Top positive review
A capable portable with some limitations, and very good value for the money.
Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2014
It's fanless. This alone may be the greatest perk of using this notebook. There are no moving parts inside to rattle or wear out, and you don't have to be concerned about intakes picking up dust, lint, or pet hair, and there are no heatsink grilles to clean. Under heavy use, you can feel heat radiating through the bottom chassis, opposite the QWAS keys, but not enough to be of any discomfort through clothing.
This notebook is very lightweight - not even 4 pounds. The bottom chassis is heavy enough to not tip back with the display fully open. Five rubber feet and one plastic gap bar on the underside of the notebook keep it from sliding or rattling on a desk or table.
The top edge of the lid is plastic, which allows the bluetooth and WiFi antennas to operate with minimum interference. WiFi performance is on par with any other laptop I've used, and it shows much stronger signals than my Galaxy Nexus phone a few inches away.
Battery life is excellent. 6+ hours of web browsing usage is not exaggerated.
Desktop performance is good. Chrome launches in 1-2 seconds, and scrolls smoothly with 8-10 tabs open. (Office 2013 will install and run smoothly, but after updates there's very little free space left. )
The MicroSD card slot on the left side had no problems recognizing a Sandisk 64GB Class10 card, and I regularly get 35-40MB/s read/write speeds. It doesn't lock completely flush inside the body, but it's in far enough that I've never ejected it accidentally.
I didn't see this mentioned anywhere, but the USB port on the left side is USB3, and the two on the right are USB2.
Fedora 21 runs very smoothly on this machine, but you'll want a USB ethernet adapter at least for installation - the BroadCom wifi driver has to be installed manually.
Tiny embedded storage. The 32GB internal storage is divided into 3 partitions: 0.26GB EFI system, 21.64GB Windows & applications, 7.1GB Recovery, respectively. (The Recovery partition is not removable, even after you've created USB recovery media. DISKPART won't remove it because it's in use, and using third-party utilities to remove it will cause Windows to immediately bluescreen and become unbootable.)
Grainy display and glare. The display is glossy, and prone to show glare in bright light. The display also has a noticeably wider pixel pitch than most displays on more expensive notebooks. It doesn't affect usability in any way.
The speakers sound like tiny laptop speakers. Beats-branded EQ presets don't change this appreciably. Set your expectations accordingly.
The touchpad's default settings will move windows all over the place. I had to turn most of the features off to make it behave in a predictable way.
The build quality is lacking in a few places that don't affect usability, but they make the otherwise nice notebook feel cheap. Specifically, on mine, I noticed that:
* the touchpad doesn't sit flush to the palm deck and is in fact crooked - the top and left edges are probably 1mm higher than the bottom and right edges. This causes left-clicking require a different amount of pressure than right-clicking, and the raised edges scrape my wrists a little while typing.
* the palm deck doesn't mate nicely around the edge of the lower chassis. This isn't especially noticeable except at the corners and on the left edge where the power LED bleeds through the gap.
Caveats: (These aren't really pros or cons, just things to be aware of when you purchase)
The 3.5mm headset jack uses a TRRS jack for combined stereo audio out and mono microphone in. You can use normal headphones to listen, but you'll need a Y-cable adapter to use the microphone on traditional 2-plug analog PC headsets.
There is no integrated Ethernet jack on this notebook. If you need one, buy it separately.