Sony with its VAIO range of laptops presented a new challenge in front of the laptop makers i.e. to make them stylish and sleek. The new Sony VAIO Series 11 (SVE11113FXB) is yet another marvel from Sony that enables frequent travelers enjoy Ultrabook-like portable computing on the go.
For an affordable price tag of just $436, Sony VAIO E Series 11 offers 4GB RAM, dual-core AMD processor, 500GB HDD, 11-inch display and plethora of multimedia software. Let us have an in-depth look at VAIO E Series 11 in this review.
Sony VAIO E Series 11 Features
VAIO E Series 11 makes heavy use of plastic in its construction. Matte effect on the body adds elegance to it and rounded corners make the mini laptop pretty handy. The lid however is bound to receive mixed response from users. The deck and the lid do not fall in one line when the lid is closed.
While some will see it as stylish and innovative, others will call it awkward. VAIO E Series 11 resembles a great deal with other E series laptops from VAIO. Buyers will be able to choose from two versions – Sharkskin Black and Seafoam White.
Glossy finish to the plastic frame of LCD and speaker adds elegance to the overall look of the laptop. Glossy finish also complements the matte finish on the laptop cover. There is one drawback of the glossy finish though. It attracts fingerprints very easily. Dedicated physical buttons for VAIO care, VAIO Assist and web browser are placed right above the keyboard. Trackpad is a little dug into the body. Chrome bordering around the trackpad offers a nice contrasting look. The laptop measures 11.4×8.0x0.9 inches and weighs 3.2 pounds. In comparison to its close competitor Maingear Pulse 11, the VAIO E Series 11 is slightly lighter. But prevailing 13 inchers are much slimmer and lighter than VAIO E Series 11.
VAIO E Series 11 sports an 11.6 screen with 1366×768 pixel resolution. It renders output that is true to the natural colors. The screen also takes care of the brightness.
However, viewing angles are quite disappointing. Brightest colors look pretty washed out when the screen is slanted at just 40 degrees. Brightness is measured at 165 lux, which is quite below the average of 274 lux in Ultraportables in this range.
Sony VAIO E Series 11 runs on dual-core 1.7GHz AMD E-1800 CPU and is based on 64-bit Windows 7 operating system (Home Premium edition). VAIO E Series 11 sports AMD Radeon HD 7340M GPU to complement the processor. The graphics performance is enhanced by AMD VISION Engine Control Center. This simply means that game lovers can easily play mainstream games on this laptop.
Thanks to proprietary Clear Phase technology and xLoudClear Phase technology, the VAIO E Series 11 renders crisp and clear audio output. Music lovers will have a great time listening to their favorite piece of music on VAIO E Series 11 as every guitar chord and bass sound clear.
Although small, the keys are well spaced that ensure quick typing. Palm rest may lead to discomfort because of its short length. Touchpad measures 3.5×2.0 inches and allows for multi-touch gestures such as the standard pinch-to-zoom feature, 2-finger rotation and 2-finger scroll.
Users can also use the 4-finger flick gesture to have a glimpse of all the running programs. Left and right clicks are registered with accuracy though required more force to counter the stiffness.
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In comparison to other Ultraportables, VAIO E Series 11 gets heated a little earlier. For example, running a Hulu video for 15 minutes increases the laptop temperature to 93°F. During the same operation, the temperature reaches to 95°F under the laptop and to 94°F in between G and H keys. The dual-core processor handles basic tasks pretty well but fails to deliver blazing fast performance with intensive processes. To be precise, the processor handles one task at a time well and creates problems with multitasking. This means that users won’t be able to load apps with a movie playing in background.
VAIO E Series 11 does well in standard benchmark tests. In PCMark07 test, the E Series 11 performs at par with ultraportables in this range such as Lenovo Thinkpad X130E. The VAIO E Series 11 strikes an awesome 1963 in Geekbench test, which is way above the average i.e. 5411.
The operating system takes 55 seconds to boot that is only 2 seconds faster than this segment’s average. File transfer rate at 18.8Mbps is 14.3Mbps below the average (22.1Mbps). VAIO E Series 11 did not perform well in OpenOffice Spreadsheet test and took thrice longer than the average of 6 minutes. Video editing also took 25 seconds more than 6 minutes.
VAIO E Series 11 sports 2x USB 2.0 ports on both the right and left edge and a USB 3.0 port, which is also chargeable.
In addition, the notebook sports SD/PRO card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack, Ethernet and microphone input. HDMI out and VGA ports are also on board.
VAIO E Series 11 sports a 1.3MP webcam that captures images in 2560×2048 pixel resolution. The webcam also records videos in 1280×1024 pixel resolution. Although the camera runs on Exmor sensor, it produces grainy images that look extremely dull under natural fluorescent light. One useful feature that the webcam has is face tracking that is controlled by the camera’s optical zoom.
VAIO E Series 11 is powered by 3500mAh battery that pulls through around five and half hours.
One of the best attributes of VAIO E Series 11 is the vast pool of software that the laptop has on board. Some of the business-oriented apps on board are Microsoft Office Starter and Evernote. Evernote Webcam allows the users to click image and add to the note. In addition, the laptop has shortcuts for various apps such as Remote Keyboard, TrackID and Remote Play.
Another interesting inclusion is VAIO Gesture Control that allows users to control apps via gestures. Third-party apps such as Reader for PC, Skype, Windows Live, etc. are also on board.
Sony VAIO E Series 11 Price
VAIO E Series 11 is priced at $449.99.
Sony VAIO E Series 11 is definitely a desirable mini-laptop with all the essential features, decent performance, stylish looks and bundle of apps – everything at an affordable price.