On spec, this remarkably cheap machine seems like great value. A large 15.6in 1366 x 768 screen with a Pentium N3540 2.16GHz quad-core CPU, 500GB 5400 rpm HDD and 4GB of 1333MHz RAM is enough to power any student through the year. It’s about the same price as the cheapest Chromebook, and about $100 cheaper than the cheapest Windows 8.1 laptop of similar spec via the major retailers.
But to use it is a fairly dismal experience.
'The screen is the worst LCD we’ve ever seen, muddying fonts and bleeding at the edges of images. It’s blurry with lacklustre colours. The case feels shockingly cheap, rattling and sounding hollow and weak as you tap it. The track pad gives jerky imprecise movement. It’s completely vanilla, with no apps whatsoever, not even a trial version of Office, so you’ll need to factor in the cost of that suite, or use a free office suite of your choice. Better to hunt around for clearance sales of similarly equipped machines from brands that place greater importance on quality.