The term Ultrabook today is synonymous with ultra-expensive and that’s because every Ultrabook carries with it a premium and is not something that’s meant for the average joe, not yet anyways. It seems Intel carved out this niche for the business professional in mind who would typically need a sturdy and premium notebook that was light and fast as a tablet. Today we have another Ultrabook to play with and for a change, it’s actually quite ‘affordable’ compared to the others in the market. Despite this price tag, Wipro haven’t compromised too much on features and they also throw in something extra which is not really seen on any Ultrabook. So, is the e.go Aero Ultra a worthy Ultrabook for the masses? There’s only one way to find out.
Design and Build
The Aero Ultra is fairly slim and is in keeping with the rest of the Ultrabooks. At 1.7kg, it's not the lightest Ultrabook around but the weight is distributed well enough so it doesn’t actually feel very heavy. The entire chassis is made up of a magnesium alloy which is better than plastic but despite this, the entire notebook feels very fiddly and doesn’t exactly inspire durability. There is a lot of flex in the base which scares me to think what would happened it fell accidentally. The hinge supporting the lid isn’t very sturdy either and feels loose. While the brushed aluminium top gives it some show, overall, the Aero Ultra looks quite dull and boring and if it's in a store, you’d probably walk right past it.
Nice brushed aluminium finish
Wipro redeems themselves a little when it comes to connectivity as we have three USB 2.0 ports (no USB 3.0 unfortunately), headphone and microphone combo jack, HDMI, LAN, VGA and a card reader. While most notebooks fetaure a 13.3-inch screen, Wipro have added a 14-inch screen in a form factor not much bigger than a standard Ultrabook. This is possible thanks to the slim bezel around the screen.
The insides feature a full matte finish which is easy to maintain and doesn't leave fingerprints behind. The chiclet keyboard is fairly comfortable to use although we’d liked to see some better feedback from the keys. There’s no backlight unfortunately for the keys. The trackpad tracks well and the mouse buttons are easy to use.
We wish the keys were backlit
The Aero Ultra is configurable by the user and the one we have is powered by an Intel Core i5-2467M ULV CPU, 4GB RAM and Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. Now for the special treat, Wipro has installed two hard drives, a standard 500GB 2.5-inch drive and a 32GB SSD for caching. This way, you don’t have to compromise on space for speed. There aren’t too any utilities that come bundled other than the drivers which is good since it only means less bloatware. Next, let’s have a look at the performance.
The notebook runs smoothly and Windows and applications respond well. Boot up time is quick despite the OS being installed on the 2.5-inch hard drive. Compared to the other Ultrabooks with SSDs, the Aero Ultra manages to keep up quite well except for PCMark Vantage, where it dips by quite a bit.
Not a bad performer
The notebook runs cool and doesn’t heat up too much even when stressed. The internal fans tend to spin quite fast and are audible when watching HD videos but it isn’t too annoying. The internal speakers are quite loud but the quality is not the best as on high volume, there’s a lot of distortion. The keyboard is comfortable to type on but at times the trackpad tends to get in the way. This is not a major issue as I only noticed this a couple of times. The only thing missing is the backlit keys.
Good set of connectors
In Battery Eater Pro, the Aero Ultra managed a battery life of 1hr 40min which is pretty average. This should give you about 4hrs of real world usage time. If you’re careful in your usage then you might be able to squeeze a little more out of it but don't expect too much.
At Rs. 55,000, it’s definitely one of the cheapest Ultrabooks in the market that doesn’t compromise too much on features. The highlights of the e.go Aero Ultra include a rich set of connectors, a 500GB hard drive and a large 14-inch screen. However, it’s hard to recommend this notebook due to the poor build quality as it just doesn’t feel like a 50K notebook. Also, the lack of USB 3.0 may be a deterrent factor for many. Overall, if Wipro had just paid a bit more attention to the build, this would have been a really good option for those on a budget.
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