Despite some interesting design elements, HCL’s first Ultrabook, the ME 3074, also falls into the trap that so many of these high-end laptops are facing these days—sameness. The internal specifications are of course restrictive, so there’s not much you can do in terms of the hardware. HCL made some questionable decisions with the looks of their device though, such as the very out of place logo on the lid, which mar an otherwise good looking device.
The laptop is powered by a core i3 1.8GHz CPU, with 4GB of RAM. The screen runs at 1336X768 pixels, and aside from a 500GB HDD, there’s also a 32GB SSD for shorter boot-up times. The net result is very peppy, and the battery also ran for six hours of normal use between charges.
That battery adds weight though—the ME 3074 weighs 1.7kg, and while that’s a lot less than laptops used to weigh, it’s definitely on the chunky side for an Ultrabook. There’s also something about the balance of this particular laptop that makes it quite uncomfortable to carry in your hands.
Despite the weight, the body also comes across as a little flimsy—the seams expose and the plastic feels weak. On the positive side, the layout of the ports—it’s got all the standards, USB 3.0, card reader, HDMI and LAN ports gives this wedge shaped look to the sides, and the power button looks good too.
The ME 3074 doesn’t have a backlit keyboard, and actually typing on it isn’t a very comfortable experience either—keystrokes don’t always register and there’s no physical feedback. It’s a problem with most Ultrabooks, and one which doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
Aside from the keyboard issues, the laptop is a pretty good pick because at Rs.51,990, it’s cheaper than a lot of the competition. It’s worth checking out to see if the style and the ergonomics of the HCL ME 3074 suit you, because those are more subjective issues.