Sony Vaio VPCS11V9E/B review

The release of Intel’s Core i3 and i5 processors is likely to provoke a significant scrabble among laptop manufacturers to release a swathe of top-end, fast laptops. We review the Sony Vaio VPCS11V9E/B to find out what it's made of.

The normal trade-off for a laptop offering lots of raw oomph is decreased portability. That isn't the case with the S11. It weighs 2kg - not exactly ultraportable but fine for a machine that will spend its life on a desk with occasional trips away. There's much better news when it comes to the battery. Not only is it tidily designed - it doesn't extend beyond the back of the chassis - but it offers excellent performance.

Under pressure, the S11 ran for a reasonable hour and a half. Left alone, with nothing running but the screen turned on and hibernation disabled, the S11 went for a shade under five hours. In the real world, using standard Office applications, it seems reasonable to expect around three hours of life away from the mains - impressive for a system with such a large screen and decent amount of power on tap.

Verdict

If there's room in your IT budget for a fleet of top-end laptops you're lucky indeed, but the S11 nonetheless offers excellent value for money. It costs a little over a grand, and while there's no doubt that the quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM and massive hard disk will be overkill for most office workers, anyone who has to deal with image editing for work, or delivers presentations that include HD video, will appreciate the extra speed. Indeed, anyone who's found themselves shutting down a few applications because their laptop has ground to a halt will appreciate the S11's performance. Then consider the excellent build quality, good screen and portability - both in terms of battery life and weight - and this Sony is the best choice for anyone looking for a new business notebook.

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