To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Sony Vaio Y Series (VPC-YB2M1E) review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £430
inc VAT

An excellent evolution of the netbook; Sony’s new Y series is a great looking ultraportable that has enough power for everyday tasks and it won’t balk at playing high definition video either


11.6 in 1,366×768 display, 1.5kg, 1.6GHz AMD E-350, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

We aren’t exactly big fans of netbooks at Expert Reviews. They lack the raw power to handle much more than a Word document or single web browser tab without grinding to a halt. Thankfully, manufacturers are starting to phase them out in favour of slightly larger, more powerful models that are still small and light enough to carry with you. Sony’s refreshed 11.6in Y series is among the first we’ve seen, and if it’s an indication of what’s to come, things are looking up.

Sony VAIO Y-series three Quarter back

Unlike netbooks, which are usually equipped with Intel’s low-power Atom processors, the Y Series has an AMD Fusion chip. This is an APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) which combines a CPU and GPU in one chip, just like most Intel Core processors. The dual-core AMD E-350 APU runs at 1.6GHz and is paired with a generous 4GB of RAM, which helps with multitasking. Oddly, Sony has decided to install the 32-bit version of Windows 7, so it won’t be able to access the full amount of memory, but we were happy to see Home Premium rather than the basic Starter Edition that plagues netbooks.

Our multimedia benchmarks certainly made the processor sweat: it produced an overall score of 11, which puts it roughly on a par with a dual-core Intel Atom powered netbook with 1GB of RAM. This surprise result is mainly down to the E-350’s lack of Hyper-Threading, which creates two extra virtual cores on some Atom chips. It puts the YB2M1E behind in our multitasking tests, but it was noticeably quicker when a single application was running. Plus, in everyday use, the Vaio was more responsive, particularly when running multiple browser tabs.

Sony VAIO Y-series

High definition video played smoothly thanks to the integrated GPU. The Radeon 6310m can also output 1080p content onto an external display using the HDMI port, but it isn’t powerful enough to play modern games at the native screen resolution of 1,366×768. It failed our Dirt 3 benchmark, but older titles should still be playable at a reasonable frame rate if you lower the image quality settings.

The Radeon graphics don’t come at the expense of battery life, as the YB2M1E managed a respectable six and three quarter hours in our light-use test. Some netbooks are capable of longer, but this should be enough for most people’s needs.

Pages: 1 2

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor AMD E-350
Processor clock speed 1.6GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 4GB
Size 27x289x202mm
Weight 1.5kg
Sound Realtek HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 11.6 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor AMD Radeon HD 6310
Graphics/video ports VGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory 384MB


Total storage capacity 320GB
Optical drive type none

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g/n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards SDHC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore option backup and recovery software
Software included Microsoft Office 2010 Starter Edition
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £430