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Sony Vaio X11 review

Barry de la Rosa
8 Jan 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,185
inc VAT

An incredibly thin and light netbook, but its hefty price will be enough to put off most.

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Specifications

11.1 in 1,366x768 display, 780g, 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540, 2.00GB RAM, 128GB disk, Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

Earlier this year Sony launched its Vaio P-series, an incredibly small device that was a cross between a netbook and a PDA. While we marvelled at its size, we noted numerous compromises made to achieve it, including poor performance, a cramped keyboard, no touchpad and most of all, an incredibly detailed but inconveniently-shaped 8in screen.

The X-series is similar in that it's incredibly thin and light, but this time Sony has managed to make fewer compromises, and the result is a more conventional, but equally desirable, netbook. It's only 14mm thick, and weighs just 780g, which is a good 500g less than most netbooks and only slightly heavier than the P-series. The X11's 11.1in screen is far more practical, though. With its standard 1,366x768 resolution, it's large enough to do office work without straining your eyes and you can even watch 720p HD video on it.

X11 side

The keyboard has quite small keys, but they are well-spaced and have a standard layout. Their action is light, but there's hardly any travel and not a lot of feedback. Our only real niggle was the Space bar, which sits too close to the keyboard recess in the case. As a result our thumb hit the case more often than the key, which could prove annoying and as a result your thumb hits the case more often than the key. The touchpad is quite small and narrow, but the buttons have a nice light action.

Despite its slender design, there's a reasonable selection of ports. The VGA connector only barely fits, taking up the full height of the chassis, but there's no HDMI output. There are only two USB ports, one less than most netbooks, and the usual network port. There are separate SD and Memory Stick slots, and a headphone port, and that's it.