The display is actually what every single mid-to-high end 15” notebook should aim to ship with. It’s a matte 15.6” 1080p IPS panel made by LG, and it looks awesome. It actually shares the same panel as the HP Envy 15, with a close variant of this panel being used by Sony with the SE series that Jarred reviewed as well as ASUS in the new UX51. It's not necessarily perfect, but it's so far ahead of the most other laptops panels that it may as well be.

LCD Analysis—Contrast

LCD Analysis—White

LCD Analysis—Black

LCD Analysis—Delta E

LCD Analysis—Color Gamut

It doesn’t necessarily have the best contrast ratio, though at nearly 700:1 it’s certainly good, but the backlight is strong (350 nit maximum brightness), the matte finish is awesome, and color reproduction is very good. 1080p at 15.6” is essentially the perfect pixel density for a good amount of screen real estate, without making everything too small for comfortable viewing. It’s just really pleasing to the eye. I love it, and it makes up for a lot of the other flaws—every time the keyboard gets on my nerves, I remember how fantastic this display is. It’s just that compelling.

Now, it’s obviously not a touchscreen, and how much that bothers you depends on how much you value melding the traditional clamshell form factor with a touchscreen, and how much that impacts your Windows 8 experience. For me personally, touchscreens stop being useful on notebooks larger than 13”. Any larger than that, and my typical viewing distance is far enough away for it to be a bit uncomfortable to reach out and touch the screen. Not that I couldn’t do it if I wanted, but it’s an actual effort with larger notebooks where it’s almost second nature to use the touchscreen for navigation on 11.6” systems. The line for me is at 13”—anything larger than that, and the amount I use the touchscreen in day-to-day use goes down significantly.

Even though I didn’t particularly miss the touchscreen with the Vizio, all Vizio PCs going forward will have touchscreen displays, including the next revision of the Thin+Light line that we’ve already had a chance to play with. From our brief interaction with it, it seemed like a high quality display, though I’m not sure how much the user experience will change. Portable Windows 8 systems are still undergoing rapid form factor iterations, and manufacturers are still working on finding the sweetspots in the range. I’m not sure that touchscreens have value in large notebooks, but I’m willing to be proven wrong on this.

Vizio Thin+Light CT15: Design Vizio Thin+Light CT15: Performance and Battery Life
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  • DanStp1 - Friday, February 15, 2013 - link

    Why take the chance? If they support their laptops as well as their TV's?

    They do not stock parts for the TVs, and have made many models that die within 2 years or less.
    Thanks to Costco..........or I would have been out over 2,500 bucks due to their lack of non support.
    If you don't believe me, research some. The AVS forum had a long tread about this.
  • flyingpants1 - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Ultrabooks are a scam. I don't know how much the stupid aluminum body costs on an ultrabook, but I'm assuming it adds somewhere around $50-100 to the base price of the product, in materials and machining and all that.

    No Ethernet? HAHAHAHAHA

    But they're portable, you say. Really? Is 3.9lbs really that much less than 5.3lbs when you need to carry it in a bag anyway?

    But my main point is this: The target market for ultrabooks is not people who need outrageous ultraportability; it's Joe Public. And he buys them because they look like, and are priced like, a Macbook. Yay, aluminum.
  • flyingpants1 - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    My ideal laptop would be this exact laptop, except with a normal plastic frame (reduces cost), normal connectivity (ETHERNET...), normal removable battery so I can buy a spare 9-cell if I want, and space for 2 hard drives (instead of an optical drive). None of these things add significant cost. Price it at $800.
  • flyingpants1 - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Sorry forgot to mention user-upgradable RAM. Should take 2x8GB.
  • R3ason - Sunday, March 10, 2013 - link

    I thought all computers with the i5 processor offered WiDi?....Does this Vizio CT15 have WiDi or not?

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