Reviews related to : Laptops

Laptops have evolved over the years from a poor cousin of their more powerful desktop brethren to today, where for many manufacturers, laptops outsell desktops.

The focus has moved to laptops with huge investment in improving performance and reducing power consumption. You will still however find even those that claim to be 'desktop replacements' to be slower than a desktop product, and this is likely to remain the case for some time.

If it's raw power you want stick to a desktop computer!

873735 Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12 QHD IPS Touchscreen Lapto

Acer Switch

Having told you about the Swift and the Spin we come to last new model that was launched last November in Glasgow this is the Switch. While I would describe the Spin as a Notebook/Tablet this unit the Switch is a Tablet/Notebook.
The Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12 measures 29x20xjust over 1cm. and it weights 1275grams with the supplied keyboard attached and 909 grams without it. The attachment is very magnetic and just presents the two parts close together and they click in place. While the keyboard is solid the Tablet part would need to be propped against something without the stand that flips open from the Tablet you then have a very useable Notebook. The keyboard has 81 keys and the alpha keys are full size, there is .
Those of you who read about my trip to Glasgow in November last year would have been waiting for the next part of the Swift/Spin/Switch story the three groups of new notebooks launched there. The Swift arrived swiftly and you can read that part published at the start of January, the Spin has just arrived at the start of March but it does – joy of joys - have Windows Anniversary update (1607) pre-installed.
There are several models in each range and what you get – hard disc, processor and memory etc. - will depend on where you purchase it. The unit I was sent has an Intel i5 quad core Processor, 8GB RAM and a 256GB Drive and as stated it comes with the Windows 10 Anniversary edition (1607) pre-installed. It weighs 2070grams, and it is 38x24.5x2cm the last figure reduces to 1.5cm at the front. This is both a Tablet and a Notebook hence the name ‘Spin’.
This notebook is both light and thin, it also has a metal chassis and for good measure it boots quickly. Anyone on the move that needs a PC has probably only one more request that it runs all day without the need to search out mains power, it can do that as well.
The ASUS ZenBook UX330UA measures 32x22x1cm, the figure at the front is less than 1cm and at the back just over 1cm, it weighs only 1206 grams. According to the website it is made of an aluminium alloy, which in summer would always make it feel cool in winter you may need gloves. The left side has a USB port, a 3.5mm socket for headphones and an SD card slot. The front is clear.
This is a Notebook and a Tablet; the 11.6inch screen can show 1366x768. As it’s a Tablet as well as a Notebook it of course has touch and then Windows 10 starts to make sense, not for Cortana but for the on screen annotation ability.
The Acer Aspire R3-131T measures 29.5x21x2.1cm the last figure at the back and it is only 1.5cm at the front, it weighs 1509grams. Going around the outside, on the left is an Ethernet port, HDMI, USB3, USB2 and finally a headset port. The front and back are clear, the base has reversing speakers, this leaves the right side that has volume rocker, two pin hole LEDs, on/off button and DC input. The viewable screen is 26x14.5cm which gives the notional imperial diagonal measurement of 11.6inches.
871222 Acer Swift 3 S3 471 14 Inch Noteboo

Acer Swift 3

This is the first of my reviews for machines launched at the very end of November by Acer in Glasgow, those who saw my launch report will know it was not cold, wet or snowy; I got the very cold bit almost as soon as I got back to the south of England.
The Acer Swift 3 measures 33.5x23x1cm, the last figure at the back while it is little more than half of that at the front, it weighs 1551 grams. Silver Grey in colour with only the four round rubber feet and the black hinge being different when closed. Open the lid and again the majority is Silver Grey with only the hinge and the keys of the keyboard being black. The viewable screen is 31x17.
With this next product I had to combine the roles of a reviewer and a brother.
It began, as can sometimes happen, with a telephone call.  This was not the usual type of phone call with a PR agency asking if I would be interested in reviewing a product from one of their clients.  Instead this was a call from one of my sisters to inform me that her desktop computer was playing up in various ways and she was ringing to ask for my help.
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.
867757 Gigabyte P34W V3 CF1 14 Inch Gaming Lapto

Gigabyte P34

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.