Slim and relatively affordable.
Price: $999 | By: HP
Housed in a sleek glossy black frame, the TouchSmart is solid and stylish, if a little plasticky. It’s just 21mm thick and weighs 1.8kg, making it easy to toss into a bag. Under the bonnet is a 1.8GHz Core i5-3337U processor that’s backed up by 4GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GT 630M GPU. To keep costs down it has a standard 1TB HDD instead of an SSD and sports a 14-inch touchscreen running at a resolution of 1,366 x 768. It comes with an HDMI output, along with the usual card reader, LAN port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, webcam and 3.5mm headphone socket. It has two USB 3.0 ports and oddly, one USB 2.0 socket.
In use, the Sleekbook felt a little laggy, no doubt in part due to an excess of preinstalled bloatware and the lack of an SSD. Fortunately, the touchscreen is excellent and allows you to easily scroll, swipe and tap your way around Windows 8. While it’s not exactly a powerhouse, the HP has more than enough grunt for day-to-day tasks and a little light gaming.
The screen is a bit of a letdown, however, with a low, non-HD resolution and mildly muted colours. The keyboard and trackpad are both very usable, but feel somewhat cheap, and the HP doesn’t include extras such as key backlighting. The Altec Lansing audio is surprisingly good for a low-end laptop, though, and it’s loud enough for watching movies or listening to music. Sadly, the battery life was a bit of a letdown, not quite reaching 2 hours in our usage tests.
While this HP is a little dull compared to some others here, it’s actually not too bad when considered in the context of its price. With an RRP of just $999 and an even lower street price, it’s an affordable option for a slim, reasonably powerful laptop with a great touchscreen.
Pros : Good touchscreen, loud audio, Core i5 CPU.
Cons : No SSD, not an HD screen, poor battery life.
Rating : 6 out of 10.