The Sony VAIO is the latest in the range of Sony laptops. As the name suggests this has been modeled after the E13 and the E15, and is supposed to be Sony’s addition to the budget, low cost laptop segment. A cute little laptop, we have to admit, it is meant to be an affordable ultrabook with a 4GB RAM and a 500 GB hard drive.
Like we said, on first impression it is quite a cute little machine. It has rounded corner and a surface which doesn’t shock you with its glow, giving a classy overall look with the matte effect. The only glossy part which can potentially be a smudge magnet is the frame around the speaker bar, even though it looks pretty good as a contrast to the matte.
The VAIO E11 weight about 51 ounces, and measures slightly smaller than others of the same kind i.e. at 11.4 x 8 inches. Although the screen is pretty vibrant with great colors showing up with no difficulty, the problem presents itself when you tilt the screen back for an angular look. Then the image quality tends to suffer, and the best colors look a little pale. The screen in itself we think could do with more brightness level too.
While the display is nothing exceptional, the audio is a totally different story. Sony has made a name for itself as one of the best audio providing companies with the greatest software and most advanced technologies in the field in the world. This is why when you turn on the audio on the 11, you experience Sony’s Clear Phase and LoudClear Phase technologies.
The keyboard is small, which is understandable for a small laptop, but surprisingly it is pretty comfortable too. The touchpad as well is a surprise. It is comfortable enough to carry out zoom effects, two finger rotations, a flick with four fingers which lets you see what programs are open, and on the whole has many neat tricks to it.
The laptop has 3 USB ports, an SD.PRO Duo Card port, the regular headphone jack and mic ports, and also an ETHERNET reader. The webcam is decent too. It is a 1.3 megapixel camera which has face tracking capacity, but since the camera cannot move, this is limited to you sitting in front of it. The battery life is about 5 hours but that includes a test with continuous net surfing over a Wi-Fi network. The software that most interested us in this little package was the VAIO gesture control which allows you to control apps like Media Player, Media Go, and Internet Explorer etc with swiping, but it didn’t turn out to be very reliable unfortunately.
On the whole though, we like it. It’s affordable, has some great systems and has the feel of the ultrabook which might be great for travelers.
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