Build and Design
Two things were going against the laptop when I was considering it. First, the screen (which I will address later) and second the build/design. I had read many people saying that the laptop was ugly/poorly designed and so forth. Well, I guess I’m easy to please in that aspect then. Sure it may not be your flaming red laptop that catches everyone’s eye, but on the other hand it’s far from ugly. And I prefer a quieter design than a busy one. It’s a lot darker than I imagined it would be and the curved corners also aren’t as curved as I thought. With most of the ports either on the left or at the back, it leaves the right side for the optical drive and plenty of room for a mouse. No wires and other things sticking out that side for the mouse to run into. The CD player thing at the front is pretty useless as a CD player. If I wanted to listen to music without turning the laptop fully on, I’ll just crack out my MP3 player thank you very much. However, its saving grace stems from the fact that it can be used to control the media player that you use in Windows so you don’t have to move your mouse cursor all the way to those controls. Generally I’m very happy with the design.
The build is also pretty good. It is made out of plastic and there is a slight bit of flex on the LCD lid. However, pushing on it doesn’t make the screen ripple so it seems like there’s a bit of room between the lid and the actual LCD panel. There is absolutely no flex on the hand rest area. There is some give at the bezel beneath the screen, but I only discovered that because I was meticulously pushing every part of the laptop to try and find any flex. The hinges are tight but not uncomfortably so. I can open the laptop up with one hand. Holding it with one hand on one side does not produce any creaking or groaning from the plastic. Overall, it’s very sturdily built. Now I’ve not used any carbon fibre laptops before but I don’t intend on dropping or sitting on my laptop so I think this is good enough.
One thing they could have improved on in the design of the laptop would be the excessive amount of space at the top and bottom of the LCD screen. Just by looking at it, there seems to be a good inch or so height-wise they could have cut easily from the bezel. That would have made the laptop a bit narrower and sleeker. The included microphone at the top of screen is pretty much useless as I have it max sensitivity and I have to literally shout at it for it to pick up at a decent sound level. The ALS is a cool thing in theory, but it would have been just as easy for me to press two buttons to brighten and darken the screen. Seems more like a gimmick than anything else.