The VPC-L11S1E/S's design is so flawless, it's like Sony has built a PC into a TV, rather than vice versa.
3.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8400, 4.000000 RAM, 24in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Sony’s VPC-L11S1E/S is a long way from the raft of cut-price nettops we’ve seen in recent months, costing a whopping £1,389.
Behind its huge 24in touchscreen display is an impressive specification, though, with all the extras you’d expect at this price.
In fact it’s more than just a PC; it’s also an adequate replacement for your TV. The 24in screen means it’s big enough for use as your main TV if you have a small living room, or as a second set in a bigger home. A dual DVB-T TV tuner is fitted, allowing you to use Windows 7’s excellent Media Center to watch and record programmes simultaneously, as well as browse photos and music. There’s also a built-in Blu-ray drive, so you can play HD movies using the provided WinDVD software.
The amazing display has a Full-HD resolution of 1,920×1,080. It’s an optical touchscreen system, using IR sensors around the displays, so there are no extra layers between you and the image. With vibrant colours, consistent backlighting and plenty of detail, it’s as impressive as any LCD TV we’ve seen. It can even be used as one, too, thanks to its HDMI and AV inputs. These let you plug in an HD camcorder or play games on a console. TV controls, such as volume and source, are on the right-hand side, and also on the supplied Media Center remote. There’s even picture-in-picture, so you can keep an eye on another video source while working on your PC.
Its PC specifications aren’t quite so exciting. The 3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 processor and 4GB of RAM scored a respectable 86 overall in our benchmarks. It’s not best-suited for serious video editing, but anything else will be fine. The touchscreen supports multi-touch gestures, which is great for browsing and manipulating images in software that supports it. The Nvidia GeForce G210M chipset didn’t impress in our gaming tests, though you can play modern titles at low resolutions and detail levels.
The whole unit is pleasing on the eye and feels sturdily constructed. We particularly appreciated the lack of a separate power supply, with a simple kettle lead plugging straight into the back. The front is plain except for three small indicator lights, including one for the built-in 802.11n wireless. On the left are memory card readers for SDHC and Memory Stick formats, along with two USB ports, FireWire, headphone, microphone and line out minijacks. On the back are three USB ports, 10/100 Ethernet and an optical S/PDIF output. The built-in speakers are capable, but a bit lacking in bass.
Our early review unit wouldn’t hibernate fully, with the display remaining on standby at all times. This meant it used 11W even when it was effectively switched off.
The VPC-L11S1E/S’s closest competitors are Apple’s 24in iMac and Dell’s XPS One 24, both of which are similarly priced at £1,499. The iMac has no Blu-ray drive, TV tuner or touchscreen, making it seem poor value. The XPS has a more powerful quad-core processor, but has only a single TV tuner, so you can’t watch and record, and no touchscreen.
It may be expensive, but the VPC-L11S1E/S has everything you could want from an all-in-one PC. The monitor is superb, it looks great, and it’s an excellent TV and Blu-ray player. We’re still not convinced that touchscreen interfaces are the future, but if you’re happy to spend this much money on a PC then you certainly want one included. It wins our Ultimate award.
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo E8400|
|Processor external bus||333MHz (1,333MHz quad-pumped FSB)|
|Processor clock speed||3.0GHz|
|Level 1 cache||N/A|
|Level 2 cache||N/A|
|Power consumption standby||11W|
|Power consumption idle||90W|
|Power consumption active||121W|
|USB2 ports (front/rear)||2/3|
|Firewire ports (front/rear)||1/0|
|eSATA ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|Wired network ports||10/100|
|Wireless networking support||802.11n|
|Other ports||HDMI input, AV input, RF input, SDHC and MS memory card readers|
|PCI-E x1 slots (free)||N/A|
|PCI-E x16 slots (free)||N/A|
|Free memory slots||0|
|Hard disk model(s)||N/A|
|Total storage capacity||500GB|
|Graphics card(s)||Nvidia GeForce G210M|
|Sound||Realtek High Definition Audio|
|Sound outputs||stereo line out, mic in, line in|
|3.5in floppy drive||no|
|Supported memory cards||SD, SDHC, Memory Stick Pro Duo|
|Optical drive model||N/A|
|Optical drive type(s)||DVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM|
|Viewable size||24 in|
|Screen inputs||HDMI, composite|
|Software included||Intervideo WinDVD BD for Vaio|
|Operating system||Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit|
|Operating system restore option||restore disc|