AVATAR Mercury Ultrabook AVIU-145A2 ReviewWesstron -
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AVATAR Mercury Ultrabook AVIU-145A2 Introduction:
AVATAR is not a known player in the portable computer world. I personally never heard about the company before receiving the fairly large and suspiciously light box with the review unit inside it. Avatar Technology, Inc. is a California-based computer manufacturer with over 14 years of experience under its belt. It seems that the company was highly successful at dominating parts of the Latin America market, notably Mexico. Now turning towards the ever demanding North American market, AVATAR’s offering in terms of Ultrabooks is pretty limited with just three different SKUs available at the time of this review. Nonetheless, by partnering with some of the major players in the PC arena, the products are very well rounded and boast pretty impressive specifications.
Today I will be reviewing the AVATAR Mercury Ultrabook AVIU-145A2. This aluminium clad, thin, and pretty light weight portable computer falls under Intel’s Ultrabook banner. It’s not a surprise to find an Intel Core i5-3317U Processor paired with an Intel IC4I motherboard under the hood. The unit also packs 8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM, a 500GB 5400RPM WD Scorpio Blue HDD, a 32GB mSATA SSD made by Phison, and a 6000mAh Li-ion battery. Running the latest - and pretty controversial - creation from Microsoft, namely Windows 8 - the AVATAR Mercury Ultrabook AVIU-145A2 is a sleek unit with a vibrant 1366 x 768, 14” display.
Let’s see if the AVATAR Mercury Ultrabook AVIU-145A2 really has “Brains, Brawn, and Beauty all in one package”!
AVATAR Mercury Ultrabook AVIU-145A2 Closer Look:
The box protecting the AVATAR Mercury UltraBook AVIU-145A2 is sturdy in construction with a very clean layout. The top shows the company's name and the product's name on each side of the carrying handle. The front is mostly covered by a picture of the product and again the company's name and the product's name to the left side. The picture doesn't really give justice to the actual beauty of the aluminium body of the AVATAR Mercury UltraBook AVIU-145A2. The back shows the AVATAR logo with the website of the company towards the bottom. On the left side of the box is located a label listing the model and some of the specifications of the system. Nowhere to be seen on the box is the famous "MADE IN ?????". As per AVATAR's website, it says "We pride ourselves in our products being sold and manufactured in USA". So we will take its word for it I guess!
Inside the box, the AVATAR Mercury UltraBook AVIU-145A2 is protected by a clear plastic bag and a couple pieces of soft foam. A small cardboard box containing the accessories bundle is located on the side.
The AVATAR Mercury UltraBook AVIU-145A2 comes bundled with a user’s manual, a CD, a power cord, a power brick, and a proprietary adapter for VGA and Ethernet connectivity. The CD only shows the AVATAR logo and website without providing much detail about the content. When I popped it into my main system’s DVD drive, the contents appeared to be various drivers and a user’s manual in PDF format. The proprietary adapter expands the connectivity of the AVATAR Mercury UltraBook AVIU-145A2 and provides a 15-pin D-Sub port and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The power plug is 2mm thin but feels as sturdy as it can be; it links the ultrabook to a fairly small power brick that could be easily tucked in a side pocket of a laptop bag.
The accessories bundle is pretty lean and it seems counter intuitive to provide a CD with a system that has no DVD drive. A branded USB key could serve the users that have no access to a second system during setup and also be a subtle way to advertise for a company coming after such a competitive market.