Ultranote 14" review | PCSPECIALIST

Ultranote 14" review

dpc25

Member
Hi all,
Bought a new laptop over the Christmas period, first time using PCS, and first time reviewing a computer so if I've missed something of interest to anyone then just let me know.

Specs
Chassis & Display
UltraNote Series: 14" Matte Full HD IPS 60 Hz 45% NTSC LED Widescreen (1920x1080)
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i7 Quad Core Processor i7-8550U (1.80GHz, 4.0GHz Turbo)
Memory (RAM)
8GB Corsair 2133MHz SODIMM DDR4 (1 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
INTEL® HD GRAPHICS (CPU Dependant) - 1.7GB Max DDR4 Video RAM - DirectX® 12
1st Storage Drive
500GB SEAGATE SERIAL ATA III 2.5" HARD DRIVE WITH 32MB CACHE (7,200rpm)
1st M.2 SSD Drive
128GB ADATA SU800 M.2 2280 (560 MB/R, 300 MB/W)
Memory Card Reader
Integrated 6 in 1 Card Reader (SD /Mini SD/ SDHC / SDXC / MMC / RSMMC)
AC Adaptor
1 x 40W AC Adaptor
Battery
UltraNote IV Series 44WH Lithium Ion Battery
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre Cloverleaf UK Power Cable
Sound Card
Realtek 2 Channel High Definition Audio + MIC/Headphone Jack
Bluetooth & Wireless
GIGABIT LAN & WIRELESS INTEL® AC-9260 M.2 (1.73Gbps, 802.11AC) +BT 5.0
USB/Thunderbolt Options
1 x USB 3.1 PORT (Type C) + 1 x USB 3.0 PORT + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT
Keyboard Language
14" ULTRANOTE III SERIES UK KEYBOARD
Operating System
NO OPERATING SYSTEM REQUIRED
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
NO RECOVERY MEDIA REQUIRED
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365 (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Firefox™
Notebook Mouse
INTEGRATED 2 BUTTON TOUCHPAD MOUSE
Webcam
INTEGRATED 1MP HD WEBCAM
Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 4 to 6 working days
Quantity
1

Timeline
Processed Date - 10-12-2018
Pre-Production Date - 11-12-2018
Build Date - 14-12-2018
Test Date - 14-12-2018
Awaiting Dispatch Date - 15-12-2018
Dispatch Date - 17-12-2018

Review
The first thing I noticed was how nice the design was. Sleek and simple profile, ports in sensible places. It's pretty lightweight, even with the 500 GB HDD. Lack of CD/DVD drive probably helps there.
Anyway, I booted it up and was surprised to be greeted by Cortana but apparently specifying 'NO OPERATING SYSTEM REQUIRED' means you just get a 30 day free trial of Windows or something. So I rebooted, pressed F2 (maybe?) to boot from USB and installed Debian 9.6. Installation was fine, just had to deal with the WiFi(+Bluetooth) firmware issue that usually comes with using Debian.
I'm mostly using this laptop for numerical simulation type work and so far it seems to be able to handle multi-threading, 3D plotting/visualisation without a struggle - audibly, thermally or otherwise. Obviously anything computationally intense should be run on a cluster so I'm not going to start complaining that this laptop can't do anything unreasonable. I also can't comment on how this might perform for gaming-type graphics as I'm not using it for that.
Built-in speakers are fine, no issue with those whatsoever. I gave listening to music over Bluetooth a test and it was pretty compressed but that's why there's a headphones port.
EDIT: I figured out on sound settings that there's a 'High Fidelity Playback (A2DP Sink)' option which makes the Bluetooth quality excellent, when I tried at first I had it on 'Headset Head Unit (HSP/HFP)', so apologies for that. Bluetooth complaint withdrawn!
Keyboard is nice to type on, touch-pad works great (might seem a minor thing but touch-pads where the actual buttons aren't separate are such a pain, so it's nice to have a proper one now). There seems to be a small issue with the space-bar where it seems quite sensitive towards the right-hand side - not sure if this is a common thing or just my particular one. I also miss a separate number pad on the keyboard but I get that that's hard to achieve on a 14" laptop.
Battery life seems excellent, and it can also be powered with the AC adaptor without the battery in for anyone who wants to take extra care with maximising the battery lifetime.
Just thought I'd note as well that the laptop came incredibly well-packaged, so thanks for that, and such a quick turn-around so close to Christmas was extremely satisfying.

So, to summarise, I've got a high-performing laptop with a quad-core i7 processor, SSD and 8 GB RAM for under £600. Pretty sure any similar spec laptop from HP, Dell etc. would cost ~ £1000. The ability to not buy Windows is excellent.
Really happy with my purchase and will definitely consider PCS again!

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Last edited:

Oussebon

Moderator
Moderator
Good to hear things went well!

And thanks for the photos, it's always helpful for people thinking of buying to see those :)
 
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