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Avita Liber Review

Our Verdict

The Avita Liber's aluminum chassis and punchy keyboard isn't enough to redeem its poor performance, short battery life and limited ports.

For

  • Aluminum chassis
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Above-average SSD

Against

  • Not enough ports
  • Dull display
  • Quiet audio
  • Below-average performance and graphics
  • Poor battery life

The Avita Liber's looks can be deceiving. For $699, this sleek laptop features a relatively sluggish 7th Gen Y-series processor, a dull 12.5-inch display, quiet speakers and short battery life. Besides that, there aren't nearly enough ports on this machine. The Avita Liber does feature some redeeming qualities, like its colorful aluminum chassis, punchy keyboard and faster-than-average SSD, but overall, there's just one too many issues keeping us from recommending it.

Avita Liber Price and Configuration Options

The Avita Liber has only one configuration ($699) that comes with an Intel Core i5-7Y54 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and an Intel UHD 615 GPU.

However, you can customize the color. The one I tested was Blossom Pink, but it also comes in Angel Blue, Fragrant Lilac, Himalayan Blue, Peacock Green and Silver.

Design

The Avita Liber's sleek aluminum chassis comes in six different flavors -- ours is lathered in Blossom Pink, which strongly urges me to go buy a pack of Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum. The Avita logo is engraved in the center of the hood with a silver trim tracing the letters, giving it a futuristic vibe.

Its black keyboard may work well with other colors, like Silver, but it's just an eye-sore when paired with the Blossom Pink deck. It would have been a refreshing design choice if the keys were white instead. Plus, the backlighting was so dim I didn't even notice that it was on. Just below the keyboard, there's a fingerprint reader.

At 2.5 pounds and 11.8 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches, the Avita Liber has a light and slim body, but its larger 13-inch competitor, the HP Envy 13t, measures just 0.5 inches thin. Meanwhile, the Avita Clarus 14 and the Huawei MateBook D 14 inch (AMD) match the Liber at 0.6 inches thin.

Ports

This machine has room for only three ports: A USB Type-C port, a headphone jack and the power jack.

That's disappointing even for a laptop this thin. What annoys me the most is that the Type-C port can actually charge the laptop, so there's no reason why the company couldn't have ditched the power jack and added another Type-C port designated for charging so you'd have an extra port for accessories.

Display

The Avita Liber's 12.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 glossy panel is on the dull side, and while it's relatively bright, the glare can be insufferable while watching movies.

During the establishing shot of a city landscape in the trailer for Hobbs and Shaw, I couldn't focus on anything besides my own face reflecting in the glare of the panel. Despite that, the brightness still looked uniform in the scene where Hobbs walked into a poorly lit karaoke bar. And the stubble on Hobbs' face even looked sharp and distinguished. But when Shaw walked into a club, the red panels and lights that surrounded him looked drained and didn't pop.

The Liber covered 72 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which wasn't enough to match the category average (83 percent). The Avita Clarus (69 percent) and the MateBook (73 percent) didn't do much better, but the Envy 13t covered a solid 106 percent.

MORE: The Laptops with the Brightest Displays: Guide

At 274 nits of brightness, the Avita Liber surpassed the 245-nit category average as well as the Avita Clarus (215 nits), the MateBook (230 nits) and the Envy 13t (248 nits).

Keyboard and Touchpad

Each key on the Avita Liber's keyboard offered tactile feedback as I typed, which is impressive for a laptop this thin.

While the key travel was on the shallow side, at 1.3 millimeters, the keys required a solid 70 grams of force to actuate. We typically prefer key travel range from 1.5 to 2.0 mm and a minimum of 60 g of required force. I managed 63 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which is just slightly below my 66-wpm average.

The wide, 5.7 x 2.5-inch touchpad reminds me of the MSI GS75 Stealth, except the Avita Liber's is not as soft and the front lip dips too deep, which caused my thumb to rest uncomfortably on its edge. However, it handled Windows 10 gestures like two-finger scrolling and three-finger tabbing just fine.

Audio

The Avita Liber's bottom-firing speakers couldn't muster enough power to fill a small office space as I played The Strokes' "Reptilia." The guitar riffs were dull and didn't have a sharp impact, while the vocals sounded as though they were underwater. Not to mention that drum beats were drowned out by the other tracks.

The Realtek Audio Console did not help whatsoever, as each of the presets, like Rock or Powerful, simply made different aspects of the song even worse in an effort to fix one thing. However, the most bearable setting was Party because it offered some more balance to the drums and guitar, but it did not help how quiet the speakers were.

Performance

The Avita Liber's older 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7Y54 processor with 8GB of RAM showed some slight slowdown after I opened 20 Google Chrome tabs and a 1080p YouTube video. Unsurprisingly, the benchmarks support its sign of aging.

On the Geekbench 4.1 overall performance test, the Avita Liber scored a low 6,186, which is practically a third less than the 9,614 mainstream laptop average. The Avita Clarus' Core i5-7Y54 (6,337) and the MateBook's Ryzen 5 2500U (8,845) also fell below the average.

The Avita Liber took a slow 3 minutes and 37 seconds to match 65,000 names and addresses on our Excel test, far from the 2:04 category average. The Avita Clarus was just as sluggish, at 3:08, while the MateBook and the Envy 13t (Core i7-8550U) took a speedy 1:48 and 1:33, respectively.

On the HandBrake benchmark, the Avita Liber took 51 minutes and 9 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p, which is nearly double the 27:09 category average. The Clarus was just as slow, at 46:31, while the MateBook (21:30) and the Envy 13t (22:44) performed at a more reasonable rate.

MORE: Laptops with the Best Productivity Performance

The Avita Liber's 128GB SSD copied 4.97GB of data in 19 seconds, translating to 268 megabytes per second. That knocks out the 129MBps category average as well as the Avita Clarus (58 MBps), the MateBook (110 MBps) and the Envy 13t (212 MBps).

Graphics

With its Intel UHD 615 GPU, the Avita Liber scored 38,167 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics benchmark, falling way below the 69,486 mainstream laptop average. The Avita Clarus had the same GPU and hit 52,877, whereas the MateBook's Radeon Vega 8 GPU got 63,302 -- both of which are still under the average. The Envy 13t, however, nailed 77,685 with its Intel UHD 620 GPU.

On the Dirt 3 racing game benchmark, the Avita Liber averaged 22 frames per second, which is below our 30-fps playability threshold as well as the 45-fps category average. The Avita Clarus (34 fps), MateBook (65 fps) and Envy 13t (48 fps) were all able to sustain playable frame rates.

Battery Life

For a laptop with a processor that doesn't draw a whole lot of power, the Avita Liber's battery life is disappointing, to say the least. After continuously surfing the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the Liber lasted only 5 hours and 39 minutes, which is well below the 7:33 mainstream laptop average. Its 14-inch sibling lasted a similarly short time, at 6:42, while the MateBook netted a much more solid 9:16.

Webcam

While looking at myself in the test shots I took with the Avita Liber's 720p webcam, I thought I'd been thrown into a horror film. Between the blurry pixels and low contrast, I could barely identify the red on my sweater, as it all blended into black, and my face was so pale that I looked like I was turning into a zombie.

Additionally, the webcam still found a way to blow out the ceiling lights above. I highly recommend purchasing an external webcam if you decide to go with the Avita Liber.

Heat

The Avita Liber can get a little warm under the hood. After it streamed a 15-minute HD video, the underside measured 92 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just below our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard and touchpad hit 87 and 84 degrees, respectively, but it did reach a very hot 105 degrees on its lower-right underside.

Software and Warranty

Avita includes no proprietary software, but you will get some Windows 10 bloatware like Candy Crush Saga, Township and Royal Revolt 2: Tower Defense.

The Avita Liber comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Bottom Line

The Avita Liber offers a solid keyboard and a decent SSD packed into an affordable aluminum chassis, but we simply can't ignore the flaws. With its outdated processor, dull display, quiet speakers, poor battery life and inherent lack of ports, we recommend getting a better laptop in this price range.

You can actually save some money and get the MateBook D for $621, which features stronger performance, a bigger display, an aluminum chassis, longer battery life and a comfortable keyboard.

Overall, there are too many trade-offs in purchasing the Avita Liber, and you can do a lot better for a cheaper price.

Credit: Laptop Mag

Tech Specs

CPUIntel Core i5-7Y54 processor
RAM8GB
Size11.77 x 7.85 x 0.59 inches
Weight2.47 pounds
Display Size12.5
Native Resolution1900x1080
Hard Drive Size128GB SSD
Hard Drive TypeSSD
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Ports (excluding USB)USB Type-C, Headphone/Mic, DC-in
Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/n/ac
Warranty/SupportOne-year limited warranty
Touchpad Size5.7 x 2.5-inch
USB Ports1
Graphics CardIntel UHD 615 GPU
Company Websitehttp://avita-americas.com/
BrandAvita
Highest Available Resolution1920 x 1080
BluetoothBluetooth 4.2
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As soon as Rami Tabari sprung out of the College of Staten Island, he hit the ground running as a Staff Writer for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline in Tom’s Guide, taking on the latest Souls-like challenge.