Sony Vaio VGN-G11VN/T review

Sony ultraportable notebooks dominate the slim and light sector of the market and the company has added to the range with this, the Sony VAIO VGN-G11VN/T, which has been designed to sit in between the tiny TX Series and the all-in-one 2kg machine that was the S Series.

This version comes with a 12.1-inch screen, which uses LED technology instead of fluorescent tubes. LED is the next generation of notebook panels and image quality is excellent. With a thickness of 4mm, the screen may be flexible, but it's well-built. Not only does LED give a better image quality, it also helps preserve battery life, which is ideal in an ultraportable notebook.

This also helps to keep the weight down. Weighing in at 1.1kg, this is an incredibly light notebook and what makes it even more impressive is the addition of a built-in DVD rewriter drive. Shipping with Windows Vista Business pre-installed, this is great for business user, as security is a priority. You'll find a biometric fingerprint scanner above the keyboard, which works seamlessly with the new security features built into the OS. Battery life proved a mixed bag. Vista hasn’t been designed with mobility in mind, so we only managed to get a little over 2 hours when out and about.

The other area where this notebook failed to excel was in its keyboard. It spans the length of the case, but the keys are a little small and feel cramped into the space. The end result is that it takes time to grow accustomed to them. The touchpad is also small, but it's accurate, as are the mouse buttons.

When it comes to performance, Sony has opted for an Intel Core Solo chip, which as the name suggest is a single processor version of their latest chip. It runs at 1.33GHz, which is fine for basic tasks, such as word processing, spreadsheets and checking your email and internet accounts, but you wouldn’t want to opt for this if you want to run anything serious, such as film editing.

The choice of chip may be limited but it’s in order to keep things running cool on the inside of the notebook. After all, with only 29mm of depth to deal with, it’s a worthwhile compromise. With 2048MB of memory, things are quick and we didn’t really notice any lag when using the G11 around town.

Verdict

We’ve always been big fans of the Sony S Series, so we were always going to be the hardest people to please with the Sony VAIO VGN-G11VN/T. It’s a great laptop but there is a deal of compromise to be had to get it to the weight and size it is. It’s a good laptop but we’re sure by the time it gets to version three it’ll be a great laptop.