Sony Vaio Y-series 11.6in review

When is a netbook not a netbook? When it’s designed by Sony and AMD. Alan Lu takes a look at the new 11.6in Vaio Y series laptop to see if it really does have all the advantages of a netbook without any of the limitations.

The 11.6in Sony Vaio Y versus the discontinued 13.3in version - notice the smaller keyboard and touchpad

The 11.6in Sony Vaio Y versus the discontinued 13.3in version - notice the smaller keyboard and touchpad.

Unsurprisingly the discontinued 13.3in Vaio Y is wider and deeper than the new 11.6in version. The new 11.6in model is availa

Unsurprisingly the discontinued 13.3in Vaio Y is wider and deeper than the new 11.6in version. The new 11.6in model is available in both lurid pink and sedate silver.

The 11.6in screen is very bright with good levels of contrast thanks to its glossy finish. The glossy sheen does mean that the screen reflects overhead lights, such as fluorescent strip lighting, easily leading to glare. This can look distracting, but it's not as bad as other glossy displays we've seen.

The 1,366x768 pixel resolution is the same as that found on most 13.3in screens. It is much easier to use most programs on this screen than it is on the cramped 1,024x600 resolutions of most 10.1in netbook screens. However, some may find text hard to read compared to using the same resolution on larger 13.3in screens.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

There's a lot like about the 11.6in Sony Vaio Y from its comfortable keyboard to its reasonably long battery life and bright screen. Best of all is its low price of £343 ext VAT. Although we suspect similarly-priced budget ultraportable laptops with equally good battery life based on Intel processors will soon be available, for now the Vaio Y is a good choice if you need a light laptop at a low price.

Processor: AMD E350, 1.6GHz Memory: 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 RAM Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6130 Hard disk: 320GB hard disk Display: 11.6in 1,366x768, LED-backlit screen Features: 0.3 megapixel camera, microphone, stereo speakers Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR Ports: 3 x USB2, 1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x SDHC card reader, 1x Memory Stick Pro Duo card reader, 3.5mm headphone and microphone audio sockets, Dimensions: 290x203x25mm (WxDxH) Weight: 1.44kg Warranty: 1 year Collect and Return warranty OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit Part code: VPCYB2M1E BENCHMARK RESULTS Image editing 21 Video encoding 11 Multiple apps 8 Overall 11 Light usage battery life – 6h45m POWER CONSUMPTION Sleep 0.4W Idle 18W Active 25W

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