HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 Notebook User Review

*This device is a loan review unit from AMD Malaysia*

From back in the day when netbooks were a craze, I’ve always been a fan of the 11″ laptop screen size. This screen size is still a good choice for those who enjoys the portability for a notebook to carry around from work to play.

Most laptops today runs on Windows 8 Operating System. Windows 8, however, is an OS that Microsoft created to work best with a touchscreen for finger swipes and gesture navigation. If you’re in the market for a Windows 8 laptop with a touchscreen, but want only a mid range and/or budget friendly machine, you’re limited with choices.

Just got my review unit of HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11 Notebook PC. #gadget #review

A photo posted by Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) on

Good news – this HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 Notebook fills this need. You get a budget laptop with a touchscreen, in a portable 11.6″ screen, without breaking the bank at RM 1,299 – what you would pay for a mid range smartphone today.

 

Hardware Overview

Firstly, let’s unbox the packaging.

HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 - Unboxing
Unboxing the HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 Notebook

Inside the big brown cardbox box, you’ll see the HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 notebook, the 3-cell Li-Ion polymer battery, 2-piece AC power adapter, Quick Start guide and user manuals.

The HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 Notebook is a budget to mid range device, running on Windows 8 OS and powered by the mid range AMD processor. The official product name / series of my review unit here is HP Pavilion TS 11-e009AU.

HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11
HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 Notebook

Here’s a quick specifications overview of the HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 :-

  • 11.6″ diagonal HD LED-backlit Touchscreen (1366 x 768) (capacitive with 10 point finger gesture)
  • AMD A4-1250 dual core APU with Radeon HD Graphics
  • 500 GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) + 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Powered by Windows 8 OS (64 bit)
  • 2.0 megapixel HP TrueVision HD Webcam
  • 22 mm thin, weighing 1.53 kg
  • 65 W AC power adapter, 3-cell Li-Ion polymer (removable) battery
  • Ports : 2X USB 3.0, 1X USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet LAN (RJ-45), multi format card reader, headphone jack
  • Connectivity : WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth, Ethernet LAN

Full hardware specifications can be found on HP Malaysia’s website for HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 HERE.

HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 - Top & Bottom
The top and bottom of the HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11

Although the laptop is made of a plastiky material, HP did try its best to give the device a premium look and feel. The top lid of the HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 actually has a matte-ish metal, silver coloured finish and the bottom also incorporates the same matte, black coloured finish.

The 3-cell battery pack actually incorporates the “Hewlett-Packard” branding, which is minimalist as per most recent HP laptops.

HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 - Hardware & Ports
Looking around the hardware and ports of the laptop

At 22 mm thin, the laptop is not exactly your thin-and-light ultrabook. It’s not overly bulky for a budget / mid range device, actually. This machine packs all the ports that you can need – 3 USB ports (2 of which are SuperSpeed USB 3.0), full HDMI and VGA port (for monitors and projectors), full Ethernet LAN RJ-45 port (for wired internet LAN cables), multi format SD/MMC card reader and a headphone speaker/mic jack.

There’s no optical drive (aka DVD ROM drive) which I feel is fine. I personally can’t remember the last time I used a DVD, with everything transfered using a thumb drive, emailed or using cloud storage.

The fan / vent is situated on the left side between the VGA port and the USB 2.0 port. No additional vent under the machine. Throughout my use, I didn’t experience any major heat or noisy fan issues.

HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 - Keyboard
Chicklet keyboard is not quite full size, and trackpad is small-ish as well

The keyboard on this 11.6″ screen device is not quite a full size keyboard. Although the chicklet style keyboard has a nice spring to it and gives a very good typing experience. Minor adjustment to the keyboard size but after a short while, no major mistakes in speed typing.

Unfortunately though, the keyboard is not backlit. So, no typing in the dark, or low lighting rooms then.

HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 - Keyboard

As you can see the keyboard area has a nice brushed metal, dark coloured finish with a subtle “Pavilion” branding on the bottom left of the keyboard layout. The top rows are actually shortcut toggles for brightness, volume, projector (multi screen), multimedia play buttons, WiFi toggle and more. Without dedicated Function keys, these shortcut keys doubles as Function keys.

The trackpad also comes with dedicated left and right click buttons, on a matte finish. The trackpad supports two finger gestures and swipes as well. But in my tests, don’t quite work 100% of the time.

HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 - Power and Speaker
Power On/Off button & Speaker Grill

At the top of the keyboard is the Power On/Off button on the top left and all along the top of the keyboard is the speaker grill. Audio and Sound system is powered by dts Sound+ which would boos the audio performance of this for gaming, movies and music listening.

In my tests, the audio is rather loud for these tiny looking speakers. I blasted the volume up to 100 and the sound quality started to crack a little. Nevertheless, this is not too bad for this budget / mid range machine.

 

Software Overview

HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 - Touchscreen

The HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 is powered by a 64 bit version of Windows 8 OS. As the OS is highly optimised for touchscren use, it’s a treat to see this budget / mid range device also coming with a 10 point-finger gesture supported screen.

Being able to use the finger swipes and gestures on this laptop is great. While the OS allows you to still navigate with your mouse cursor (either using the trackpad or connected mouse), it’s much easier and natural for you to reach out with your finger to swipe on the screen, in my opinion. Well, that’s what the OS was designed for anyways.

See Also : 6 Things You Need To Know About Windows 8

Windows 8 - Modern UI & Desktop mode
Windows 8 – Modern UI & Desktop mode

As with Windows 8 OS, you get the tile based, touch friendly, “Modern” app as well as the usual “Desktop” mode that you’re familiar with. The Windows 8 Store comes with a healthy selection of Modern apps for touchscreen use. HP also included some drawing apps and games to get you started.

HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 - Config
AMD processor usually for affordable device, but is underpowered in this configuration

As I’m writing this review on this laptop, there’s a few things to note about the performance of the laptop – it’s slow. Understandably, the AMD processor is a mid range processor, making the device affordable. There’s also the usage of a touchscreen, that might have taken quite a lot of processing power.

Generally, with the installed apps, it mostly takes me a few seconds for anything to register – opening an app, clicking to open an app or action. Don’t even think of doing anything multimedia heavy on this machine, like photo or video editing.

HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 - CyberLink apps
Pre-installed CyblerLink YouCam, CyberLink PhotoDirector and CyberLink PowerDirector

Although, ironically, HP pre-installed several Cyberlink softwares for you to do just that – CyberLink YouCam (for webcam photo / video capture), CyberLink PhotoDirector (photo editing) and CyberLink PowerDirector (video editing).

These are all very good and powerful, usually paid stand alone softwares. I personally use CyberLink PowerDirector for my video editing needs. Unfortunately though, this laptop may be a little under powered to get the fastest and best user experience for these multimedia heavy activities. Opening any of these apps can sometime take up to 1 minute or more, clicking on a tab / action usually gives you a 5 second delay in response. It was so painful, I had to give up trying.

HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 - Painting & Games
Included apps like Fresh Paint and Microsoft Solitaire Collection

As with any laptops, this one also comes pre-installed with several HP apps, features and add-on softwares. What we call “bloatware”. There are interesting finger friendly “Fresh Paint” for drawing and colouring, “Microsoft Solitaire Collection” which links to your Xbox ID for gaming and more.

There’s also other apps like Skype, HP Games, Microsoft Office, Norton Internet Security and more.

Fotor for Windows 8
Fotor for Windows 8 (Modern app)

I even downloaded Fotor for Windows 8, a touch friendly Modern app to create the screenshots for this review.

As mentioned, the performance for this laptop is a little slow and disappointing. I wish the processor is a lot more powerful for multimedia use. It takes a little too long for my liking for apps to open, clicks to register.

 

Battery Life

HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 - battery
3-cell Li-Ion polymer removable battery

In my tests, the HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 Notebook only lasted 3 hours of continuous use. I was mostly installing some apps, setting up my profiles, browsing the web and writing this blog post.

For a budget / mid range device, I wish the battery lasted a little more. At least 4 hours???

 

Pricing & Availability

The HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 Notebook is available on sale now at the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of RM 1,299 with a standard 1 year warranty.

See Also : Toshiba Satellite L40 Laptop User Review

In my search in HP Malaysia’s Online Store here, I couldn’t locate this particular model of HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11-e009AU but I managed to only find the (slightly) higher end Pavilion Touchsmart 11-e019AU which was retailing for RM 1,499 here.

 

Conclusion

Writing the review of this HP Pavillion Touchsmart 11 on the laptop itself. #gadget #review #laptop #windows8

A photo posted by Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) on

For the price of RM 1,299 this HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 Notebook is indeed a good buy. Simply the fact that it comes with a 10 point finger multi touch support is a big plus point alone.

A great budget laptop on Windows 8 OS with multi-touch friendly touchscreen.

The downside is the performance of this machine. If you’re doing simple writing and not have too many apps open simultaneously, it works quite alright. If you’re a heavy user like me with multiple browser tabs open, several apps running simultaneously, multi-task like crazy, then this might not be the machine for you.

I would recommend this as a good value-for-money laptop for students. Those who just need it for homework (with basic Microsoft Office use), web browsing and occasional movies and music.

  • Farah Bod

    Hi, Thanks for the nice review, i wounder does this mini HP notebook allow u to upgrade the 4GB ram to 8GB? i just bought asus s200e but its 4gb ram is soldered on the motherboard. The machine lags when more than 3-4 tasks perform simultaneously although its coming with i3 processor. I am sure if i could upgrade it to 8GB i wouldn’t face this problem.

    • Hey Farah – unfortunately, I’m not sure about this as well. I suggest you check with with HP on this. Sorry.

  • Winniekepala’s #1FAN

    Thanks for all the work you put into this winniekepala, this really helped me alot but since i am a heavy user like you, i ended up buying the
    HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11-e019au instead.

    • Great news!!! Hope the laptop works swimmingly for you. I was just recommending this to another friend a few days back!
      PS. WinnieKepala’s #1FAN??? Awww… Thanks.

  • HP user

    I have this laptop and I absolutely love it. i actually went to buy a tablet but ended up buying this as I liked it so much. Ofcourse i dont have heavy processor needs like video editing so its ideal for my needs. i was even surprised at the quality of games graphics which was decent enough for a device in this range.
    I think the author could have left a better review but maybe she isnt experienced enough to know as every other reputable website actually has more balanced reviews on this.
    ofcourse dont expect a latest macbook ……

    • I don’t think my review was negative. I think this is a decent laptop for the price range. Budget laptop with touchscreen? That’s awesome.
      I personally just need a bit more processing power for photo and video editing.