As one of the cheapest 11.6-inch touchscreen mini-laptops, the HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11z offers a compact design meshed with above-average performance among the best mini laptops. It still isn’t a full-sized laptop, but you can upgrade to 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The touchscreen is extremely responsive, so it adds an extra way to navigate around the desktop to the touchpad and mouse. We wish you could upgrade the CPU to something more powerful, but overall, this netbook is efficient ??? especially if you appreciate mobility. It earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
The base model that we looked at features a dual-core AMD A4-1250 processor, which is on par with an Intel Core i3. This only supports CPU speeds up to 1.0GHz, so we would recommend spending the extra money to get the 1.4GHz quad-core 1450 processor. It may not seem like much of an improvement, but it comes with an upgraded integrated graphics card as well. The AMD HD 8250 is on par with the Intel HD 4000 graphics card, which works with DirectX 11 and features better shading and textures for 3D images. This still isn’t good enough for intensive gaming, but you will appreciate the upgrade.
The system comes with 4GB of memory, and this is upgradeable to 8GB, which is more than enough for what this laptop is meant to do. You have the option to choose between a 320GB and 500GB hard drive.
The one thing that stands out with this netbook is its touchscreen. It reacts quickly to the touch and rarely lags, depending the program or app you are using. We like using a small laptop with a responsive touchscreen like this model has, especially with the Windows 8 OS that plays so well with touchscreens. One drawback to the screen is the resolution. It has a standard 1366 x 768 resolution, so it isn’t full HD, just high resolution.
The design of the keyboard leaves something to be desired. While the buttons and keyboard are firm and easy to type on, it would be nice to see the keyboard use the extra space on the sides. The extra two inches would help free up some space on an otherwise small design.
No matter which hard drive you purchase, this computer comes with 25GB of free lifetime cloud storage from Box. There is no optical drive, but you can opt for an external CD drive. The system supports all Bluetooth devices and has three USB ports. The digital media card reader is ideal for cell phone and camera memory cards. A 1.2-megapixel camera above the screen is great for video calls. Just make sure you have enough light or the image will be grainy.
HP won’t make you feel special when you call for support, but the representatives are efficient and can help you with any issues that may arise. Support forums are vast, and you will find topics such as printer help, Windows 8 support and help with networking. You can also chat live with representatives, but with all the reference materials on the site, we don’t know whether you’ll ever need to contact customer support directly.
Overall, you will appreciate the way the HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11z works as a portable computer. The seven-hour battery life means you won’t have to worry about charging it too often. The AMD CPU and GPU help the computer handle multitasking like a pro. We would like to see an option for a faster processor and a larger keyboard with future models, but we recommend these netbook computers for everyday needs.
Warranty & Support