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Sony VAIO Fit multi-flip 11 review

Sony Vaio Fit Multi-Flip 11in

Sony has added a third model to its VAIO Fit multi-flip range, shrinking down the dimensions but not compromising on display resolution with the VAIO Fit multi-flip 11

Sony’s VAIO Fit Multi-Flip hybrid laptop has been around for almost half a year in its 13in, 14in and 15in guises, but the company still clearly thinks the range has room to grow – it announced an even more compact 11in model at this year’s CES show. We took a closer look at the VAIO Fit multi-flip 11 back in Blighty to see whether a flippable screen works better in a compact ultra-portable.

Sony Vaio Fit Multi-Flip 11in

With the same brushed metal palm rest and lid as the rest of the range, the VAIO Fit multi-flip 11 is practically indistinguishable from the Flip 13, 14 and 15 in all but size. It might use polycarbonate plastics for the rest of the chassis but it still felt sturdy when we picked it up, despite being incredibly light – it rivals the unibody MacBook Air in terms of portability.

Sony Vaio Fit Multi-Flip 11in

The Flip 11’s party trick is its display, which can be unlocked from traditional laptop mode and flipped over (hence the name) into a tablet for easier touchscreen control or a freestanding viewer for watching films or giving presentations. The locking mechanism doesn’t re-lock when you return the screen to laptop mode, meaning the next time you go to open the lid you could accidentally flip the screen instead.

The display itself has a gorgeous 1080p panel that uses Sony’s own Triluminos colour technology; combined with excellent viewing angles thanks to an IPS panel, photos had plenty of pop along with ample detail.

Sony Vaio Fit Multi-Flip 11in

Sony’s familiar Chiclet keyboard makes an appearance here, complete with white LED backlighting to make working in the dark a little easier. Unsurprisingly given the size of the machine the keys aren’t full size, but we were still able to tap out a few lines without making any spelling errors – the gaps between each key work in its favour so you shouldn’t have too many typos once you’ve adjusted to the more compact layout.

The touchpad felt a little cramped and didn’t respond to some of the more common multi-touch gestures, although we didn’t have time to check whether this was because they had been disabled in software. At least the 10-point capacitive touchscreen was responsive. You can use your fingers or Sony’s capacitive stylus, which detects multiple pressure levels and deactivates other inputs, letting you lean on the screen without bumping the cursor around the screen.

Sony Vaio Fit Multi-Flip 11in

Connectivity is limited, as it is with most Ultrabooks. You get two USB3 ports, an HDMI video output, 3.5mm headset audio jack and a multiformat card reader, although Bluetooth and NFC support make connecting wireless peripherals a lot simpler. An 8-megapixel Exmor camera sensor on the back should take reasonable photos in good light, although we weren’t able to properly test the feature during our brief hands-on.

Sony Vaio Fit Multi-Flip 11in

The model on display during Sony’s hands on event was powered by an Intel Celeron processor paired with 4GB of RAM and the 64-bit version of Windows 8.1, although more powerful CPUs and more memory can be added before you buy.

The VAIO Fit multi-flip 11 will be available exclusively through Sony’s Configure to Order service here in the UK when it arrives around April. Hopefully Sony will also put a few demonstration models in stores too, as we think you need to at least try the compact keyboard before you make a buying decision. Otherwise a starting price of around £799 makes it a compelling alternative to the 11in MacBook Air, if you’re looking for something that can also double as a tablet.

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