The Liber laptop is made by Avita, a company set up in 2016 as a consumer brand (its sister brand, Nexstgo, offers a wide range of commercial products, including PC, smart home, IoT, artificial intelligence, and corporate solutions).
The 14-inch Avita Liber is impressively built with premium materials not often seen in a laptop at this price. It sports a 14-inch IPS display, with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, with HDR support.
Budget to mid-range laptops tend to cut corners, starting with screen quality, but the Liber is one of the better ones. The display has good contrast and text is nice and sharp. It has good brightness levels and colours are vibrant. On the downside, it doesn’t offer much resistance to glare, thanks to a glossy screen, and the bezels are pretty large.
The Liber is great for all kinds of media consumption. HDR video on YouTube and other streaming services look stunning.
The sound is less impressive, with two bottom-firing speakers that don’t get very loud and lack any real bass.
Not surprisingly, the Liber’s hardware is on the low-end, with an Intel Core, i3-8130U 2.2GHz/3.4GHz, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. The storage can be boosted via the microSD card slot, up to 128GB, but, unfortunately, you’re stuck with the limiting, 4GB of RAM, with no option of upgrading it.
This doesn’t mean that the Liber isn’t a capable machine for general tasks, like word-processing, web browsing, and, of course, video streaming — just don’t expect to be able to edit video in 4K or even use apps like PhotoShop and other CPU, storage, and RAM-intensive applications. Even too many tabs open in Chrome will start gobbling up RAM and cause serious slowdowns.
To be fair, this is to be expected, but I would have liked to have seen 8GB of RAM, even at this price, considering there are cheaper alternatives that offer less quality, but similar hardware specifications.
Rounding up the other hardware features is an HD webcam, two USB 3.0 ports (one on either side), one USB-C, a mini-HDMI port, and a headphone jack.
The slim Liber weighs just 1.46kg, making it easy to carry around and it’s small enough to fit in almost any bag or rucksack.
I love that the Liber supports the Windows Hello biometrics-based technology, via its fingerprint reader, which is conveniently located to the left of the ESC key. This allows for fast and secure access and logins, using just a fingerprint.
The trackpad is massive, like you’d see on an Apple MacBook, and supports Windows 10 gestures. It works well and feels great to use, with enough room on either side for your palms to rest while typing.
The keyboard is excellent for touch-typing, with just the right amount of key travel and a tactile feel. The keys are quiet and decently spaced. I also love that the power button is top-right on the keyboard, rather than being tiny, flush, and hard to see.
The keyboard is backlit, too, making it ideal for use in dark environments.
The build quality feels and looks great. The aluminium chassis and top lid feel sturdy and solid. I didn’t like that the bottom is plastic and prone to scratching. My review unit was a lilac colour, with a floral design screen-printed to the cover. The look is a matter of individual taste, but it is striking. However, my review model was used by others before I received it and I noticed the pattern was coming off in areas.
The Avita Liber is available in pearl white, angel blue, ornament on gold, and paisley on lilac.
Battery performance is claimed to be 10 hours, but I didn’t manage that in my time of testing.
In real-world usage, you should expect anywhere from five to seven hours. However, intensive tasks or even light gaming will drain the battery juice more quickly.
Overall, the Avita Liber is a pleasure to use, with a good keyboard and trackpad. The screen is excellent and the premium build quality means you can bring it anywhere confident that it can take some hacking around.
Available from £480/€570 at lookagain.co.uk or from www.ebuyer.com for £449.99.