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Novatech nFinity 2367 Plus review

Verdict

It’s the cheapest Ultrabook to date, and the iffy ergonomics and a very poor screen show exactly why

Review Date: 16 Apr 2012

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: £521 (£625 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
3 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
4 stars out of 6

Ivy Bridge is on the way, and that means we’re seeing Sandy Bridge Ultrabook prices fall ever lower. Novatech’s first Ultrabook, the 14in nFinity 2367 Plus, crams in the same low-voltage CPUs and solid-state storage found in dearer rivals, but for a reasonable £625. It’s clear the battle for the budget Ultrabook is only just beginning.

We weren’t sure what to expect from Novatech’s cut-price effort, but the nFinity 2367 Plus makes no attempt to hide its budget. It’s shod in a basic matte black chassis with little in the way of luxurious touches. The brushed aluminium lid adds a splash of class, but the rest of the chassis is covered in a slightly rough matte plastic, and it’s not exactly a lithe design. Other details hint at the Novatech’s humble beginnings: the ugly font on the keyboard, or the cheap-feeling rubber grommet stuffing the Ethernet port on the right-hand edge.

Novatech nFinity 2367 Plus

It’s not that the Novatech feels flimsy. At 1.61kg, it’s a little heavier than some, but the stiff base and solid lid feel reassuringly stout. It’s only once you look up close that you’ll notice a slight ripple and bounce in the keyboard’s base, while further prodding reveals a few millimetres of give in the plastic wrist rest.

Yet, beneath the plain, uninspiring exterior, there beats the heart of a true Ultrabook. It’s the first time we’ve seen one sporting an Intel low-voltage Core i3 processor, and it doesn’t disappoint. Although it lacks the Turbo Boost of its Core i5 cousins, and so runs at a maximum of just 1.4GHz, it still acquitted itself well, scoring 0.48 in our Real World Benchmarks. Our review unit came with a cramped 64GB Crucial M4 SSD, but retail models will thankfully come with 128GB – which is just as well given the 15GB recovery partition.

Where many budget models suffer from poor battery life, the Novatech can hold its head up high. Our light-use test saw the nFinity 2367 Plus browse the web for 7hrs 34mins. Upping the ante with our Cinebench test, which pushes the CPU flat out, it still lasted a very reasonable 2hrs 54mins.

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