Avita Liber full review
The Avita Liber exudes a premium look and feel with its gorgeous metal body, thin bezels, slim chassis, and fingerprint scanner. The stunning paisley pattern on the back only makes you want to show it off to friends and it's budget-friendly too. Here's our full review.
You might not have heard of Avita before, and that's becuase the Hong Kong-based brand is new to the UK market in 2019.
The model comes with 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD storage, and an Intel Core i3 processor, which is a reasonable price for those specs.
Also check out our best budget laptop chart for more options.
Design & Build
The Avita Liber's design and build is easily its most impressive quality. It draws aesthetic inspiration from the Apple MacBook, no doubt, but boldly twists that minimalist feel with a lively paisley pattern on its metal body. It's a sure leap from the drab plastic chassis we often see on budget laptops.
Right away, we can see the Liber as a tempting choice for students who want to show off their personality. But it's not just this playful look that makes the Liber attractive. It's designed thoughtfully too, packing a well-lit, 14in display with thin bezels in a body that's slim and ultra portable.
It weighs 1.46kg and is barely half an inch when closed, tapering to 5mm at its thinnest point.
The keyboard, though compact and without a numeric keypad, has a comfortable, balanced feel with ample breathing space between keys. They smooth rounded keys type quietly as well, perfect for classrooms or commutes.
Wrists do not feel crammed into a small space either, though the total surface area is limited. Plus, the large trackpad, roughly half the size of the keyboard, offers plenty of room to manoeuvre.
Security features like the fingerprint scanner further shows Avita's conscious consideration of design. One set up, it takes only seconds to unlock and login to the device. This attention to detail gives the Liber a refined look that could fool anyone into thinking it boasts a higher price.
Specs & Features
While Liber clearly values design and user experience, it doesn't offer outstanding technical specs. You get 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD storage and a dual-core Intel Core i3-8130U (8th-generation) processor, with a maximum clock speed of 3.3GHz.
This does limit its performance in some respects, compared to other budget laptops with more powerful quad-core processors. You can see this reflected in our benchmark comparisons below.
The Liber lagged behind the budget Acer Aspire 3 (A315-54) which only costs £30 more than the Liber. The chunky Lenovo V330-14ARR also outpaced the Liber, though it costs £150 less. Similarly, the HP 250 G7 which sits at the top of our best budget laptop chart, also outdid the Liber in our benchmarks with its Core i5 processor – though it only costs £429. The clear trade-off with the Liber is you get a much nicer looking laptop though at the cost of stunted performance.
In terms of graphics, the Avita falls behind the Aspire 3 and Lenovo V330-14ARR again, though it is 23% better than laptops with similar specs according to our 3D Mark results. This means that while it can probably handle occasional light gaming, it will likely struggle with anything too heavy. If you are looking to game, check out our round up of the best gaming laptops.
These limitations shouldn't be an issue, however, if your primary intention is to use the device for day-to-day note-taking, browsing, social media and streaming video – which is consistent with our PC Mark 10 results. Keep the load manageable and the Liber will operate smoothly.
In our experience the Avita Liber booted up and shut down quickly, and there was no lag while browsing, watching videos or word processing. There was only one short instance when the device became unresponsive but a quick reboot returned things to normal.
In terms of connectivity, the Liber offers: a USB-C port (which you can use for charging additional devices), two USB 3.0 ports, a mini HDMI port, and a microSD card reader.
There's also a headphone jack and dual mics. In terms of audio, the speakers are on the tinny side, without much bass support. This wasn't too much of an issue for us though, as we primarily used our headphones which allowed a richer, more balanced sound in comparison.
What the Liber doesn't have is a LAN connection. This isn't too surprising as the Liber clearly caters to students and young professionals, and not an older corporate crowd (in the way the Lenovo V330-14 does).
Screen & Battery life
Colours on the Liber's Full HD screen (1920 x 1080) look vivid, and the contrast is strong. Plus, its glassy display only adds to the MacBook-esque feel, altough it does mean reflections.
Budget laptops sometimes come with matte LCD displays with an anti-glare finish that can make the screen appear dull. While this is useful if you're spending long hours on text-based work, like spreadsheets and word processing, it doesn't make for the best movie-viewing experience.
One thing to watch out for is that the screen doesn't pivot a full 180 degrees, so don't attempt to push it back all the way (though there is enough resistance to prevent this from happening).
In terms of battery life, the Liber sustained itself for 8 hours unplugged during our battery test, where we loop a film on full screen at a set brightness. While that isn't bad it did fall short of its 10 hour promise.
The Avita Liber gets a lot of things right. There isn't much to criticise when it comes to Avita's attention to design and user experience, which somewhat justifies why it's slightly more expensive than some rivals at £529.
For an affordable laptop though, it is gorgeous, making its counterparts look like chunky blocks of plastic in comparison. Yet, if you're bent on performance, the Liber may underwhelm.
Avoid heavy graphics and the Liber is a reliable, lightweight machine that will get you through day-to-day browsing, light gaming, social media, word-processing and video streaming – making it ideal for students.
If you're not too fussed about having a workhorse, the Liber offers a good balance between performance, price and pretty.
Avita Liber: Specs
- 14in Full HD Display (1920 x 1080)
- Intel Core i3-8130U dual-core 2.2GHz (3.39GHz turbo boost)
- Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- 4GB RAM
- 128GB SSD
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 1x USB-C 3.0
- 2x USB 3.0
- Mini HDMI
- MicroSD card reader
- Stereo speakers
- 720p webcam
- Dual mic
- 3.5mm headset jack
- 36Wh lithium-ion battery
- 333 mm x 222 mm x 16mm