HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11 review

Cheap and cheerful, but the performance of this entry-level laptop is underwhelming

HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11
The HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11 reminds us of the netbooks of yesteryear

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We're in a bit of a quandary with this review. While the HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11 has plenty of nice features going for it, such as the great touch capabilities and strong battery life, not to mention the amazing price tag, which make it perfect for portable computing for those with slightly lighter wallets, it has some really rather significant shortcomings. The biggest of these is the poor processor which makes the TouchSmart almost unusable with more than a couple of applications running at once.

We liked

There's lots to like about the TouchSmart. Obviously, the price is a real winner, and it allows anybody easy access to the full Windows 8 experience, without being hampered by the limitations of Windows RT. To get excellent touch capabilities thrown into the deal, too, is amazing; it's practically unheard of at this price point.

Ignoring the processor performance, the rest of the TouchSmart is really top notch. Lots of useful ports, a hard drive with plenty of capacity, great battery life and a small size which makes it very easy to throw in a bag (although you will notice it there). You really do get a lot of value for money.

HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11 review

We disliked

The TouchSmart's biggest faux pas is the tiny amount of performance available. The quad-core processor just isn't powerful enough to handle more than a few tasks at a time, which, in this day and age, is really surprising. The screen quality isn't the best either, although we can forgive this because it's obviously one area where cost cutting had to take place.

Final verdict

The HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11 would make a good buy for students on a tight budget, but not so good for business users needing more power. If we were making the decisions at HP, we would have left the touch capabilities out and spent the money on either a faster processor, or a better quality screen.

As a result of the poor performance, we find it hard to recommend the TouchSmart. We'd suggest saving your cash, waiting a little longer and choosing something like the Asus Vivobook S200. It's a similar size, but offers much better performance, for just a little more money.