Sony VAIO VGN-TZ11XN/B laptop review

With the world seemingly obsessed with ever cheaper and cheaper notebooks, it’s great to see that Sony has continued to strive for portable perfection with the release of the VAIO VGN-TZ11XN/B.

This machine won’t satisfy the everyman looking for a bargain because at £1799 (inc. VAT) it’s out of most people’s price expectations. However, if you’re looking for something a little different this has to be it.

Weighing in at 1.2kg, it’s small and compact enough to slip in your typical briefcase, so you don’t need to be seen to be walking around with a laptop bag, which cuts down on the theft factor.

The reason for it’s low weight is the miniaturisation of the motherboard that still allows you to get all the normal features of a computer but in a reduced size. What makes this compact size equally impressive is that you’ll find a DVD rewriter built-in.

The 11.1-inch Super-TFT screen also helps. This panel is widescreen, so you don’t need to compromise on the amount of viewable space and because it uses LED backlit technology, instead of fluorescent tubes, colour reproduction is amazingly bright. What’s more, LED doesn’t take up as much space or weight, so further adding to the portability.

Sony has added a new design to the keyboard, with the keys being square and while there is plenty of space between them. To be fair, this isn’t the most immediately comfortable of keyboards to use and takes a little to get used to. However, once you’ve used it for for a bit, you’ll get used to its peculiarities.

Multimedia has been considered an option, as you’ll find dedicated buttons on the front of the case to launch media software, as well as handle searches and volume controls. There is even a biometric fingerprint scanner between the mouse keys and there is a webcam above the screen.

Powered by the Intel Core 2 Duo U7500 this is a dual-core chip, so you can run multiple tasks at the same time but it’s worse noting that it’s an ultra low voltage chip, designed for small form factor PCs, so helps save battery power and also helps to keep the heat generated down to a minimum. With 2GB of memory and 100GB of storage, there is enough here to keep you working smoothly. So how does it handle? To be fair, this isn’t intended to be the most powerful notebook on the market but it loaded quickly enough and we were more than satisfied when using out and about.

What really clinches it though, is that we managed to get close to 4 hours from the battery, which considering it isn’t that big, that and the use of Windows Vista, more than surprised us.

Verdict

The Sony VAIO VGN-TZ11XN/B isn’t just another notebook and won’t appeal to everyone.

It's small and lacks power and the keyboard takes time to grow accustomed too.

However, if you need a machine to rely on and use for long periods when out and about, this machine is more than up to the task.