is 33.5x23x1.4cm and weights 1554grams. This unit has USB3 ports although you would only know it by speed of transfer as they do not have the blue middle bar that normally denotes these ports. The screen is 14inches and has a 720P webcam set at the centre above it. The default display of 1920x1080 is crisp and clear. The left side has a Kensington Lock connection, a USB3 port, micro SD card socket and an SC connector. The front is clear. The right side has a SIM card slot, 3.