Hit­ting the right note

The lat­est note­books come in all shapes and sizes and have a range of fea­tures, writes Rod Ch­ester.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH -

ASPIRE S7 ACER $ 1899

ac­er­store.com.au

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

my­toshiba.com.au

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

acer.com.au

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

asus.com/au

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.

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