Hitting the right note
The latest notebooks come in all shapes and sizes and have a range of features, writes Rod Chester.
ASPIRE S7 ACER $ 1899
IF you judge an Ultrabook by its cover, you’re going to judge this highly. It’s only 12.9mm thick, weighs 1.3kg and has a back panel of white Gorilla Glass, which looks very cool until you start to notice all your fingerprints. The keyboard gives that pleasing click of proper keys and is well spaced thanks to a design combining number and function keys.
Our review model had a 13.3- inch touchscreen and ran an Intel Core i7 chip, with 4GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
The slim design still allows for full- sized SD card and HDMI ports and two USB slots. Acer says the improved design gives this a 33 per cent boost in battery life, giving it up to seven hours.
Looks, in this case, are not deceiving.
PORTEGE Z10T TOSHIBA $ 1199
THIS is the sort of hybrid device likely to appeal to many consumers. Think of it either as an 11.6inch tablet with a keyboard dock or an Ultrabook with a detachable screen.
It’s powered by your choice of an Intel Celeron or Core i5 processor. The screen/ tablet has a Micro HDMI, USB port and an SD card slot. Pop it into the keyboard and you gain an extra full HDMI, USB and a VGA port to connect it to a larger screen.
Road warriors will love its size and its 800g weight. The keys on the keyboard are small and will take a little bit of getting used to.
One downside of the design is that the screen sits in the dock at a straighter than normal angle and you’ll fi nd you want to keep pushing it back.
ASPIRE R7 ACER $ 2099
HYBRID machines are all the rage, but in some cases you’re left asking whether the combination works.
This machine has a 15.6- inch screen, runs an Intel Core i7 processor with 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. It has an SD card, HDMI and two USB ports.
Its point of difference is the screen, with a hinge which lets you put it in four modes: easel, display ( where you fl ip the screen to display it to people sitting opposite), notebook and pad with autorotate.
That gives it remarkable versatility, but in pad mode you’re carrying around a giant tablet weighing 2.5kg and who wants to do that?
Another design issue is the position of the trackpad, which has gone to the top of the keyboard making it quite awkward to use.
N750 ASUS $ 2299
TIPPING the scales at 3.3kg and measuring 415mm wide, this desktop replacement is defi nitely not the sort of machine you want to carry around every day.
It has a 17.3- inch full high- defi nition screen, runs an Intel Core i7 processor, has 4GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. There are four USB ports plus one HDMI port and an SD card slot.
It’s an attractive and functional design, with an aluminium shell and a bevel around the edge of the keyboard.
One of its selling points is the inclusion of four speakers, designed by Bang & Olufsen, plus a subwoofer you can plug in. Another benefi t of its size is the space on the keyboard, which includes a full numeric keypad and an extra- large trackpad.
Unlike the smaller model in this range, there is no option for a touchscreen.