TAIPEI, TAIWAN -- I admit, my expectations were low walking into Avita’s booth at Computex 2019. The company’s first pair of laptops, the Clarus and Liber, felt derivative, which all but confirmed my fears that Avita would be just another brand selling MacBook lookalikes at a low price.
However, after spending some hands-on time with the new Admiror, it feels like the Hong Kong-based company has turned a corner. Spelling error aside, the Admiror is a genuinely compelling laptop with a unique design that should appeal to students and creative professionals who want their tech stand out.
The Admiror will ship in August in Hong Kong before rolling out worldwide. An official U.S. release date and price have yet to be determined.
The Admiror has an ultrasleek chassis that merges premium materials with a colorful, fashionable design. The soft-touch deck is reminiscent of the XPS 15, while its rounded aluminum frame brings the Microsoft Surface Book 2 to mind.
Avita will sell the Admiror in a variety of colors: green, pink, blue, copper and brown. The dark blue variant was my favorite of the bunch, but they all look better than the boring silver and black we see so often.
While it looks like a speaker grille, the curved aluminum shield below the laptop’s display is actually decorative. Instead, dual speakers flank each side of the deck and are accompanied by another pair underneath.
Another eye-catching feature is the laptop’s gigantic touchpad. While I appreciate the size of it, the shiny black surface felt sticky, as if I were moving my fingers across a laminated plastic film each time I moved the cursor. I'm hoping the touchpad will grow on me because my first impression was that it could be a deal-breaker. The keyboard was less of a problem. In fact, the clicky keys felt and looked a lot like those on the XPS 15.
There are a lot of strange things going on with the Admiror, but perhaps the most surprising is just how light it is. At just 2.8 pounds, the 14-inch version weighs less than the Huawei MateBook X Pro (2.9 pounds) and only slightly heavier than the Lenovo X1 Carbon (2.5 pounds).
Regarding the display, the Admiror will come in both 14-inch and 15.6-inch versions. The 14-inch model I saw had a 1080p resolution but an Avita rep told me that a 4K panel will also be offered.
We weren’t particularly impressed with the performance of Avita’s other laptops. Fortunately, the Admiror can be configured with some decent specs, including an Intel Core i5-8265U or i7-8565 CPU up to 8GB of RAM and either a 256GB or 512GB SSD. Battery life is rated at 10 hours, but we’ll have to put it through our own tests to determine real-world endurance.
I didn’t think I’d be saying this, but I’m genuinely looking forward to reviewing the Avita Admiror when it lands in the U.S.