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Avita Liber V review: A lightweight, fast laptop that falls flat on battery life

The features on this Chromebook alternative pack a punch, making it perfect for both work and play

Rachael Phillips
Wednesday 01 September 2021 10:02 BST
<p>Basic but brilliant: The lightweight red casing is stylish and more colours are on the way </p>

Basic but brilliant: The lightweight red casing is stylish and more colours are on the way

A good laptop is an absolute must for those of us who work from home.

Avita may not be the first brand you think of when researching the latest must-have laptops, but don't overlook the Liber V 14in AMD Ryzen, which offers excellent build quality and snappy performance at a reasonable price.

This laptop has been designed to look as good as it functions. The design of the Liber V range was inspired by architect Ricardo Bofill, who is known for his book Visions of Architecture based on his work on the avant-garde La Muralla Roja fortress in Spain.

With a 14in screen and a 78.2 per cent screen-to-body ratio, it's an option worth considering for anyone who wants a slim and light laptop that is still sturdily built.

Not only does this device have excellent design feats, but the no-nonsense laptop also has the technology to back it up. The laptop we tested had an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor, which was built for high-speed performance. It also has a Vega 8 graphics chip and 8GB DDR4 of RAM.

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While that may not blow users away, it works really well for general performance such as web browsing, office tasks, watching videos and scrolling through social media. Read on for our in-depth review of the Chromebook alternative.

How we tested

We tested the Avita Liber V by looking at all the elements that we think make a good laptop. We looked at how well the battery lasted, the quality of the screen and audio, and how quickly the laptop performed. We tested it out in both work and a personal capacity, meaning we looked at how well it dealt with office tasks such as creating a spreadsheet and whether we could have a good Netflix binge on it once the workday was over. We also considered how easy this laptop was to carry around and how well it fared with Zoom calls and team meetings.

Avita Liber V 14in AMD Ryzen 5: £559.99,

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
  • Graphics: Radeon Vega 8
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Screen: 14in, 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Pros: Excellent build quality, great price point, backlit keyboard
  • Cons: Poor-quality webcam, poor battery life

The Avita Liber V 14in AMD Ryzen 5 may not be the most exciting or powerful laptop on the market. Still, it’s an excellent choice for businesses or students who want a decent machine without breaking the bank. The Ryzen 5 chip certainly offers enough power to complete most daily tasks such as producing documents, scrolling social media and watching videos.

It’s also a great option for anyone who likes their laptop to look good. Avita produces the Liber V in 14 different chassis colours. In the UK, we currently just have the choice of black and red, but we’ve been assured more colours will be hitting the market here soon.


There is no denying that this machine is great to look at. The chassis is made using brushed aluminium, which gives it a high-end appearance and feels solid and much more expensive than it is. We found the aluminium casing also doesn’t create hotspots, keeping the machine cooler and avoiding excessive internal fan usage. The only downside to the aluminium is that we noticed every single fingerprint and mark shows up, so it doesn’t retain that sleek and shiny exterior for very long.

The Avita Liber V is the very definition of a slimline laptop: it boasts 3.7mm boundless ultra-narrow bezels, which is around 10 per cent slimmer than other notebooks. It’s 16mm thick and weighs in at just 1.49kg, so it’s compact and light enough to effortlessly carry.

There is one surprise when it comes to the bezel, and that’s the notched lip on the top of the lid. When opened, this is where you’ll find the microphone and webcam. This notch actually makes the laptop really easy to open, and you can do it with one hand, so if you usually struggle to open slimline laptops, you’ll love this feature.

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The keyboard is solid and comfortable to type on which is handy if you’re using it daily for work. The keyboard also has a backlight that uses white LEDs and offers two intensity levels, which we think is a huge bonus for a budget laptop. Although the trackpad is a generous size and capable of 4-finger gestures, we did find it a little too big, and it often got in the way when typing.

When it comes to the ports on this laptop, there is everything you need. A full-size HDMI port is ideal if you’re like us and like to hook your laptop up to a separate monitor when in the office. There are also two USB 3.0s, a MicroSD slot, USB-C port and headphone jack.

The brushed-aluminium body looks expensive

Display and audio

The Avita Liber V has a 14-inch full HD IPS display, which we found to be bright and vibrant. An anti-glare coating on the screen makes working in brightly lit areas or even outside a breeze. However, we will say that when watching video content, some of the colours were slightly muted, which we put down to the anti-glare coating. But unless you’re only using your laptop for watching TV and movies, this won’t be much of an issue.

This screen is in a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is ideal for watching video content. There’s also a 178 degree viewing angle, so you’ll be able to enjoy a crisp, clear picture even if you’re sat to the side of the screen.

When it comes to the audio aspect of this laptop, the speakers did let us down. They’re not awful, and they do produce a loud sound, but they are very tinny at higher volume levels. The internal speakers don’t handle bass at all well, so if you’re planning to listen to music while you work, using headphones or external speakers may be a better option.

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We found the Avita Liber V performed really well for its price. It performed better when doing basic tasks such as browsing the web or creating work documents. This isn’t a machine that has been designed to be used for gaming. But for basic games, it worked adequately when on the highest graphic settings. We also didn’t find any lag when using it for video content. Everything worked as quickly as you’d want, given the machine’s specifications.

The Liber V is impressively fast

We also found the speed of this laptop to be impressive. Accessing files was quick and easy between switching applications. We noticed that the fan kicked in when we had lots of apps open. It’s not too loud but is loud enough to be distracting if you’re in a quiet environment. The machine’s base, which is the only part not to use aluminium, does get warm during long periods of use.

Battery life

The battery life on the Avita Liber V is what lets this laptop down the most. The official stats say that the battery life is around 10 hours, but in reality, we found it lasts between five and seven hours with regular usages such as internet browsing and office work. There is no fast charging with this laptop, and it took around 3.5 hours to achieve a fully charged battery which isn’t ideal if you need a full day of juice to get your work done.

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Webcam and microphone

A good webcam is important if you’re using your laptop for work meeting purposes. Unfortunately, we found the webcam on the Avita Liber V to be poor. It’s just 720p and even in good lighting, the picture is grainy. However, we will give kudos to the excellent shooting angle.

There are two integrated microphones on either side of the webcam, and they’re pretty good quality. We found that no one had any issues hearing what we were saying while on video calls.

Software and features

The Avita Liber V runs the latest version of Windows 10 home. There were also some surprises we wouldn’t have expected in such a budget offering, such as a fingerprint scanner. This sits to the left of the keyboard and works exceptionally well. It’s super fast and recognised our finger every time without having to jiggle it around to get the right angle. This also speeds up getting into the machine and offers extra security.

The notched webcam makes opening the laptop easy

The wifi and Bluetooth used on this machine are the older versions, which isn’t a huge issue unless you’re using an external keyboard and mouse, which could cause some lag.

The verdict: Avita Liber V laptop

If you’re looking for a cheap Windows laptop that will look and feel more expensive than it is, then the Avita Liber V is ideal. This laptop is great for everyday use, such as browsing the web, updating social media and general day to day work tasks. There are better laptops out there, but we think you’d struggle to find a better one in this price bracket.

The main downfall of this machine is the battery life, which isn’t great, but unless you’re planning on working remotely day in, day out, then we don’t think it’ll cause too much of a problem.

Of course, you can spend a lot more on a laptop that has a better battery with improved webcam and audio functions, but if you’re looking for a solid, basic laptop that will perform well on most everyday tasks, then it’s definitely worth considering.

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