Review: LG Ultrabook Tab Book Z160

By Mike Wheeler

As mentioned in our previous review of LG’s Z360 Notebook PC, the company is hitting Australian shores with its first range of portable PCs, the latest being the Tab Book, which as the name suggests is a cross between a tablet and a notebook.

By Mike Wheeler

As mentioned in our previous review of LG’s Z360 Notebook PC, the company is hitting Australian shores with its first range of portable PCs, the latest being the Tab Book, which as the name suggests is a cross between a tablet and a notebook.

As far as form factors go, LG is hitting pretty close to the mark so far with this device being no exception. It is made of plastic and metal, with the back being white and the front part being mostly made up of a screen with a metallic bezel. Initially it looks like a big, thick tablet, until you realise there is a release button on the side that lets the screen sit up at a 45 degree angle that reveals a keyboard that sits underneath. The keyboard adds quite a bit to its weight and therefore is not as light as some other tablet-type devices.

It uses the Windows 8 operating system, which is five-point multi-touch enabled. If you like a keyboard, then, as mentioned, there is one available, but it has no mouse, which is not only mystifying but a tad annoying. And when we say no mouse, we’re not meaning one with a cord, but not even a touchpad version – you have to navigate using the arrow keys and ‘enter’ button. LG might argue that as it is a touch screen, the only reason for the keyboard is so that people who like a physical QWERTY instead of a virtual version, have that choice. Still, we think if you’re going to provide the former, there should be some sort of mouse. If it does become an issue, there is a USB port at the rear, so you can put in one if you like, or there are cordless options available.

Processing power is impressive with a 3rd generation Intel Core i5 CPU, while it has 120GB solid state drive for storage and 4GB of memory. Its 11.6-inch screen offers 1366 x 768 resolution (more of which we’ll talk about soon), it has reasonable connectivity (USB 3.0, HDMI and headphone ports, plus a microSD slot and a microUSB2 connection), a 1.3 megapixel camera (like its stable mate the Z360, which is disappointing), and weighs in at 1.25kg – getting on the hefty side in our opinion.

Where this device really shines is its screen. We loved it. Playing a movie and some clips from Youtube, it was fantastic. This alone almost puts us over the line, especially if you are investing in the Z160 as a portable device around the home and your kids like watching movies or playing games.

Overall, we think this device is not bad, although LG might be confused as to what it is. If it was a tablet it would be over-specified with the amount of storage and screen-size, while as an ultrabook, the opposite is true with both a poor camera and not as much connectivity as contemporaries. Then again, maybe calling it an Ultrabook Tab Book was a clever move by the manufacturer.

Pros: Fantastic screen; easy to navigate around; nice form factor
Cons: Needs a mouse; camera could be better

4 Shacks Out of 5

RRP
$1,499

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