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Sony Vaio P VGN-P11Z/R review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £750
inc VAT


8 in 1,600×768 display, 618g, 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520, 2.00GB RAM, 60GB disk, Windows Vista Business

Sony’s P-series Vaio is unlike any other portable computer here.

It’s less than half the size and around half the weight of Samsung’s N110. The 8in widescreen LCD is more than twice as wide as it is tall, with a resolution of 1,600×768. Although high screen resolutions are usually useful, the pixel size here is so small you won’t be able to read small text easily. If you increase text size, you’ll quickly find that the screen height of 768 pixels leaves little room for reading documents or web pages, so you’ll have to do a lot of scrolling.

The widescreen display is well suited to watching movies. However, the 1.33GHz Atom Z520 processor and Intel GMA 500 graphics chipset aren’t up to the task of playing smooth full-screen video from iPlayer or YouTube, with lots of stuttering and dropped frames.

This isn’t the only disappointment. The 60GB hard disk is small and the 1.33GHz Atom Z520 processor fared poorly compared to the 1.6GHz N270 chip found in many of the other netbooks here. Even with 2GB of RAM, the P11Z/R is noticeably slower in Windows Vista than HP’s Mini 2140, no XP option is available. Battery life is respectable, lasting four hours and 20 minutes in our light-usage test, but other netbooks here lasted even longer.

If you want to connect the P11Z/R to a monitor or Ethernet network you’ll need to use the included matchbox-sized dock, which connects to a proprietary connector. There’s a built-in 3G broadband modem as well as a GPS locator so you can take full advantage of mapping services such as Google Maps.

The keyboard’s flat, separated keys have very little travel, and the keys are just small enough to make touch-typing uncomfortable. The keyboard takes up all the available space, so there’s a touchstick instead of a touchpad.

The P11Z/R is unlike any other netbook here. It’s a desirable piece of kit, but it’s still hard to recommend. You’re paying a huge premium for the diminutive size and weight. For the same price, you could buy two Samsung N120s, which are larger and heavier but much more usable.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Atom Z520
Processor clock speed 1.33GHz
Memory 2.00GB
Memory slots 1
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 2GB
Size 20x245x120mm
Weight 618g
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchstick
Power consumption standby 4W
Power consumption idle 8W
Power consumption active 12W


Viewable size 8 in
Native resolution 1,600×768
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 500
Graphics/video ports VGA
Graphics Memory 762MB


Total storage capacity 60GB
Optical drive model none
Optical drive type N/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 2
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n, HSDPA
PC Card slots none
Modem No
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other ports docking station connecter


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows Vista Business
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included InterVideo WinDVD 8
Optional extras battery £89, extended battery £129, USB DVD writer £119, Bluetooth presentation remote £69, one year extended warranty £69

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £750

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