Thanks to the Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 256GB solid-state drive inside my unit (cheaper units have lower-grade processors and less hard drive space), the laptop proved very speedy. It boot up in just under 20 seconds and resumed from sleep in three seconds. Even better, the laptop isn't slowed down by preloaded software.
It runs a Signature version of Windows 7, so there's no "crapware," including ads or promotional apps, polluting the desktop. I had no problems doing my everyday tasks on the machine, which consists of streaming music while simultaneously writing in Microsoft Office, surfing the web with more than 15 tabs open in Google Chrome, and checking my Twitter feed in MetroTwit. It also streams HD video smoothly.
But I found out early on that I wasn't going to be able to do all that away from a socket for long. The battery in the laptop lasted for four and a half hours during regular use. On a video rundown test, which loops a high-definition video with brightness set at 65 percent, the laptop lasted three hours and 50 minutes. That's shorter than the MacBook Air's six and a half hours and the Samsung Series 9's five hours and 30 minutes.
So, can a company that has been so successful at creating and selling affordable televisions really hack it as a computer maker? It certainly shows promise.
Vizio's first laptop entry gets a lot right -- a nice design, clean software, good performance. However, the vitals -- a good keyboard and touchpad -- hold it back from standout status. Those looking for a larger screen, Windows 7 ultrabook should go for the Samsung Series 9. The MacBook Air is also a great choice for those in need of a thin and light laptop that can do it all.