Coming from behind and with some tough competitors ahead can be a daunting challenge, especially if you are brand like LG and you are looking to compete in the volatile PC market where discounting is rampant and sales are falling due to a new generation of tablets and smartphones.
When LG told me that they were set to get back into the PC market earlier this year I was sceptical, that was until I saw their new LG Z360 Ultrabook running Windows 8 all of a sudden you realise that the PC game today is as much about fashion and looks as it is performance and functionality.
The new LG Ultrabook is a serious contender to take on Apple, it is white, slim and very light thin, it weighs in at 1.1.5kg, and while it does not have a touch screen it does have a series of hot keys on the left side of the keyboard that make accessing key Windows 8 functions a breeze.
After using this device I found that I prefer the keys over having to keep prodding the corner of a screen to get access to a search function. Remember Windows 8 does not have a start button and tapping with a mouse or your finger on the side of a screen can be infuriating at the best of times.
Click to enlarge
Women that I have shown this device to “absolutely” love it though I am sceptical as to how clean this matt white device can stay before you have to get the Ajax out to give it a good clean.
Straight up, this device is a serious contender to take on offerings from the likes of Acer, Asus, Dell and HP who for years have been making boring devices that are more bookends than devices that people want to flaunt.
It took Apple to shake up the market by delivering PC’s that people wanted to expose to their friends and work colleagues.
If the white on the outside is not to your liking the bright full HD IPS 13.3 inch display screen that has a resolution of 1920×1080 should impress you with its wide viewing angle and its razor sharp display and excellent colour saturation.
Text is sharp and designs in packages like InDesign scream off the page. Watching a video or news or music clip shows the superiority that LG is able to deliver when it comes to display screens.
For LG display is a core part of their business offering, their TV’s and monitors are among the most popular in the world, even Apple use LG display technology in their devices.
Under the bonnet a third generation Intel i5 processor delivers a solid performance, the 1.8GHz processor is supported by 4GB of Ram and a 128GB SSD flash drive. There is also some neat LG software that allows users to reboot their PC, do a recovery, and control power use along with Windows security management. The software is highly functional and easy to access.
Click to enlarge
On the outside is a HDMI slot and two USB ports along with a dual microSD card slot. I would have liked to see a full SD slot similar to what is in the Toshiba Kira Ultrabook offering. The keyboard is highly functional with the keys perfectly spaced for hard users like myself.
Retailing for $1,499 this device is $600 cheaper than the i7 Toshiba Kira and 399 more expensive than the HP ENVY Pro i5 Ultrabook i5 which is retailing for $1,100.
Design wise this device is up there with the MacBook Air and the Samsung Series 9. It is unique, looks great and feels great in the hand. Under the bonnet it performs well. I got 11 hours of battery life out of the device which is ample. When we ran a video test using a movie we only got 8 hours of battery life.
Watching a movie or listening to the news on the LG display is as good as you get with most TV’s, the only bug is that dam touchpad which I am determined to master.
Pros: The LG Ultrabook is as good as any other i5 offering. The real standout is the design, the fact that it is white and stylish adds to the value proposition especially as an Ultrabook is designed to be light, portable and highly functional. The big decision will be whether you buy the new LG H160 TabBook (This is a separate story) which is equally as stylish or you go with the LG Ultrabook.