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I treated myself to a new toy on the weekend. It’s something I’ve been wanting for a long time. 2 years ago I decided 8 year old Macbook Pro Retina (yes that’s how old it is, it’s now just called a Macbook Pro) was no longer cutting it and so I got a new one. I was new to Australia, didn’t know how much money I’d be earning, and so wanted to keep it simple. Plus I was making the move from Apple back to Windows and didn’t know how I’d adjust, so didn’t want to spend too much money.

I got a Lenovo Thinkpad. Specs weren’t terrible, but the laptop was, in almost every way. Anyway I put up with it for 2 years until this weekend.

I’ve been doing a lot of blogging lately, video editing and just generally being more involved with social media etc. I wanted a nice machine to do this on. So I bought one (2 actually, one for me one for the wife).

Unboxing

It was a nice affair. The box was sturdy and everything felt well padded and protected. What really impressed me the most though was the minimal packaging. This is a really nice touch, so kudos Microsoft. So many times you order something (Amazon is the obvious example here) that’s just awfully packaged. You’ve all seen the pictures, you order a stick of gum and it comes in a box big enough to fit a car, stuffed full of packaging to protect the tiny thing inside.

The lack of extraneous packaging was very nice, definitely points for environmental friendliness.

Instructions

Not much to say here. There weren’t many, but they weren’t needed anyway. The setup process did it all for me, plus I know Windows well so no need for any instructions.

Appearance

This thing is gorgeous. Seriously. It looks pretty similar to a Macbook, you can’t deny that, but to me it looks nicer. It’s sleek, it’s crisp, and it’s clean.

My model was the Platinum with Alacantara. It looks really snazzy and very high end.

Screen

This thing is beautiful. Just look like the looks of the whole machine, it’s crisp and clean. Text is rendered very nicely and the aspect ratio really works. The viewing angles are great, although it could be less reflective.

Overall it’s a pleasure to work on.

Touchscreen

Works brilliantly. No issues. Doesn’t seem to leave huge fingerprints either so not sure if it’s coated with something?

Build Quality

This thing feels rock solid. The hinge is crafted perfectly and has the right amount of resistance and stiffness that you need. You don’t want it flopping around all over the place, and you don’t want it needing a crowbar to open either.

The metal is machined beautifully, and the alacantara looks great and there were no snags or overhanging areas on it.

Keyboard

It types very nicely indeed. I’ve had nicer keyboards, but it’s a pleasure to type on. There are videos online about the alacantara models having too much flex when typing. You can definitely see it, but it doesn’t feel like it’s flexing at all. I didn’t test a non-alacantara model for comparison though so hard to know the difference, but it’s not a problem.

I type quickly. Around 100 words per minute and accurately. The keyboard managed to keep up with me with no problems at all.

Surface Pen

This worked beautifully with it. Not much more to say other than it’s seamless. Bring the pen near the screen and it switches it on and just lets you draw. Microsoft Word will even change modes without you even knowing and open the drawing modules enabling easy doodling or signing of documents.

Quick charging

It works. Well. It does get toasty underneath when charging but that’s not really an issue. My understanding is it doesn’t quick charge when you are using it, but I’ve not tested yet.

Performance

I haven’t benchmarked yet or done any real testing, but browsing, typing, and doing those things we do on a day to day basis it was super fast. Very punching. Apps loaded and switched almost instantaneously.

Windows Hello

The face recognition works perfectly with me, but with my wife it wouldn’t work with her glasses on.

Conclusions

It’s a spectacular looking machine which is extremely usable and works very well out of the box. I’m very happy with my purchase.

I’ll write a more thorough review later on down the line with some benchmarks as well.

For reference I got the i5 128gb platinum + alacantara model.

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