- Durable Build
- Long Lasting Battery Life
- Weak Performance
- Limited Screen Viewing Angles
The durable design, touch-display and weak specs make the Touchsmart 11z ideal for someone with limited funds and computing needs.
Touch-enabled displays at an affordable price are a rarity, but HP is looking to provide users with just that with the 11.6-inch HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11z-e000. Starting at an affordable $400, the Touchsmart 11z provides a compelling offer with its attractive sturdy design and 10-point-touch enabled display.
However, as with most budget devices there is a concession to be made. Equipped with a dual-core 1GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD the HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11z finds itself lacking in the performance department.
Does its great build and comfortable touch-controls make up for the Touch 11z’s lackluster performance? Read the full review to find out.
Build and Design
The HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 features a silver plastic lid complete with a chrome HP logo positioned in the center. The glossy reflective finish is resistant to fingerprint smudges and provides an appealing sheen when it catches the light. A protective rubber strips outlines the outer-edges of the black glossy plastic display face. The deck is outfitted with a black brushed metal surface that feels cool to the touch, but unfortunately also proves far less resistant to smudges than the device’s outer protective shell. The bottom half of the chassis is outlined with a silver plastic strip running along the edges and thick a protective black plastic cover on the bottom of the notebook.
Measuring in at 11.4″ x 8.5″ x 0.9″ and weighing in at 3.4lbs. the HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 is easy enough to transport, though many chromebooks, convertible tablets and competing 11.6″ notebooks offer far greater portability.
Despite being comprised of mostly plastic the HP Touchsmart 11 is quite durable. The base of the chassis hardly gives when pressure is applied. The display case flexes slightly to pressure and rippling does appear on screen, but the sturdy hinge design helps ensure that the notebook will hold up during travel.
While the Touchsmart isn’t the sleekest device and it doesn’t boast the highest grade materials, the notebook is still easy enough to transport and offers a sturdy well-built design. For a budget device, consumers can’t ask for much more than that.
Ports and Features
The Touchsmart 11 manages to pack a considerable amount of connectivity onto its compact 11.6″ frame. The left side of the devices features a VGA connector, a USB 2.0 port and a 3-in-1 card reader. The right side is outfitted with a power jack, an Ethernet connector, an HDMI connector, two USB 3.0 ports, and a headphone jack.
|Right: VGA connector, USB 2.0, 3-in-1 card reader||Left: Power jack, Ethernet connector, HDMI connector, two USB 3.0, headphone jack|
Display and Sound
The HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11z is one of the cheapest notebooks on the market to feature a touch-enabled. The device features an 11.6″ LED backlit display with a standard 1366 x 768 resolution. The touch controls work great, as the device boast 10 point touch and every swipe and gesture reads quickly with absolutely no lag. Users who want to control the TouchSmart primarily through touch controls will be able to easily do so.
Measuring in at 160 nits, the display is much dimmer than competing notebooks. The display produces a clear image making both text and media easy to view and the color contrast is decent considering the devices low-entry price point.
The more serious issue for the display is its limited viewing angles. The HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11z’s screen is equipped with an anti-glare coating, but it doesn’t seem to help much. Titling the display backwards or forwards even slightly causes a noticeable glare to appear on screen along with reflections of background images. The display fairs slightly better on the horizontal axis though the screen becomes difficult to view past 90 degrees.
At the optimal viewing vantage the HP Pavilion Touchsmart provides an enjoyable viewing experience, but that experience is easily marred with limited viewing angles and the screen’s sensitivity to direct lighting.
The HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11 houses two speakers which are situated in a large grill located just above the device’s keyboard. Equipped with DTS Sound+ the speakers offer a range of audio options complete with digital equalizers and customizable profiles for different sound sources. With DTS Sound+ enabled the speakers offer exceptional audio quality for a budget device, as the TouchSmart was able to accurately depict an orchestral track at 100 percent capacity with no noticeable distortion. Turning off DTS Sound+ will result in a drop of quality as Notebook Review noticed that the audio sounded tinny with noticeable distortion at 100 percent capacity.
Keyboard and Touchpad
HP does an admirable job with its keyboard design given the device’s reduced real-estate. The Touchsmart features a Chiclet-style keyboard. As expected the surface area of the keys is reduced to allow them fit onto the device, but the reduction in surface area allows the keyboard to offer considerable spacing as well. Despite the reduced surface finding each desired key is easy and shouldn’t impede the user’s ability to type.
In terms of actual quality the keyboard leaves a bit more to be desired. The rounded keys are outfitted with a braised plastic. Key compression is somewhat limited and the tactile feedback feels hollow. While the keys don’t offer a responsive feel, they do snap back into place quickly ensuring that each key is ready to be struck when needed. The end result is an experience that doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable, but it gets the job done.
The touchpad is located below off to the right of the keyboard’s spacebar. The compact pad offers smooth surface allowing the user’s finger to travel easily with added sensitivity. Additionally, the touchpad is outfitted with two mouse-buttons located below the pad itself. Equipped with synaptic drivers the pad offers strong performance, as each swipe and gesture reads as intended with no noticeable lag.