UNBOXED: Reviewing the AVITA Liber Laptop
With the evolving nature of personal technology, the design of a product nowadays carries nearly as much weight as the internal specs when it comes to the consumer's decision-making process. The smartphone industry may provide the best example of that with companies like Apple and Samsung offering a range of colorways on some of their flagship devices. But, as consumer tech brand AVITA showed us earlier this year, the conversation around fashion and technology doesn’t have to be confined to the smartphone.
AVITA made a bold statement with its two new laptop lines that debuted at CES 2019: Liber and Clarus. Not long after the show, we had a chance to get hands on with the smaller, yet slightly more expensive Liber model, and the short of it is that, yes, the colors certainly make a statement, but so too does the actual laptop.
We’ll start with the color options, though, because that’s where the Liber truly makes its statement. In total, AVITA offers nine different color options between its two laptop lines—six for the Liber, and three (more traditional colors) for the Clarus. At CES, the company had a few additional colors on display that aren’t yet ready for mass production, including an eye-popping yellow, a strikingly deep purple, and a cool orange. What consumers will find up for grabs are some traditional colors like silver, black, and gold, and then some more adventurous options like Angel Blue, Blossom Pink, Fragrant Lilac, Himalayan Blue, and Peacock Green.
Simply put, they all stand out. At a time when nearly every tech brand defaults their color options to that which Apple offers (Space Gray, Aluminum, Gold, and Rose Gold), AVITA pushes convention aside and actually asked consumers for their input in determining the final color lineup. And the results speak for themselves. Color may not seem important enough for a company to hang its hat on, but credit AVITA for making that stand. They’re doing something different here and, at least from my perspective, it works like a charm.
But, again, this isn’t a product that relies on cool colors to sell itself. AVITA made sure that it provided users with a quality computing experience as well. Internally, the Liber ships with an Intel Core i5 CPU, 128 gigs of storage, 8 gigs of RAM, and a 12.5-inch Full HD display. Another nice touch on the device is the 6.5-inch (diagonal) trackpad that takes up roughly 75 percent of the area underneath the keyboard that’s surrounded by a diamond cut beveling. Additionally, you’ll find backlit keys with a special AVITA typeface, multiple USB-C ports, and a fingerprint scanner, all wrapped in a casing that stands just 0.59-inches tall and weighs 2.5 lbs. AVITA adds in 10 hours of battery life that helps this laptop get through grueling workdays on the road.
Where the product struggles is audio performance. The speakers are rather lackluster on their own, which left me reaching for a pair of headphones nearly every time I wanted to watch a video or listen to music. Others might knock it for being on the less-powerful side from a processing standpoint, but the type of consumer that the Liber is targeted towards likely isn’t looking for a powerful gaming-ready on-the-go computing solution.
AVITA knows its position in the market with its laptops, and the Liber very much stays in that lane. It’s a no-frills, highly-portable computer that adds that bit of personalization in the range of colors. And in its attempt to differentiate without necessarily blowing people’s minds from a technology standpoint, AVITA passes that test with flying colors—literally.