31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2012
It would be hard to say more than the other extensive reviews already here, so I won't try; they're there if you want to read them. Here are some salient points, specifically comparing this machine to the Dell XPS 15. If you happen to be comparing the two, maybe you'll find this useful. (TL;DR warning. There is a summary at the bottom if you prefer)
I first bought a Dell XPS 15 (highest-end model, with 1 TB + 128GB SSD drive), for $800 more than this laptop. I didn't like it, and here's why:
- Dell XPS: Bad trackpad. Vizio: Good trackpad.
- The Dell has a delay on every action. A lot of false detections of gesture. Can't possible configure it to accept a double-tap as a right click (only a double-full-click). I can't stand the Mac-inspired "press the whole trackpad as if it were a mouse button". Conversely: the Vizio has an excellent trackpad, on par with the MacBook Pro, and handles double-tap and every other gesture I care to use without any trouble. Also, the Dell's trackpad seems to have higher friction than the Vizio. Both use basically the same finish for the trackpad as the body; the Dell's matte rubber body would seem to require a "stickier" finish on the trackpad.
- Dell XPS: Excessive fan noise. Vizio: little to no fan noise.
- I bought the XPS (and Vizio) because I want to at least occasionally play games. I'm not super hard-core, I don't need an AlienWare, but I at least wanted something on par with my 6-year-old MacBook Pro; these days, it seems like 99% of all laptops have no discrete graphics. The Dell XPS 15 has the same chip as this machine. The performance in Skyrim (full HD resolution, high graphics), while not stellar, is playable in both. However, the Dell needs to spin the fan at max RPM constantly, generating a racket well in excess of a full-size room-cooling tower fan right next to it. Meanwhile, the Vizio, running the same game at the same performance, only sometimes needs the fan, and the volume is much lower. The actual heat of the laptop (to the touch) is far less, as well. I credit the metal casing, as opposed to rubber (seriously? rubber? in a heat-sensitive device?), and likely superior cooling for the GPU.
- Dell XPS: Heavy. Vizio: light.
- I didn't expect this, and I'm not sure the official specs can back me up, but I'll be damned if the Vizio isn't at least 1/3 lighter than the XPS. It's the lightest 15" I've ever handled...lighter than a MacBook Pro. Not sure what the deal is. Maybe better heft? Something about build quality? It's light. Really light for a 15" that can play 3d games like a boss.
- Dell XPS: Backlight chiclet keyboard (good!). Vizio: Non-backlit traditional keyboard (less good).
- The Dell wins here. I liked that keyboard. The backlighting I can understand--the Vizio is 40% cheaper at nearly the same internal specs. The flat style vs chiclet? I think that's a matter of personal preference. I don't like the Vizio's arrow keys--there are two different sizes to force the bundle into a solid rectangle--but it's hardly a deal-breaker.
- Dell XPS: Normal Dell charger (ugh). Vizio: nifty new charger (yay!)
- Coming from a MacBook world, I was dismayed to see the sad state of PC laptop chargers. I feel like I just stepped back in time by a decade. That being said, Dell chargers are hard to come by without buying direct, in some cases paying 3 digits. What? Seriously, wtf? Even Apple charges 50-60 bucks for a charger...and they're APPLE. And apparently Dell computers detect if the charger is "genuine" and won't charge if it isn't. Okay Dell, get off your high horse. You're Dell, not Apple. I will give them this though: if you already have Dell laptops, your existing chargers will likely work.
- The Vizio charger isn't a MagSafe (damn patents), but it's perhaps the next best thing. Less bulky than the Dell charger pin, with a colored LED to let you know if it's charging or not, it was a welcome change. Unfortunately, I cannot find a replacement charger anywhere on the internet (at this time, Vizio is "out of stock" with expectations of having more stock soon). Ding vs Vizio. Still, if they get more stock soon, all is forgiven. They're smaller than Dell or Apple, I can understand.
- Dell XPS: Windows 8. Vizio: Windows 8. Result: draw.
- Windows 8 is terrible. Awful. Abhorrent. Stupid. Folks, I've been using Microsoft operating systems since 1985. I'm not some Johnny-come-lately. I've never been a huge fan of Mac OS, could never seriously embrace Linux full-time, and have never used anything but a DOS/Windows machine as a primary dev/gaming/general use box. I say this in my full capacity as a consumer, a developer, a gamer, and an IT professional: Windows 8 is a usability disaster so bad that I honestly hope Microsoft permanently goes out of business (or at least leave the OS business) forever. As a tablet OS, it's at least a distant 3rd place. As a desktop OS, it is a crime against humanity.
- That being said, both machines ship with it. If you use the new UI, the Vizio is your best bet (see previous issues with trackpad gestures). If you use the Desktop (and Pokki!) like a boss, it doesn't really matter. It's just software. But it's worth mentioning; unless you're 100% cognizant of who is to blame for the awfulness of Windows 8 (hint: neither Dell nor Vizio), you might despise either of these laptops (at least until you learn how to replace the Start menu and stay in Desktop mode).
- Dell XPS: Attractive. Vizio: Very attractive. MBP: Extremely attractive.
- I admit it. My primary laptop for the last 6 years was a MacBook Pro. I like an attractive machine. More importantly, I also like a machine with serious build quality--none of this creaky plastic that slowly loses its paint job and accumulates nast. After more than 6 years of heavy use, without any babying or protective casing, my all-aluminum MBP looks about 90% as good as the day I bought it. I can't say the same of any plastic PC laptop of half that age.
- As any serious laptop buyer knows: most PC laptops are ugly and poorly built. That's changing (slowly (way, way, too slowly)), but there are leagues to go just yet. With either the Dell XPS or the Vizio, you pay a premium for appearance and build quality. Of course, in the Vizio's case, that premium is much, much less.
- The Dell XPS is made primarily of metal (one would think aluminum, but the relative weight has me wondering if it's actually steel...or maybe polonium). The top looks very MBP-like, save for the Dell logo instead of an Apple logo. But the working surface (the one with the keyboard and trackpad) is covered almost entirely in black rubber. Why? I don't know. Just to be different? I'm paying for aluminum. Apparently aluminum costs hundreds of dollars per pound in laptop form (as opposed to ones of dollars per pound in any other use ever). So I shelled out the cash...why coat it in rubber? Rubber is high-friction; that's why tennis shoes have rubber soles. Got a pet? Or hair? Or humans living in your house? Count on hair, lint, and dust clinging to that rubber like Spider-man to a skyscraper wall.
- Meanwhile, the Vizio's exterior is nearly 100% metal; the bottom is rubberized, but that's fine. I don't really care if cat hair sticks to the bottom. The top of the main body, and of course the top of the laptop when closed, are 100% metal, with the usual silver finish. Like that color? You'll like this. It also happens to be much less high-friction (see above), and I suspect far better at conducting heat (see above again).
A few notes about things where neither one wins:
- Both of these machines have the same problem for me: when running 3d applications on an external monitor (via the HDMI port), the screen frequently (3-10 times per minute) flicks off and back on, with 1+ seconds of blackness, rendering it unusuable. This *only* happens in "second monitor only" mode, as opposed to extended desktop mode, or built-in-display-only mode. Because it happens in both machines, I suspect the Nvidia GPU--common to both--is at fault. So far, driver updates haven't fixed it, but I suspect it will be fixable (on either machine) eventually with only software updates.
- Both machines seem to be having WiFi problems, with the connection randomly dropping (interval ranging between 5 minutes and a few hours), requiring manual re-connect. I doubt it's either laptop's fault (I haven't begun to rule out my home network, although it's worth mentioning I have two different routers from two different manufacturers, one of which is a WRT54GL, not exactly known for unreliability, and none of the 14 other WiFi devices on my network are having these problems), but the Dell does have a lot of complaints about WiFi, and it has me wondering if both of these machines are using the same, faulty chip, antenna, or some other such component. In any case, YMMV, but this is certainly the kind of thing either manufacturer should be on the hook for, should it affect you.
Well, there you have it. Didn't mean to ramble so much, but hey: more data > less data, I guess. I'll update if I find a solution to the WiFi or GPU problems.
TL;DR: if you're comparing a Dell XPS 15 to this, buy this. The performance is a virtual match for the high-end Dell XPS 15, but a vast price difference (at the time of purchase: roughly $2000 for the Dell, $1200 for the Vizio), and every single feature of the Vizio is at least as good, if not better, with the exception of a backlit keyboard and subjective appraisals of appearance.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2012
While this computer is $999, go for it! Fantastic price for this piece of tech!
That said, I purchased this laptop before the discount, and even then I think it is a fantastic price for what you are getting.
The two most iffy parts about the computer:
1. The touchpad. Whew boy. Initial thoughts, "I love it!" 20 minutes later, "I completely LOATH it!" About 4-5 hours of use later, "Meh, it is ok." Firstly, the gestures with this thing are fantastic, very smooth, work flawlessly most of the time. No complaints there. Moving the mouse around is speedy and very sensitive, which is great as well. I haven't really had any of those glitchy jumps and such that were described in the earlier models. The issue is when you start clicking. I found that clicking wherever your finger lays on the touchpad is the most accurate way to go (though still not flawless). Moving your finger to the bottom of the touchpad often makes the mouse jump a little bit when you click, often making you miss what you are clicking if it is small (though this still happens a little when using the whole pad). However, the top 1/4 off the touchpad isn't really clickable because the buttons ARE actually at the bottom.
EDIT: I find that the bottom of the touchpad goes down into the case a LOT when you click on it. I am thinking the mouse moves when clicking near the base because the touchpad is actually flexing a decent amount, making your finger roll a little or something. Not a huge deal, kinda annoying but not too hard to get used to.
2. The keyboard is a little shallow, but very solid. The keys are bigger than average, and quite close together. This might take some getting used to, though I honestly love the layout of this keyboard. I miss my page up and page down buttons (EDIT: Though not labeled, holding FN and using arrow keys act as page up/down and home/end), but I can indeed make due without, though it really wouldn't have been hard for them to add as the have plenty of room. There is one annoying glitch with the keyboard where it sometimes registers a key twice. I have played with it a lot and it isn't my typing, the keyboard does indeed register key strokes twice here and there. It happened twice with typing the previous two sentences. Another small gripe is the shrunk up and down arrow keys. I would have been happier if they just shrunk them all, as shrinking just the up and down makes it a little awkward to use in video games because of the different size. However, like everything else, it isn't that hard to get used to. And if it REALLY bugs you, redefine your controls in-game to something else.
The rest of the computer I find superb. The frame is extremely solid, very little flex in the monitor (which is absolutely beautiful), not to mention the whole machine has a fantastic simplistic design. It is a little hard to open, though you will soon discover the required technique and can open it with one hand. Also, the edges of the computer are decently sharp and can leave marks on your wrists after even short periods of use.
For such a thin laptop, you get some decent guts for a fantastic price:
- Intel i7 ivy quad, 8 threads, with 2.3ghz clock and 3.3ghz boost. (Intel 4000 integrated graphics, but who cares? ;] )
- Nvidia 640m LE of which I found was a Kepler with DDR3 and 1GB vram(to those who care, as there is a Fermi and DDR5 version as well) Underclocked base to 500mhz, boo, but there are ways to remedy that. This thing ran Unigine in 720p with 2x antialiasing, full tesselation, 2x anisotropy, and full shaders without dipping into the single digits, though it got awfully close. It liked the framerates of 11-17 in the heavier areas (This isn't a good analysis by any means, but take what you can from it).
-8GB DDR3 1600. You're not going to be upgrading, but you shouldn't really need to.
Also to note, I have yet to see this thing get really hot, even running Unigine (though I didn't run it for more than a few minutes). If this thing starts to burn I will come back and say so. Secondly, I find the battery life is about 4-4 1/2 hours of basic web browsing and full brightness (though this thing is monitor plenty bright, even when half way dimmed).
EDIT: Computer seems to be cooled quite well. I have done some gaming (GTA IV, UT3 and the like) for a few hours. It does get a bit hot under the speakers, however I am overclocking the video card a little and it still stays around 68-70C, highest it has ever reached was 72C. Not bad at all for such a thin laptop.
So yeah, quick sloppy review by moi (I don't generally write them). I would recommend it because of the build quality, nice specs, and cheap price. The only determent is the keyboard glitch and getting used to the oddly sensitive mouse clicking.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
I've always been a desktop guy. My main machine I built by myself just to make sure everything was the way I wanted it. I never saw a laptop that could rival the power of a desktop that wasn't one of the 6 inch thick bricks they sell as "gaming laptops". I was excited by the ultrabook concept because it could eventually lead to a Windows revolution of thin laptops with solid specs, but the ULV chips inside are lacking in processing power and Intel Integrated Graphics 4000 was a bit of a let down. I was looking at the Asus UX51VZ for a really long time but the $2500 price tag immediately dropped my interest. So I sulked around for a bit until a video from The Verge about Vizio's new computers came out. It piqued my interest enough that I eventually purchased the CN15-A5.
First impressions: The machine is gorgeous. The build quality is amazing. The device is heavy, but having this incredibly durable aluminum chassis is worth it. Also, not important but the box was very elegant and extremely durable.
Powering it on: Boot was fast, but I credit that to the general nature of Windows 8. It's comparable to booting Windows 7 on an SSD. I went to ninite(.)com and downloaded all of my favorite applications as well as classicstart, which lets me skip the whole "interface formerly known as metro" thing and brings highly customizable start button back in. I recommend anybody using Windows 8 get it.
First hour. WiFi dropping like crazy. After one drop the wifi antenna disconnected and I had to use an ethernet cable. I investigated and sent Vizio an email. Here's what I got:
Thank you for contacting VIZIO PC support, I can definitely assist you with your inquiry.
First you'll need to download the Win8 Wireless driver from the VIZIO Website. Then follow these steps:
1. In desktop press WINKEY + X and press Device manager on the context menu on the bottom left.
2. When Device Manager opens open the Network Adapters list and Right Click "Qualcomm Atheros" and Uninstall.
3. A window should appear to confirm Device Uninstall, Check "Delete the driver software for this device", Press OK.
4. Reboot the PC
5. Run the WLAN installer and check remove to uninstall the software windows could not delete.
6. Reboot the PC
7. Run the WLAN installer and to install, it will ask to launch the installer, keep it checked and run the installer.
8. In the installer it will come with "Previous Installation detected", Check Uninstall and press OK to remove, Press OK to remove profiles. Press Finish
9. Reboot the PC
10. Run the WLAN installer and check remove to uninstall the software once more.
11. Reboot the PC
12. Run the WLAN installer and complete the installer now. (It should install straight forward now). Finish. Wi-Fi should work without rebooting now.
13. Double check to see if "Metered Network" Is turned off in PC Settings > Devices.
14. Test the wireless now.
This did the trick.
Keyboard+Mouse: I only use mechanical keyboards, which should be a sign that I'm picky. It's been three days and I'm still getting used to it, but it's definitely better then most. It should have a backlight though. The mouse is the first I've used of it's kind. The multi-touch gestures are very convenient and work pretty well. Vizio did a great job on it when compared to the generic ones I'm used to. One thing to note is when you click using the center of the trackpad the pointer skips a little. It's a pain but I'm getting used to compensating for it.
Battery: Not impressed. Getting around 4 hours with Windows Signature settings, but I am downloading something 99% of the time. I'm sure I could get 5+ when doing general browsing and music, but still, the fact that this is still an issue in our world baffles me.
Screen: Amazing. I'm not a fan of matte displays but this one does it right. No annoying color shimmer from poor application of matte coating. 1080p was a necessity on a laptop and this one nailed it. Maybe Vizio used some of their TV technology on this one.
Gaming. As of this review, there has been no in-depth gaming analysis. I've played a few games now. I overclocked the GPU a little and I reccomend you all do the same. I used a program called MSI Afterburner to do it.
BF3: Definitely the one of the most demanding games out there. 1080p is unplayable with anything above low settings. I played with many resolutions and settings and got the 40-50 fps I needed with nice settings at 1600x900p with a mix of low to high settings. Everybody is different in this aspect
L4D2: Not the most demanding game, but a 3d game nonetheless. I play it at 1600x900 at max because I like the satisfying gore effects. 1080p would be easy if you turned it off.
Civilization 5: 1080p with medium effects its very playable. As my civilization got bigger I had to drop some things a little, but this game is perfect for this computer because you can play it without a mouse.
Borderlands 2: 900p at medium/high settings. Very fun game btw
Looking forward to trying more!
Final thoughts. Although the WiFi should have worked out of the box and the keyboard could be backlit, it's a fantastic computer. One last thing worth mentioning is the general sluggishness of the 5400RPM drive. The SSD caching really helps when it's being utilized, but 32gb only goes so far, but keep in mind this is coming from somebody who only uses solid state storage in his primary computer, so it may be perfect for you. I'd still like to repeat that it is the best Windows computer I have ever used.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2012
Like a few others, this laptop had peaked my interest with it's combination of price/ performance and screen quality and I finally took the plunge. Having used 13" laptops, including a 13" Macbook Pro Retina most recently, I was a bit surprised by the size. Even though the specs are right there to see, this laptop just feels BIG. Not heavy but it sort of pushes what is comfortable using in ones lap. I think part of this has to do with the tapering design of the bottom case with what appears to be a flat piece of metal on the top creating an overhang or lip around the edges. These metal edges have not been rounded/ smoothed in any way and I was a bit shocked by how sharp they are. Touch the case edge with your hands, arms or wrists - say while typing- and, after a while, it sort of becomes a bit chafing. I've only been typing on this laptop now for a few hours and already I'm not sure if I will be able to put up with these sharp edges. The problem seems so obvious, I don't really see how the laptop was released with this issue. For that reason, I think it would likely be better used on a desk or table, preferably with an external keyboard and mouse. It's really a shame because that's the one really major issue I have noticed, but it very well could be a deal breaker for many.
As far as the positives, there are many. First off, this thing flies. It is as powerful,if not more-so, than most higher end laptops available with it's I7 quad core processor. Running Geekbench in 64 bit mode, this 1K laptop scored over 13,000. That's right up there with the 2K+ 15 inch Macbook Retina Pro and about twice as fast as the 13 inch Retina. This also translates perfectly into real world use as I was able to batch process raw files at twice the speed of the 13" Reina mentioned above. Simply outstanding performance.
Secondly, the IPS matte screen is very good once calibrated - but note it looks pretty dismal with regard to color accuracy and gamma without calibration out of the box so to speak. There is a little light leakage at the bottom right occasionally with an all black screen but I have really only noticed it when booting up.
As far as the keyboard, it's fine though I do wish it was lit AND that the keys were a bit more concave like my ancient 15" Powerbook keyboard [which this one looks as if it were trying to emulate}. It has a decent action but not as good as any of the Apples nor the Lenovo's. The trackpad also seems fine. Not great nor terrible but perfectly serviceable. I actually found my favorite trackpad not to be one of Apples - which are very nice - but the glass trackpad on my wifes Lenovo Ideapad U260 from a few years back.
One thing which also surprised me about this laptop was the really HUGE power adapter. It is the size of a brick almost, certainly the largest one I have ever seen. Another reason why this is not really that portable of a laptop, even for a 15 incher. Really, it feels more like a 16-17" portable computer in use.
Finally, the fan can be annoying as it cycles on and off in a sort of whining way. Coming from the Retina, this was very noticeable and annoying as the Apple fans are almost silent.
Least this all sounds a bit negative, this really is quite a bargain for what you get given the performance, screen quality and, as mentioned below, upgrade-ability. If one is looking for strictly performance and a very decent, IPS screen in a not so portable package, it would likely be difficult to find a better deal. But, If one needs portability in a more refined, user friendly package - this is not it - but, of course, THAT one will cost you!
Edit: Due to constant wifi issues [random disconnects from network] and a battery life that, at best, is only half of what is claimed, even under light use such as web browsing, I have reduced the rating from three to two stars. At this time, I can't recommend this laptop.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
I'll get straight to the point. The first thing you notice about the computer when seeing it in person for the first time is that it is simply a beautiful machine. I couldn't be happier with the design and appearance.
As others have noted, the computer is super fast when booting up. The display is amazing. The keyboard is easy to type on. I read some reviews on other sites that they keys are not spread far enough apart, but I find that they are quite comfortable and easy to type on. The touch-pad, IMO, is great. Someone wrote about how when clicking with the button it moves the mouse. To me, that seems to come more from sliding your finger on the button while pressing it. If you press straight down, the mouse doesn't move. At least in my experience. I love the gestures and the size of the touch-pad.
Nobody has mentioned this, but I absolutely love the charger. I've had to replace chargers on several different machines because the way they are built. I think this is a charger that will last a long, long time. I personally have not seen one built like this.
The specs for this machine are great which makes the price I payed for this machine seem like somewhat of a steal. The machine runs quietly and it remains cool, which is a total plus. My wife's XPS gets super hot, and I can't stand it.
I was a little worried about Windows 8 being the OS on this machine because most everything I've read about 8 has been negative. However, after playing with it some, I've found that it's not as bad as some make it out to be. I still may make a change to Windows 7, but I haven't decided for sure yet. (You can get the normal start menu you on your desktop.)
A couple things I'm disappointed about are:
1. No back-lit keyboard. This wasn't a deal breaker for me, but I would have loved for that to have been included.
2. There is no disk drive in this machine. Again, this isn't a huge deal since you can by an external disk drive for $15 or $20, but I just thought I'd throw that in there. I guess it could be an inconvenience to those that travel a lot and want to watch DVDs, but that's not me.
All in all this is a 5 star machine, and I'm very pleased with my purchase. If you're looking for a Windows machine with the look and feel of the MacBooks, this machine may be the way to go.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2013
Many of the points here will be repeats, but I'd like to add my two cents in case there are some who want to trawl through the reviews. Overall the laptop is very good on paper, acceptable in performance, and has some quirks that could turn people towards another brand.
-Aluminum construction for "Premium" feel and look. It is a very nice machine to look at.
-Full HD (1080p) Display: Great for viewing your media, putting two documents side-by-side, etc... The display is decent as far as laptops go. The one used in mine is a LP156WF4-SLB5 manufactured by LG.
-Microsoft Signature: Clean install of Windows, no bloatware!
-Nifty charger with LED that changes colors to indicate level of charge
-Discrete Nvidia graphics: relatively decent for *light* gaming, able to switch with the Intel integrated graphics to save power. However this setup may cause bugs or crashes. The latest drivers from both companies go a long way toward mitigating this.
-Edges: Fairly sharp. I haven't been cut or anything, but they can cause a lot of discomfort depending on the position you're using the machine in. Also the lid is hard to open until you figure out a trick or two to use it. (I find that lifting it from the side is easier than trying to get my fingers into the slight notch in front.)
-Windows 8. I know this complaint has been hashed endlessly by now, but this was my first Windows 8 PC so I was extremely frustrated trying to break into the new features and Metro UI. Using the touchpad and start menu were very poor experiences for me. Ultimately I used 3rd party software and played with PowerShell to revert some of the changes Microsoft made. Hopefully Windows 8.1 will be better off the bat on PCs!
-Lack of peripheral ports: There are only two usb 3.0 ports and one headset/microphone 3.5mm jack. While not be a problem for one on the go, the lack of usb ports and separate 3.5mm jacks (I have separate headset and microphone) disqualify it as a desktop replacement in my book.
-Typing experience: While some have not had a problem with the keyboard other than the lack of backlighting (something I find a nonissue), I find that it leaves much to be desired. The keys are *very* shallow-feeling (hardly any accentuation response until you hit the bottom) so typing quickly causes me to skip some letters and occasionally double-type letters. (Normally 85 wpm, laptop 60 wpm) Moreover, I found myself incessantly swiping the touchpad while word processing without any FN-key combination to turn off the touchpad! Thankfully there's a software called Touchpad Blocker, which can turn off the Synaptics touchpad with a simple key combination.
-Audio: Passable, but if you're used to audiophile products they are the typical quality OEM products that will fail to impress. The SRS audio application helps a bit.
-Battery life: My typical experience with the battery reveals that 3-5 hours will be the max depending on what you're doing. I don't have much a problem with this, but those on the go will want to tweak the power and hardware settings to get every last drop of life out.
-VIZIO driver support: Fairly standard manufacturer driver support on their website (generally speaking *poor*). There are the usual outrageously out of date (Graphics driver) while there was one missing (the touchpad update, judging by the version numbers, it would probably be very important!).
-Heat: Under normal circumstances (word processing, watching videos, browsing internet, etc) there have been no problems. However once you get under full cpu load with video editing, playing games, rendering 3d animations, etc... it will get very hot. The exhaust grill is under the monitor hinge at the bottom back of the laptop, which makes it pretty uncomfortable to use on your lap and is extremely poor at dissipating heat until you've finished your task.
-Wifi connectivity: Reading all the reviews complaining about the faulty wifi drivers convinced me to immediately upgrade as soon as I switched the machine on. All-in-all it's like many other windows laptops I've used in that I can't tell if it's the router or the laptop itself that is the problem half the time. (I can assure you the other 50% of the time it's the 2.4ghz congestion in my neighborhood...)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2013
I ordered based on the reviews and generally most are spot on. I do really like the laptop and will most likely keep it.
-Price is fantastic for what you get
-Speed...super fast, lots of memory, good graphics card.
-Build is nice, i like the aluminum body and it doesn't feel super heavy. Pretty thin also and haven't seen any flex.
-Screen is very good, great angles, sharp, love the 1080p.
-Track pad is good if you use the Synaptics software and not the Vizio software. It gives more options for customization and -features.
-Battery life is decent for me...at 4+ hours i'm happy with it given specs. This is mostly for web-browsing right now and work.
-Keyboard end, home, page up, page down are annoying to not have. Arrow keys are annoying. You can download free software to remap F11/F12 to Home/End (I use Excel and text editing a lot). Free software i used was Map Keyboard.
-Latest Wifi software causes disconnection every 2-3 minutes. I found the Atheros software for the wireless chipset and used the 10.0.0.75 software and it's perfect...no disconnections for days now.
-Aluminum edges are a little rough/sharp...they hurt your wrists if they are rest on the edge of the laptop. It depends on the angle of your wrists/arms resting on the laptop...
-Windows 8...i just dont like it for a laptop, gets in the way of doing things quicky. I use Windows 8 desktop feature and Start8 from Stardock to give it the Win7 look. I spent hours trying to reinstall Win7 and its extremely difficult given how Win8 machines are a lot more locked down in Bios and hardware.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2012
I bought this laptop as my official "college laptop," and I am ecstatic to say that it was one of the best investments I made.
The first thing that pops out of this laptop is the sleek design, beautiful 15 inch HD display, and the textures used on the laptop. More importantly though, the cheap price for such a great product. I believe that this is a hidden gem. I don't know how Vizio is managing to keep the prices so low, but I would take advantage of the opportunity before demand for this brand goes up. I was trying to find a Windows version of an Apple computer, and I think this laptop is it. I feel like I'm using the next generation of Windows computers, and I'm confident that this line will exceed Apple products.
Design is modern and stylish
Average battery life (5+ hours, with low brightness)
No back-lit keyboard
Could've had an SSD, but that might have made it really expensive
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2012
I've had this laptop for a couple of weeks now. Windows 8 isn't bad, but there is a big learning curve (google for shortcuts and tips). It took me a few days to get windows set up in a way that suits me. It's almost like using Windows 7 now, so I hardly even notice the difference. As soon as I got the computer, I downloaded all of the driver updates from Vizio's website. Overall, I'm very satisfied with this laptop and I think the next design from Vizio could be perfect if they would make a few changes.
Incredible screen- wide viewing angle, very crisp, and the matte finish is awesome
Super fast- Instant-on, just seconds to restart
High-quality build- aluminum finish on the top and inside is very nice and seems durable. Underside is a plastic/rubber material. This actually helps to keep the laptop from sliding around
The edges of the laptop where you wrists rest are RAZOR SHARP. It can actually get pretty uncomfortable. This should really be rounded.
The keyboard sometimes registers a keystroke twice. I've tried fixing this using the keyboard options, but no luck. Maybe a driver update will fix the problem?
The sound is very marginal. Even playing music at a low level (14/100) it sounds like a busted speaker.
Overall, I would buy this laptop again. I would give 5 stars if not for the uncomfortable edge, poor speaker quality, and keyboard issues.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2012
This laptop has a superb screen and is lightning fast with its i7 quad core processor. It has two problems. The Wi-Fi logs off at random times and needs to be reconnected manually. I used device manager and it states that my driver for the Qualcomm Wi-Fi chip is up to date. Also, I am having a little trouble adjusting to the short throw on the keys on the keyboard. I have a tendency to type double letters because the key board is a little sensitive because of the shallow depression of the keys. The computer has a beautiful deisgn (similar to the 15" MacBook Pro). The 1920 x 1080 resolution and graphics colors on the screen are beautiful. This is the best configured laptop on the market today for the price.
I am editing my revview today. I havve been having a problem with the keyboard typing doublle letters that I have not been able to fix by increasing the delay in the keyboard manager in control panel. I also have adjusted the key delay by changing the keyboard delay in the Windows Registry following an edit of the Windows registry. This has still not corrected the problem. It does not seem like other users have hadd tthiis double key typing problem on the keyboard. This is a major usability factor howevver. I have left the double letters in this paragraph to demonstrate the problem. I do not think this is fixable with a registry tweak. The driver for the keeypad is from Microsoft from 2006. This according to Vizio is the most recent driver for the keyboard. Good luck if your keyboard types double letters because there does not appeear to be a solution for this problem. I have just created a Twitter page for this discussion. The hashtag is #viziokeyboard. Please continue the discussion if this is a design problem. I love this laptop andd it is a great deal for the money. I just cannot type accurately on the keyboard.