Top positive review
44 people found this helpful
A well balanced laptop
on 27 October 2009
I bought this laptop after reading the glowing reviews of its predecessor (the Q320-AS02UK) in PC PRO and What Laptop*. I had decided to wait a few weeks to see whether a Windows7 version would appear. My wait has been well rewarded - this laptop is only a few pounds more than the best web price for an AS02UK, and for that you get a faster processor (2.0GHz -> 2.1GHz), more RAM (3GB -> 4GB), more disk space (320GB - 500GB) and Windows 7 Home Premium.
The machine is a good balance between the portability of Netbooks (and the fantastic Sony ultraportables), and the power and size of more conventional 15" and 17" laptops. To me the primary consideration in choosing a laptop is the user-experience: that is, the sum of the quality of the screen, the keyboard, looks, portability and performance.
Taking these in turn:
The screen is bright and clear: OK, I have seen better, but only on (much) pricier machines
The keyboard is as good as any I have used: keys have a good shape and travel, and are just where I expect them to be
The look is neat and well balanced: usefully, silk-screened graphics on the top make USB ports etc easy to locate
The portability is reasonable: good battery life frees you from the tyranny of the mains lead, although 2.2kg is a fair bit more heft than the 1kg of a netbook/ultraportable
The performance is just what I want: apps start up quickly and run smoothly, and getting things like Skype working is a doddle (it isn't always as some machines have temperamental cameras, microphones or speakers).
The one downside I have experienced so far is the sound quality. The speakers are nothing to write home about, and even into headphones the sound is still poor. Oh and it would be nice to have a physical volume control. Mind you, for my money only Toshiba have ever given laptop sound the attention it deserves.
Considering the price I think this fully deserves its 5 stars. I would expect to have to pay considerably more to get a laptop that I would enjoy owning more than this. Buy one today (but of course if you are reading this in 6 months time there may well be something better :-)
* I know it's the computer world's sorry answer to the equally dismal What HiFi, but at least PC PRO's reviews are credible