Time to write a few more quick impressions. BTW, "quick" is the perfect word because this little guy is an absolute speed demon!
There's so much power packed into it that its hard to believe. I recently bought a 17" Elitebook 8760w
to replace an aging workstation in the office and my new toy basically bests it in every regard, its insane. I don't plan to post a bunch of benchmarks or anything, I'll leave that to the professional reviewers but I will share the stuff that has me the most excited/appreciative.
1) Its fast! This is not the greatest measure of performance but besides doing everything you'd expect it to do very quickly is can actually run Minecraft with the unbelievable shaders mod
at 30+ FPS. The 5870 Toxic in my desktop can't do that at 1680x1050. I had Steam download a number of games last night and will report back later on how they play.
2) The texture of the whole thing is a nice change. Its rubberized and grippy, there will be no fingerprints to be found on it including the bezel (though it is not rubberized).
3) Its so small! Surprisingly smaller than the 12.1" laptop its replacing, more than just the .5" of the screen. I've messed with netbooks in the past and haven't been impressed. This thing is netbook size but could easily be a desktop replacement. I can't get over that. I'm using it with this case
and its a perfect fit. I can stash the MASSIVE power supply (will add picture later) in there as well as my trusty Logitech M570
(which matches the color of the laptop nearly perfectly BTW) in it with a pocket to spare.
4) The fan noise. During normal use is seems to value low noise over low temps, a couple reviews have mentioned this, its basically dead silent unless you're doing something fairly demanding. When the fan does come on its a really tolerable noise, a good "whooshing" sound without any "whiny" aspects. Make no mistake, you can hear it clearly but its completely unobjectionable.
5) I CAN use it on my lap without
a cooler/lap desk - I was nervous about this one but the location of the primary intake end up being off the side of my right leg and is unobstructed while I'm sitting in my favorite chair. This is a big deal.
The bottom of the system stays cool but the exhaust is HOT!
6) Its so easy to work with! I had mine come with the CPU already installed and IC Diamond pre-applied to it and the GPU so I didn't have to mess with it. However, I did install the RAM, SSD, and wifi myself. I didn't time myself but it took about two minutes. There are no screws to remove, just take out the battery and the whole bottom panel pops off. I don't think I'll need to be in there much from now on but its something I really like all the same.
1) The screen. Its ok I guess - but I can see the funky grid aspect to it that is sometimes distracting (especially on solid light colored backgrounds). I actually don't mind the resolution, I too think ~720p is ideal for a 11.6" screen but of course I would instantly spend up to go with an IPS panel or similar if one existed, maybe I can swap it later, who knows... That said for what it is it could be worse. The glossy is fine, I tend to prefer it actually but I obsessively control the lighting in my house and I won't use it outside often if ever.
2) I really wish the keyboard was backlit. This was the one big compromise I had to make when I chose this machine. Its hardly necessary but its a nice perk. Luckily the letters on the keys are a nice bright white and the chiclet style means they are flat and so they reflect the light from the screen pretty well in the dark unlike the concave keys on my old laptop
. I'll survive.
3) Battery life - anything is an improvement over my old machine and I haven't actually done my own testing yet - but reports are 3.5-4 hours tops and considerably less if you are gaming on the GT650M instead of the IGP. ...but who can really complain about that too much considering everything that is packed into this form factor?
Bonus information, when playing Minecraft with the aforementioned shader mods the GT650M was basically maxed out and the CPU was around 10% - this gave me temps on both chips around ~75°. I have seen reports of temps around 90° with both the GPU and CPU maxed.
Overall I'm just in love, what else can I say?