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PC Specialist Lafité review: A dark horse in the Ultrabook competition

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £759

A tasteful Ultrabook with masses of storage; its one weakness is last-place battery performance


  • Impressive storage
  • Remarkably fast processor


  • Poor battery life
  • No touch-enabled display

The Lafité’s exterior may appear somewhat anonymous, with no company branding on the lid or interior, but it’s got what it takes to compete with the big names. That’s partly because PC Specialist has managed to cram in a Core i7-8565U processor, with a top speed of 4.6GHz. This tears through jobs like our image-editing test, in which the Lafité recorded one of this month’s highest scores. As usual, however, the slim Ultrabook chassis can’t keep it cool for prolonged periods; performance in our video-editing and multitasking tests was more on par with the Core i5-powered competition, and the same goes for gaming performance.

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PC Specialist Lafité review: Features

The Lafité also features not only a 256GB SSD but a secondary 1TB hard disk, pretty much guaranteeing you won’t run out of space. The SSD is only a SATA model, with sequential read and write scores of 521MB/sec and 438MB/sec, but that’s more than fine for everyday computing.

The big 15.6in screen is equally satisfactory, as long as you don’t demand touch. With a maximum luminance of 272cd/m2 and contrast ratio of 1,061:1, it won’t win any awards, but it’s bright enough that you’ll have no complaints unless you want to work outdoors on a very bright day. Similarly, 80% sRGB coverage and an average Delta E value of 3.0 might make professionals uneasy, but for everyday use it looks absolutely fine.

A slightly odd aspect of the design is the keyboard; it’s the same as on the PC Specialist Cosmos, and while the stylised angular lettering suits that frame, it looks out of place in this more business-like setting. That goes double for the multi-coloured backlighting, although you can set it to plain white or just turn it off.

The Lafité has a decent set of ports: as well as a spread of USB options, there’s a Gigabit Ethernet port and both HDMI and mini-DisplayPort video connectors. A fingerprint reader is set into the touchpad, which looks cool but is slightly irritating on the odd occasion that you want to move the mouse pointer in that direction.

PC Specialist Lafité review: Verdict

Considering its size, it’s a stretch to call the Lafité an ultraportable PC; while its 1.55kg heft isn’t onerously heavy, the battery died after just 3hrs 6mins of video playback, making this a dubious travelling companion. For a desk-based position, though, it’s a solid all-rounder, with a good screen and creditable performance.

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