Customer Reviews: VIZIO CT14-A4 14-Inch Thin + Light Ultrabook
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Price:$649.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on November 27, 2012
* Thin + Light
* Bigger display (14'' as opposed to 11'' or 13'' ultra-books)
* HD display (1600 x 900)
* Fast fast fast (just ~5 seconds to shutdown or start-up). Wow, my office think-pad can't even resume from sleep that quick.
* No nonsense pre-installed crap. Nice and clean right out of the box.
* Liked the quality of webcam.
* Speakers are good, definitely powerful/better than two think-pads I own.

* Had some minor issues with trackpad initially but after installing the new driver, its running fine.
* There is no VGA or ethernet port on this machine.
* No backlit keyboard (my biggest complaint)
* If I am not wrong, memory is limited to 4GB and can't be upgraded.

Overall, very happy with the laptop and Amazon service.

I have been using this laptop for last 2 months. I have to say this is an amazing laptop. After coming back home, I hate to touch my Lenovo office laptop. I may in-fact buy one more for office and return the office laptop back to my employer. This laptop is about screen + weight + performance and at 599 I couldn't ask for more.

Regarding keyboard, I agree there is some issue with it but its like 1-2 misses in 1000 keystrokes. I have linux installed on it as VM and I do write code everyday using this laptop. I love coding directly on this laptop so much that I stopped using my external 24 inch monitor/keyboard/mouse setup. I don't get why others are making so much fuss about it, may be its my typing style.

If I would have to rate this laptop again, I would upgrade it to 5 stars.
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on August 30, 2013
i gave it 5 stars because I can't give it 4.5 but it is better than a 4.

The only issue is keyboard related sometimes key presses are missed sometimes there are double taps. This is hardware related not software. (maybe firmware...?)

Also Win8 never saw the light on this it was booted to partedmagic and wiped. F2 gets you to BIOS turn off secure boot and change boot order. There is no boot menu.

Memory: 4 gig DDR3 1333MHz (Don't believe it can be upgraded) If it can it won't be easy.
Storage: Toshiba THNSNS128GMCP 128gig msata SSD (~450-500 mb/s using hdparm -tT /dev/sda) ext4 with noatime,discard mount flags and noop disk scheduler )
Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n (its and Atheros card not sure on the model)
Battery: Specs say 7 Hours Arch Linux is saying ~5-6

Everything is working great (besides the keyboard issues mentioned above). Followed the laptop Arch guide and the SSD guide the only thing I don't have working is the Wireless FN key and the display switch key. All other keys worked when I added them to XFCE keyboard settings.

V-key (Web browser key)
Wireless key scankey doesn't pick up key press
Switch Display scankey doesn't pick up key press
Display off scankey doesn't pick up key press but display is turned off
Dim display
Brighten display
increase vol
decrease vol
previous track
next track

So if you are going to use Linux for this thing it works great. I don't know how well it would have worked in Windows 8. I am sure probably not very well considering the metro interface is kind of a touch screen thing.

Overall this laptop is sweet and if there were no keyboard issues I could give it a Full 5 star rating. I see Vizio making some nice laptops in the future.
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on December 9, 2012
Note: Read on for some tips if you are interested in doing a Window 7 install.

This Ultrabook could have been perfect, but unfortunately has a major defect that makes me not recommend it. I'll start with the good, however. As for as laptops go, it is ridiculously thin and light, almost bordering on too thin. (It is ever so slightly difficult to open; you almost have to use your finger nails.) And unlike the netbooks of yesteryear, it flies. Windows 8 boots in about 5 seconds from a cold start. Its Toshiba SSD has 400+ MB/s sequential read/write speeds, and great random read/write as well. Overall, it's very enjoyable to use, and subjectively feels very fast. The 1600x900 screen is excellent resolution wise, though it is glossy, and exhibits some vertical "screen door" effect that a lot of new laptops seem to have.

From a hardware standpoint, Vizio gets major points for making an extremely accessible system. Just remove a number of torx screws on the base, and the bottom half of the case practically falls off revealing access to everything. There is no glue or harrowing plastic clips to deal with. RAM is soldered on and not upgradable (boo!) but the wireless card and SSD are. Unlike the 11.6 Asus Vivobook I looked at recently, the wireless card has two antennas instead of just one. The SSD is mSATA. The power jack is a separate board attached to the mainboard by a detachable cable, so breaking the jack does not necessarily mean junking the system. (Though, good luck finding the part anywhere...)

Now for some of the so-so. As far as general driver availability goes, Vizio is showing just how young they are to the PC market. They have no BIOS updates available for any of their systems, and they also do not have any Vizio specific utilities and drivers for download, such as the Fn key / OSD utility. (See below for their response to this.) The way they provide drivers is probably the worst I have ever seen. Each driver is an EXE, which is a Vizio wrapper of the actual manufacturer's installer. This is not too uncommon. But rather than just extracting the mfg's installer, the Visio wrapper actually installs each and every mfg installer to C:\Program Files (x86)\VIZIO\My Product Name, complete with an Add/remove programs reference for every driver before you've actually installed anything. These are somewhat minor issues, but are still a tad on the annoying side.

So what could ruin an otherwise decently favorable laptop? One word: the keyboard. Typing on this in any serious capacity is an exercise in frustration. Firstly, missed key presses abound. In fact, if you push very lightly on purpose, you can make any key depress and "click" but not actually register a press. This should be impossible on a well designed keyboard; any key that is depressed, no matter how lightly, should always register. Second, mysterious double presses occur far more frequently than random chance would allow. That seems to contradict the first issue, but somehow Vizio used their incredible engineering capabilities to create a keyboard that is both not sensitive enough and too sensitive.

Overall it is a slick system with a lot going for it, but the keyboard is bad enough that I would recommend looking elsewhere for an Ultrabook if you do any serious typing.

Windows 7 Notes: I did a successful fresh install of Windows 7 on this system, but ran into some issues along the way. First of all, they do provide Windows 7 drivers on their site, but they neglect to mention that the Win 7 model of this laptop has slightly different hardware from the Windows 8 version, even though it has the same model number. For instance, you need to get the touch pad driver straight from Synaptic, as the Win7 driver on is for a different manufacturer's touch pad, and the Win8 driver does not contain bundled Win7 drivers.

The Intel rapid start technology driver is also a pain to get working. I'll post a link in the comments to a Dell PDF that shows what you need to do to get it installed. In short, you need to use diskpart to create a hibernation partition, otherwise the Intel installer will say your system does not meet requirements. The Vizio provided driver also does not work, and again I had to go to the mfg's website (Intel).

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, Vizio does not provide any Vizio-specific utilities or drivers on their site as far as I can see, so that means I was not able to find a Fn key / OSD utility. Thankfully the brightness and volume keys work, but the key to disable the wifi or switch to an external monitor do not work, and there is no OSD or any of the keys. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning. I just wrote Vizio support, and will report back what they say.

UPDATE: I wrote an e-mail to Visio support on the keyboard and driver issue, and here is their response:
Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for contacting VIZIO PC support, I can definitely assist you with your inquiry.

You'll need to press the keys all the way down for the keyboard to register a keystroke, you can also adjust the sensitivity of the keyboard in the keyboard's properties by clicking on Start, then in the search field type in Keyboard and open the properties window. If you have installed a version of Windows 7 that is not the VIZIO image of Windows 7 Home Premium the driver for the function keys will not work.

If you need any additional assistance feel free to contact VIZIO at 1-877-878-4946 or chat with us at [...]

Thanks and have a great day!

Kali Lewis

So unlike every other PC mfg on the planet, you have to use their image to install because they cannot be bothered to provide all the drivers that are necessary to operate their product. Is that not the point of providing drivers in the first place? The bit about pressing the keys down all the way is really a joke, as is the helpful tip to adjust sensitivity in the control panel. (There is no such ability. You can adjust the repeat rate, but that has nothing to do with key sensitivity) Needless to say, this will be my first and last Vizio PC.
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on April 27, 2013
After owning this computer for about 4 months and dealing with Vizio customer service for multiple issues, I have to warn folks not to buy this computer. I never provide feedback on products, but I'm so ticked-off with Vizio and myself for buying this clunker that I felt I had to warn others. I've had many issues from the get-go; however, the primary one that I know others have experienced is the keyboard repeating multiple keystrokes for a single depression of the key. This will drive you insane! It isn't something you notice right away as you figure you are making the error, but after owning the computer for a few months, I am now certain the keyboard is defective. I've done the research and I've seen others state the same problem. I contacted Vizio and they blame the software - I've changed every setting every which way, the problem doesn't go away! So, don't buy one. From what I gather, all of Vizio's ultrabooks use this same keyboard, so don't go thinking you will escape the problem. Also, I'd like you all to be aware of my experiences with Vizio's customer service - they claim they are concerned and different than others (they do speak clear English which is nice - I'll give them that). However, their customer service is also terrible. If they were to do the right thing, they would just take this computer back and give me my money back. I thought I was so smart and that I would save a couple hundred (it was either this or the ASUS) - what and idiot I was. Save yourself the headache, get something else. Thanks for reading.
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on September 21, 2014
This computer worked amazing for about 9 months or so, and then started taking a while before it would boot, it kept getting worse, and now 16 months after purchase, it won't boot at all. Knowing that it was no longer under warranty, I opened the bottom panel and took out various components to see if they were impacting the system. I tried to post and/or boot without the SSD, the Wifi card, the battery, and the charger. I also tried booting to an external monitor via HDMI. Nothing worked. Attempts to get the system to post would not go to BIOS at all.

I figured that the mainboard was bad, so I called Vizio customer support. They opined that the unit was likely damaged by a blackout or brownout. The problem with this theory is that I had the unit hooked up to a quality surge protector the bulk of time it was used. They would not provide me with a mainboard, despite that the problem started before the warranty was up (I figured I would ask). They told me that they would fix the unit for me for $550, or they would send me a new mainboard for $655. I purchased the unit for $580, and it didn't last, so both options were ridiculous. I asked for the part number for the mainboard, as I knew I could buy one on ebay for a fraction of Vizio's stated cost, and none of the three individuals I spoke to would provide me this info (despite that they do not provide any detailed specs on their site). I asked to speak to a supervisor and I finally hung up after 15 minutes on hold.

The bottom line is that the unit started failing after 9 months, and completely failed after 16 months. Vizio's customer support is absolutely terrible. Avoid this computer and Vizio's products like the plague!
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on July 31, 2014
Edit : I am taking 1 star away , after using it for some time I can feel the pain in using the keyboard which keps typing some letters 2 times and i have to keep correcting and the track pad is a pain too it keeps getting stuck and it is really tough to use the right click which together is a very bad combination, also i feel like i will get carpal tunnel syndrome from this keyboard ,,,,sorry love the form and screen but you got to have a good keyboard and trackpad.

I have just had it for a couple of days so here are my first impressions ;

Pros :
Nice screen , very bright and sharp colors
Fast Boot ; SSD makes a difference
Nice Design - very thin

however it is surprisingly heavy ! for a laptop that is so thin you pick it up thinking it must be light but is surprisingly heavy . or may be it is the weight distribution.

the design is thin but in doing so the edges have been made sharp and sometimes they can actually chafe at the hands while typing

the Key board has been Ok to me so far but the track pad can be a bit painful hopefully it will be better with the driver update

Windows 8 has its own peculiarities but i can cope with it

Overall a decent laptop fr the price with the nice design , fast boot up with SSD and nice screen , I just wish it was a little lighter
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on October 18, 2013
The best laptop you can get out there, specially for the price they are asking for right now!
I'll make this review as short and precise as possible.

Most of the complaints are regarding the track pad, keyboard and available ports.
-The track pad can be fixed through a driver update.
-The keyboard is all about getting used to it. As of now i dont have any problems at all with the keyboard, it works as expected and i can type as good as with any other laptop.
-Available ports, well i suppose most of the buyers weighed in the pros and cons, including the specs.

-Very good design, probably the best design of all Windows laptops
-Screen is gorgeous
-Runs very fast
-Very very good price since this is an older model

-Track pad needed a driver update before it worked properly
-Keyboard not backlit
-A bit hard to pen the lid, lets see if this improves over time

At the current prices, this laptop is a steal. After updating the drivers it turns out to be a very good laptop. The complaints regarding the keyboard and ports boils down to personal preference. When i bought this laptop i knew what i was getting into.
So take your pick, form follows function or function follows form?
I took the latter and im happy i did.

Buy with confidence!

UPDATE: 1/2/2015
The laptop has been working "almost" flawlessly since i bought it.
The only serious problem that i had was with the screen. Long story short, my little nephew (Around 3 years old) once stepped onto the laptop while it was laying on the bed closed and it caused the screen to show some seriously annoying artifacts for a month or so. After the incident i continued using the laptop as usual since it was not broken and then suddenly one day it fixed by itself. Yes, it really did fix by itself!
My best guess would be that when my nephew stepped on the laptop it loosened something inside because everytime i applied a very subtle twisting force on the screen lid the artifact would go away. Problem has not showed up since, not a single time and that is pretty much the only problem i ever had.
Great laptop, fast and looks sleek . . . the best Windows laptop out there.
I wish Vizio still continued manufacturing and improving these laptops, i was planning to get a second one with update hardware and a touch screen.
Can't believe they decided to pull out of the PC market because IMO these were the best Windows laptops out there in terms of design and value for money. (I bought it brand new for around half of the original retail price, brand new)
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on June 12, 2014
The back screw have been opened, it must be someone opened this laptop and didn't show up this kind condition in the description when I was buying it. It cannot charge, I have to use the charger to use. I couldn't believe that there has a seller that using this kind junk to cheat customer.
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on August 9, 2014
I'd give it a 4.7, but I just rounded it up to a five.

Overall, this is a great laptop from the 3 weeks I've had with it. The 14 inch screen is perfect for mobility, and the resolution (1600x900) looks very crisp and clean to the seemingly common 1366x768 found in most laptops. The laptop comes with NO bloatware bullcrap and it runs like a champ with the i5. It boots up and shuts down super fast. Did I mention the thing looks FREAKING SEXY? It looks to be pretty durable too.

My only complaints, which are minor, are mostly the keyboard, mousepad, and the lack of ports and standard lock slot for security cables. The keyboard has a bit shallow keys, but I quickly got used to it and it works fine - I haven't had any issues with the keyboard like some others. However, the mousepad (trackpad) upon first use was kinda crappy, but with a driver update from VIZIO, it works so much better. Windows 8 is meh, but upgraded to 8.1 it works so much better, looks better, and is easier to get used to coming from Windows 7. The lack of a security cable slot was a pain for me, as I am heading to college with this, but I found a security cable that works through the hinge between the screen and the keyboard for security (link here for those who are interested: The lack of ports might be frustrating to some, but 2 USB ports, an HDMI port, and a headset port are good enough for me. As stated earlier, the SSD is super fast, but only about 90 GB of the 128 GB SSD was usable - so be careful to not download too many big movies or games (the Intel HD 4000 on-board GPU doesn't run games too well anyways).

The battery is a little bit small, however, this IS an ultrabook, so battery life isn't going to be phenomenal. I get 4-7 hours out of this, depending on power setting, screen brightness, and what programs I'm running. The speakers aren't great, but they aren't bad - I suggest using some good ol' headphones.

I would really recommend this ultrabook for those who are looking for a good screen, good specs, and something that is very mobile. Most of the issues aren't a big deal to me and are fixable. The price of 500ish was a great deal for this, especially for what it's offering, but I wouldn't pay more than 600 for this.

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on March 18, 2015
Ordered this for my Son and it arrived with a dead battery. Only noticed this after spending hours upgrading from windows 8.0 to 8.1. Would be nice if the product shipped with the more recent windows 8.1 as it is a huge improvement.

After having seen others complain of the same issue (dead battery) we returned the product. Partly this was because we were not impressed with the build quality. The edges to the laptop feel very sharp and the texture feels a bit odd. Perhaps not an issue for some folks, but my Son has sensory issues; so just be aware it will dig into your wrists a bit and feels a bit odd.

Additionally the lack of keyboard light was a bit sad. It seems standard these days; why it's not included I don't know.

On the plus side this machine ships with no spamware loaded. This was our main reason for buying it. It is also light and silent from the disk; although the fan is very noisy. I guess it depends on your workload.

Overall despite this it is a nice machine but I can't forgive shipping with a dead battery. Hence a lower star rating.
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