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Sony Vaio Y Series (Y11M1E/S) review

Alan Lu
13 May 2010
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Sony Vaio Y Series (Y11M1E/S)
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
628
inc VAT

It's a little expensive, but the Sony Vaio Y11M1E/S is an excellent, well-equipped ultra-portable laptop with stunning battery life.

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Specifications

13.3 in 1,366x768 display, 1.7kg, 1.3GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core SU4100, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

At just over £600, the Vaio Y11M1E/S is a little expensive compared to some other Intel CULV ultra-portables but it’s cheaper than we’d expect for a Sony laptop that weighs just 1.7kg. The sleek silver design is understated but attractive, and feels very sturdy.

One of the main reasons to buy a CULV laptop is for long battery life, and the Y11M1E/S didn't let us down, lasting just under 11 hours in our light use test. This is one of the longest scores we’ve seen and should be long enough for all but the most epic journeys away from a power socket.

Connecting to the internet while out and about shouldn’t be a problem. In addition to Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n wireless networking, there’s also an integrated 3G modem. With an appropriate SIM card, you’ll be able to access the internet using a 3G cellular connection without having an external modem dangling off the side of your laptop, occupying one of the three USB ports.

Other unexpected features on the Vaio include an ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot for adding extra features, such as USB 3.0 ports. There’s also a four-pin FireWire 400 port, an increasingly rare feature, for connecting video cameras and fast external storage.

The 320GB hard disk should be large enough for most media libraries, but we’d have preferred to see an even bigger disk, especially at this price.

The Vaio’s 1.3GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core SU4100 processor and 4GB of RAM (all of it can be used, thanks to the 64-bit version of Windows 7 installed) performed reasonably well in our applications benchmarks, managing an overall score of 39. As expected, it isn’t suitable for playing the latest games though due to its weak integrated Intel GMA 4500M HD graphics chip - although it can decode HD video.

The keyboard is large with no undersized keys, although the keys could do with a little more travel and resistance when pressed. Nevertheless, it’s very comfortable type on for long periods. The touchpad is also a pleasure to use. It’s large and feels accurate, while its buttons give just the right amount of feedback when pressed.

The 13.3in screen has a glossy finish, which makes colours look especially vivid. Viewing angles were a little tight, so colours only look at their best when you’re sitting directly in front of the display. Contrast was good though and white areas look reasonably clean and pure. Its resolution of 1,366x768 gives you plenty of desktop space to work with.

We were also a little disappointed, but unsurprised, by the quality of the integrated speakers. Although they don’t sound distorted, like many other laptop speakers, they’re not especially loud either and lack bass. A handy multimedia extra is the bundled Vaio Media Plus application which lets you stream media files to a network media player.

The Sony Vaio Y11M1E/S isn’t flawless, but its imperfections are minor and acceptable given its excellent keyboard integrated 3G modem and ExpressCard slot. Considering the stunning battery life, it's worth every penny.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Pentium Dual Core SU4100
Processor clock speed1.3GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size30x325x225mm
Weight1.7kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size13.3 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 4500M HD
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory128MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive modelnone
Optical drive typeN/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Total Firewire ports1
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n, HSDPA
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/34
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other portsnone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedSony Vaio Media Plus 2, Sony Vaio Media Gallery 1.1
Optional extrasspare power adapter £70, one year extended warranty £74, two year extended warranty £137

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£628
Detailswww.sony.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.kikatek.com