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SonyVaio VPC-SB1V9E/B review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £912
inc VAT

The functional design may not appeal to everyone, but this ultra-portable has it all, including an optical drive

Sony is a company that’s always excelled at creating stylish and small laptops packed with the latest kit, so it’s no surprise to find that the new Vaio manages to fit in an optical drive, a full-power 2nd Generation Core i5 processor, a 500GB hard disk and a dedicated graphics card, into a case that’s only 26mm thick and weighs just 1.8kg.

Sony Vaio VPCSB1V9E/B

The SB1 has a pedestrian, functional design from the outside, with a dark grey, matt-finish magnesium alloy lid. Apart from a headphone port hidden on the rear left corner, all the ports are strung along the right-hand side – a bit inconvenient if you want to use an external, right-handed mouse. The left side holds the optical drive tray, but its Eject button is placed above the keyboard where it’s more easily accessible.

Opening the lid reveals a minimalist design, with both screen bezel and keyboard panel made from aluminium to keep weight down – and the cool metal is pleasant on your wrists while you type. The keyboard sits in a shallow, concave recess in the metal panel: its keys are isolated and have a comfortable, light action with good feedback for touch-typists.

Sony Vaio VPCSB1V9E/B keyboard

A large touchpad sits underneath. It’s smooth and responsive, and includes both vertical and horizontal scroll areas, as well as supporting some gestures such as rotation and zooming. Its two large buttons are a bit stiff, but sit right on the edge of the case where your thumb naturally rests, and there’s a fingerprint reader between them.

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Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5-2410M
Processor clock speed2.3GHz
Memory slots1
Memory slots free1
Maximum memory8GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad


Viewable size13.3 in
Native resolution1,366×768
Graphics ProcessorAMD Radeon HD 6470M
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory512MB


Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other portsminijack audio output, 1x USB 3.0


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedMicrosoft Office 2010 Starter
Optional extras£76

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB