Sony Vaio P VGN-P11Z/R review

Alan Lu
22 Jun 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT



8 in 1,600x768 display, 618g, 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520, 2.00GB RAM, 60GB disk, Windows Vista Business

Sony's P-series Vaio is unlike any other portable computer here.

It's less than half the size and around half the weight of Samsung's N110. The 8in widescreen LCD is more than twice as wide as it is tall, with a resolution of 1,600x768. Although high screen resolutions are usually useful, the pixel size here is so small you won't be able to read small text easily. If you increase text size, you'll quickly find that the screen height of 768 pixels leaves little room for reading documents or web pages, so you'll have to do a lot of scrolling.

The widescreen display is well suited to watching movies. However, the 1.33GHz Atom Z520 processor and Intel GMA 500 graphics chipset aren't up to the task of playing smooth full-screen video from iPlayer or YouTube, with lots of stuttering and dropped frames.

This isn't the only disappointment. The 60GB hard disk is small and the 1.33GHz Atom Z520 processor fared poorly compared to the 1.6GHz N270 chip found in many of the other netbooks here. Even with 2GB of RAM, the P11Z/R is noticeably slower in Windows Vista than HP's Mini 2140, no XP option is available. Battery life is respectable, lasting four hours and 20 minutes in our light-usage test, but other netbooks here lasted even longer.

If you want to connect the P11Z/R to a monitor or Ethernet network you'll need to use the included matchbox-sized dock, which connects to a proprietary connector. There's a built-in 3G broadband modem as well as a GPS locator so you can take full advantage of mapping services such as Google Maps.

The keyboard's flat, separated keys have very little travel, and the keys are just small enough to make touch-typing uncomfortable. The keyboard takes up all the available space, so there's a touchstick instead of a touchpad.

The P11Z/R is unlike any other netbook here. It's a desirable piece of kit, but it's still hard to recommend. You're paying a huge premium for the diminutive size and weight. For the same price, you could buy two Samsung N120s, which are larger and heavier but much more usable.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Atom Z520
Processor clock speed1.33GHz
Memory slots1
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory2GB
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchstick
Power consumption standby4W
Power consumption idle8W
Power consumption active12W


Viewable size8 in
Native resolution1,600x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 500
Graphics/video portsVGA
Graphics Memory762MB


Total storage capacity60GB
Optical drive modelnone
Optical drive typeN/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports2
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n, HSDPA
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other portsdocking station connecter


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows Vista Business
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedInterVideo WinDVD 8
Optional extrasbattery £89, extended battery £129, USB DVD writer £119, Bluetooth presentation remote £69, one year extended warranty £69

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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