*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.
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.
Firstly, let’s unbox the packaging.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.