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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value
I've been using this laptop for 2 weeks now and I've been extremely pleased with my purchase. This is the best value for an "ultrabook-style" laptop. I was pretty close to buying a 13" mac book air until I saw this computer. It has similar build, it's just as thin, it has the same components but with a larger 15" 1080 screen and it's almost half the price. I was a little...
Published on November 11, 2012 by uhuhsaur

versus
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quick thoughts - more later
EDIT 12/1 - I have had a chance to put the PC through it's paces with several full battery runs. That is, working on it (writing, web-surfing, email) a couple of times. The battery life with real world use is about 3 1/2 hours. Maybe a tad less. This is with setting the power plan to "power saver" and the screen at half brightness. Also I ran HWinfo and after 4 charges...
Published 24 months ago by Timothy W. Long


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value, November 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VIZIO CT15-A4 15-Inch Thin + Light Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
I've been using this laptop for 2 weeks now and I've been extremely pleased with my purchase. This is the best value for an "ultrabook-style" laptop. I was pretty close to buying a 13" mac book air until I saw this computer. It has similar build, it's just as thin, it has the same components but with a larger 15" 1080 screen and it's almost half the price. I was a little concerned when i purchased it because there were quite a few reviews of the older model complaining about the track pad and the keyboard. I guess they've changed the track pad because it's one of the best I've used however the keyboard is still mediocre, not a deal breaker though.

Pros:
Basically a knock off mac book air that runs windows
price!
very fast. boot time is amazing
can do light gaming
excellent screen
battery lasts all day under normal web browsing/e-mail use
thin and lightweight

Cons:
keyboard is just okay

Other thoughts:
the keyboard doesn't have home or end keys. most people probably wouldn't even notice but it really bothers me.
15 inches is the perfect laptop size in my opinion.
SSD is a must for any new computer purchase. 128 GB is ample
Windows 8 is a little strange at first.
There is no bloat ware included. That was a refreshing change.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quick thoughts - more later, November 28, 2012
By 
Timothy W. Long (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VIZIO CT15-A4 15-Inch Thin + Light Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
EDIT 12/1 - I have had a chance to put the PC through it's paces with several full battery runs. That is, working on it (writing, web-surfing, email) a couple of times. The battery life with real world use is about 3 1/2 hours. Maybe a tad less. This is with setting the power plan to "power saver" and the screen at half brightness. Also I ran HWinfo and after 4 charges the battery wear is at 4.8% which is weird.

Bottom line. This is a terrific slim laptop IF you can deal with the terrible battery life. Ultrabook specs call for 5+ hours of battery life so I don't think it can be classified that way.

--

I received this ultrabook on Nov 28th and thought I'd give some quick thoughts then expand later. I'm a writer and I need a laptop with a good keyboard. I took a risk on this laptop but have been pleasantly surprised by the way the keys behave. They don't have the same travel as your typical keyboard - it's a bit shallow but I am a heavy typer and I appreciate the over sized keys. The text is black on silver and a bit hard to read without a back light. Wish they had backlit keys.

The box and packaging was good in fact the box is white, colorful, and very sturdy. Amazon shipped the laptop in a small box with only some small padding on the side so I was a bit concerned but the laptop is fine. The docs are minuscule but who reads those anyway?

The screen is gorgeous. I mean GORGEOUS. It' bright and it is such a relief to view a true HD screen after spending several weeks looking at crappy 1366 resolution. Even the Samsung 15" Series 7 with a matte display looked washed out at 1600 x 900 and was the main reason I avoided the Series 9. The Vizio screen is amazing and the high point of the laptop.

It's fast, boots rather quickly. Seems to have overall snappiness with all apps I have tested including office 2013.

Now the downside. The battery life stinks. I'm at 60% and it says I have 2 hours left. I suspect the life is a bit under 4 hours. I was really hoping that this model, with the i5, would have better battery life.

More later.

Edited to correct some typos ...

Now that I have a day on the laptop I continue to be amazed at it. I do think it is necessary to mention that the dreaded touchpad problems persist. I did not try the first generation - just read the horror stories. At times this touchpad is great but at others it's maddening. Something like scrolling a page appears to be laggy until I lift my fingers. Swiping from the left to switch windows works about 25% of the time (this is a windows 8 gesture). Tapping and two-finger tapping work very well.

I wrote about 1,500 words today in a new project and found the keyboard to be quite nice. As I mentioned I really like the large keys. I've used macs for the last few years and find the keyboards to be amazing but I fat finger a lot on the small keys.

I've run the batter down to 10% today and I think I got about 3 1/2 hours out of it. That is simply unacceptable in an ultrabook but I can't find another computer with a true HD 15" screen with these kind of specs. As much as I want a 15" Macbook Pro Retina, I refuse to pay over $2,000 for a laptop. My next choice was the Zenbook Prime but I don't think my eyes can handle the tiny screen.

The power brick with the Vizio is really nice. It's compact and the plug features a light that indicates when the laptop is charged.

I noticed that Amazon added the CT-15 A5 to the $200 free gift card deal - kind of irritating since I purchased this PC the day before. I would have paid the extra $250 since it now comes with the gift card. I thought about sending this one back and exchanging but with my luck the deal would run out the minute they issued my credit.

I appreciate the clean look off the PC as well as the free space on the hard drive. Because this is a Microsoft signature ultrabook it is not loaded with bloatware. I was really impressed that I didn't have to spend hours uninstalling Norton and Mcaffe crap. Also there were no stickers all over the case. Nothing says cheap quite like opening a new laptop only to find logos all over the palm areas and stickers hanging off the screen that show the PC stats. I KNOW what I just bought, you don't have to remind me that my computer has X amount of hard drive and RAM installed.

I'm really leaning toward bumping this review to a 4 star. It's a strong 3 1/2 right now. I hope that some new drivers will make the touch pad experience better.

BTW I'm a writer but I am also a gear-head with 20+ years of working PC experience. It's the day job ...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vizio had keyboard problems, September 12, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VIZIO CT15-A4 15-Inch Thin + Light Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
I was very disappointed. It was the perfect computer, but it had keyboard problems - sticking keys. The tech support on Vizio is very good and they told me I could take off the relevant keys and blow under them and then snap them back. This I did and it worked some of the time. But then the space bar decided not to space - or sometimes would space.

The keyboard is not backlit and the keys are not indented so the fingers tend to slip on to other keys. The punctuation marks are just about impossible to see because they are minute and instead of their normal position at the top of the key they are placed at the bottom.. To make matters worse the color of the keys is close to the color of the letters etc, so that is an added difficulty. I loved the other features, but whoever chose the keyboard really missed the boat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good except for keyboard, June 14, 2013
By 
RICK (Knoxville, TN) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VIZIO CT15-A4 15-Inch Thin + Light Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
Bought this for the wife for home and remote work.
Overall the design is very good. Light weight is definite plus and it doesn't get hot sitting on your lap. There is a small fan for cooling but it doesn't run constantly.
Display is bright and full 1080. This is a replacement unit though as the first one suffered a display failure in the first 30 days. Amazon sent out a new one with return shipping free in a day. 5 stars for Amazon service.
Boots up in 15 seconds with the SSD. Performance is very good. Video doesn't lag and HDMI output to flat panel works great. Wireless works very good anywhere in the house but then I put 7db gain antennas on my wifi router.
Lack of SD reader is minor but I have an SD/USB adapter to remedy that.
The biggest drawback is the keyboard. All the keys are flat hard plastic with very short keystrokes. I find myself having to retype for missed keystrokes and her nails are a problem for her. Definitely not a keyboard for heavy typing. I bought a Logitech BT keyboard and Dell BT mouse so she can use it at her desk when she has a lot of work to do.
They must have fixed the drivers on the mouse pad as haven't experienced any issues with it.
Windows 8? What a joke. Don't use any of the worthless new features. Run it in traditional desktop mode.
Just bought her a Nexus 10 so the daily use is going down for this laptop and will probably unload it before long.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good try, but keyboard kills it, December 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VIZIO CT15-A4 15-Inch Thin + Light Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
The good:

*Beautiful IPS screen
*Excellent 1080 resolution
*Solid state drive included
*Great aluminum construction and solid build quality
*Very light
*No junkware included
*Fair price for the hardware

The just okay (but tolerable):

*Battery life
*Lack of backlit keyboard
*Only 4GB RAM and not able to upgrade it
*SRS sound badly screws with music quality, and it's noticeable (just get rid of it)

The awful:

*The keyboard & typing experience

You'd think this might be a pretty good deal with just that one big flaw to overlook. I don't think so. Another reviewer noted their errors went up like 20 times what it was and I can believe it. Lots of strokes don't register and the layout is funky. It's okay for a casual/infrequent typist, but if you do any kind of routine writing you'll want something better. Even for a student writing term papers this would be a nuisance. And before you ask, yes, I'm talking about the brand new CT15-A4 version from Oct 2012, and not the old kind.

Others may find it okay but I'll leave them to their own reviews. I think it's a solid effort by Vizio, I'd happily take a little more thickness and weight for a good keyboard the next generation. And more RAM and a backlit keyboard. But if they just fixed the keyboard this would easily rate a 5-star value. The way it is, I can't use it without screwing up my workflow badly.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great except the fatal keyboard, December 28, 2012
By 
Xiang Z (Sunnyvale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VIZIO CT15-A4 15-Inch Thin + Light Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
I am an IT professional looking for a laptop for working at home. To remotely access computers at work and see them in full screen, I need a large (15 in) screen with at least 1920x1080 resolution. There are only a few ultrabook choices on the market. Most of them cost $2000, except this one at < $1000. So I thought it was a good deal.

After a few days of usage, I found this laptop satisfies most of my needs. The screen is definitely the brightest spot of this machine. Bright, clear, big, and with high resolution. The CPU performance is also quite good, running Linux in VM without any problem. Suspending and resuming are fast. The touch pad works fine. Some minor cons such as the webcam at only 0.9MP, and the battery life at only 4 hours don't matter much to me. What really kills the deal is the inaccurate keyboard. Somehow they failed to implement the basic technique of debouncing. One single key stroke often generates duplicated characters on the screen. This really bothers me, because I cannot do my work smoothly. I have to keep pressing the backspace key to correct the typos.

I contacted Vizio through their online chat program and phone calls. Multiple people in their support team suggested changing the Windows OS' control panel keyboard property "Repeat rate", which really adjusts the behavior when the key is pressed and held. This means they don't really understand the problem and the "Repeat rate" parameter in the OS. Of course, it didn't work for me. The laptop then went through a 8-day round trip to Vizio (4 business days at their site) to get repaired. To my surprise, the problem still exists even after it came back.
Given that many reviews on Amazon rated this product highly, I thought maybe this problem does not occur to every unit. I then requested a replacement, which was done prompted thanks to Amazon's very good service. However, the second unit still shows the same problem.

It's very disappointing to see that Vizio got all important features done well, but missed one basic but necessary component -- keyboard, which is supposed to be an easy part, because no one else has missed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best, March 4, 2013
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This review is from: VIZIO CT15-A4 15-Inch Thin + Light Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
fast, quiet, lightweight, best picture, what else could you want?
I highly recommend this product, excellent quality for a low cost. I thank the seller for your attention and good service.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not If You're Planning to Use The Trackpad, April 9, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: VIZIO CT15-A4 15-Inch Thin + Light Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
I had to return it because the trackpad was so bad. No amount of driver downloading could make that thing behave like a piece of 21st century hardware. It barely registered two finger gestures, forget three or four. When I realized I was getting anxious every time I wondered whether pinch-to-zoom was going to respond, I knew I was done.

The screen is beautiful, though. And the computer has set a new standard for laptop-to-tv resolution for me. Very sleek, all aluminium with a much appreciated rubberized underside. The part of the charger that enters the computer glows orange when it's charging and green when it's done (or was it the other way round? Whatever. I liked it), but you'll only get 2-3 hours out of a charge.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Windows 8 Vizio Thin + Light Laptop - Replacement Working Well, November 5, 2012
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This review is from: VIZIO CT15-A4 15-Inch Thin + Light Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
Laptop arrived and would not boot up. Vizio Support wanted to have confirmation that the power cord light was lit green, and if the Vizio symbol on the back would light up white. The power cord light was green but the Vizio light was not lit up. I was asked to insert a paperclip into the manual reset button on the back of the laptop for 30 seconds. This did not change anything, so Vizio is requesting that I ship the laptop back to them for a replacement.

I did end up replacing the laptop through Amazon. Amazon immediately shipped out the replacement and provided the return packing slips by email.

The new new laptop works well, I am getting used to Windows 8 which I do like, especially for the news applications, like Yahoo and NY Times.

Screen is good, application reactions are good, mouse pad works well for me. The lightness of the laptop and the lack of heat being generated is great, really spectacular. I can see myself using this laptop for a number of years.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Good, Bad, And Ugly...., November 8, 2013
This review is from: VIZIO CT15-A4 15-Inch Thin + Light Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
I own the laptop for about 8 months and there's a lot of ups and downs. First off, the laptop screen is amazing probably one of the best LED on the notebook market. The aluminum cover and the light weight (a lil under 4 lbs) will suck you right in. The processor combined with Toshiba mSATA 128gb is a perfect combination of speed and multitasking. 4gb of rams is more than enough for daily usage/games. If you're doing intensive photoshopping or running mutli virtual machine then get the model with more rams (FYI Rams are not upgradable in this model). The GPU (Intel HD4000) is decent for a built in graphic card/CPU combo. Don't expect to run the latest and greatest game on this laptop with super high frames. Yes, the CPU/GPU get hot but setting power management to low and GPU to maximum performance will reduce the heat and still give you decent FPS, depending on games (low settings). I get about 3.5 HRS on battery which is a little effy for an ultra book.

The motherboard support UEFI and Secure Boot. If you don't know what that is then you should google it... Having UEFI motherboard with SSD is great but what happen when your SSD crap out? OUT OF LUCK! You can't login to recovery mode to do a fresh install (even though recovery is on a seperate partition). Their is NO RECOVERY DISK included with the purchase. Not enough information online to trouble shoot the problem. Here is what I mean by not enough information... when you google/bing Sony, Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba, etc... you will get tons of information regarding the problem and what steps to take to solve it. If you type Vizio CT15-A4 or any models you will get a handfull of website that tells you NOTHING! Vizio support website is crap and so is their customer service. Last month when my SSD died I went to tech support for some assistants and guess what... yup NO HELP AT ALL... The worst thing about this laptop is the keyboard and trackpad. Read other's review and you will see there's a lot of complaints. At first I didn't care too much for it but eventually it got to me. I had to purchase a wireless keyboard and mouse because I couldn't take it anymore.

I personally luv the design and spec on this laptop. You know the saying... sometime the little things is what count ( or something like that) Well all the little things add up... poor battery life, bad keyboard/trackpad, horrible customer service/support... If you're reading my review then save yourself the hassle and spend that hard earn money elsewhere. If you're not tech-savvy the customer service will give you a migraine and you'll regret purchasing this from Vizio. Overall 2 stars, love the LED screen, designs, and hardware but I hate everything else.
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VIZIO CT15-A4 15-Inch Thin + Light Ultrabook
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