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Sony Vaio J11 series (VPCJ11M1E/B) review

Alan Lu
28 Jun 2010
Sony Vaio VPCJ11M1E/B
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
823
inc VAT

Sony's latest all-in-one PC looks great and is well-specified, but unless you must have a touchscreen there are better-value alternatives.

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Specifications

2.27GHz Intel Core i3 530 M, 4GB RAM, 21.5in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

We've been big fans of Sony's previous all-in-one PCs, so we've been looking forward to testing this latest model, the 21.5in touchscreen Vaio VPCJ11M1E/B. It's attractive in a sleek, understated way. However, although Sony used to have much of the Windows all-in-one PC market to itself, competition has since intensified which means the J11M1E has to try harder than ever to impress us.

The Full HD screen is touch-sensitive and supports multitouch gestures. CyberLink's YouPaint children's painting program has been included to take advantage of it. It's a fun and engaging application for artistically-inclined kiddies. The capacitive screen doesn't feel as accurate, smooth and responsive as the best touchscreens we've used, such as the Apple iPad's.

After using both the iPad and J11M1E this month, we remain unconvinced a touchscreen desktop computer makes ergonomic sense. This is because you have to have lean over the keyboard and mouse to use it, which quickly becomes tiring and uncomfortable. The only sensible alternative is to place it somewhere where you can use it standing up, with the keyboard and mouse to one side, such as on a kitchen worktop.

Although not flawless, we were generally impressed with image quality from the LED backlit screen. Contrast was good, while colours looked bright and accurate with reasonably wide viewing angles. The 1,920x1,080 pixel resolution is high enough for showing windows from multiple programs simultaneously or for watching HD video.

Sadly, there's no built-in Blu-ray drive which is a little disappointing and surprising at this price – you'll have to buy an external Blu-ray drive, or buy or rent downloads, to watch HD films. Plus, there aren't any video outputs for connecting a second monitor - seemingly a common trait among all-in-ones.

The J11M1E is equipped with a 2.27GHz Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM, so it fared well in our benchmarks for an all-in-one PC, scoring 82 overall. Up to 8GB of memory can be added, but there are only two RAM slots so the existing memory will have to be removed first, which is a little annoying. The Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics card isn't powerful enough for playing the latest 3D games, but should be able to cope with older titles and is more than capable of decoding HD video.

As expected for an all-in-one PC, there's no room for internal upgrades. There are five USB ports, but two of these will be used by the keyboard and mouse. The FireWire 400 port and built-in memory card slot partially make up for this. The 320GB hard disk is a little meagre though – we'd expect at least 500GB at this price. The keyboard and mouse are responsive and comfortable to use, although the keyboard has a slightly non-standard layout with rearranged cursor and navigation keys.

The J11M1E is a good all-in-one PC, but it's expensive for what you get. Undoubtedly you're paying extra for the touchscreen which, in our opinion, doesn't add value. HP's similarly specified Pavilion MS200-5120IUK doesn't have a touchscreen and isn't quite as stylish, but it has a larger 500GB hard disk and costs just £630 including VAT from Laptops Direct making it the better value all-in-one PC.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i3 530 M
Processor external bus133MHz (2.0GB/s Direct Media Interface)
Processor multiplierx17
Processor clock speed2.27GHz
Processor socketLGA1156
Level 1 cache2x 32KB
Level 2 cache2x 256KB
Memory4
Memory typePC3-8500
Maximum memory8GB
Motherboard chipsetIntel HM55

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/3
Firewire ports (front/rear)1/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g/n
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Caseall-in-one
PCI-E x1 slots (free)0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)0 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports0
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity500GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)512MB Nvidia GeForce 310M
Graphics/video portsnone

Sound

SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputsstereo line out
Speakers2.0

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsSDHC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Optical drive modelSony Optiarc
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size21.5 in
Screen modelVaio Display Plus
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsnone

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardSony Keyboard VGP-UKB3GB
MouseSony mouse VGP-UMS30

Software

Software includedCyberLink YouPaint 1.2, Sony PMB Vaio Edition, Sony Vaio Media plus, Sony Remote Keyboard and Play with PlayStation 3, Roxio Easy Media Creator 10 LJ
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£823
Supplierhttp://www.morecomputers.com
Detailswww.sony.co.uk

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