Hands on Use
The first thing you notice about the Smooth Creations 18.4 Notebook is the sheer size of the beast. Everyone who saw the machine sitting on my bench had to walk up and see the thing for themselves; it is simply huge. The screen is huge and it weighs a ton, this is not the sort of machine you want to try to carry with you on the road. The heftiness of the Smooth Creations 18.4 Notebook means it is more suited to use in a house where it might move from the living room to the kitchen and that is about it.
With all the power the notebook has under the hood, it is a fantastic desktop replacement and will be ideal for those who need a powerful machine that will occasionally move from the office to home. Hardcore gamers who frequent LAN parties will find a lot to like here as well.
One of the things that I didn't really like about the notebook was its keyboard. Given the sheer girth of the machine, you would expect a full size keyboard. The keys are surprisingly small and have lots of space between them. That meant for me that there was a big learning curve before I could type normally. The keys on the 11-inch Acer Ferrari One are a bit larger than the keys on the Smooth Creations 18.4 Notebook for example. Other than the odd size and spacing, the keyboard has good typing feel and programmable keys along the side for one touch access to your favorite things.
The huge screen is great for watching video and movies. There is no smearing, tearing, or other issues with video quality and playback was silky smooth. Colors are accurate and skin tones are realistic. This is an excellent media PC and the HDMI out means you can send video to your big screen, too. I like the DVI output as well; that is not something you see on many laptops today and it makes connecting to your average PC LCD a snap. Glare bothered me in some instances, but that is common to just about all notebooks today.