JAPANESE ELECTRONICS FIRM Sony held a Christmas showcase event in London last week and The INQUIRER got some hands-on time with the most recent addition to its Vaio range of laptops, the Sony Vaio E11.
Revealed last month, the E11 is an 11.6in supplement to the Intel chip powered 15in and 17in E Series laptop models that Sony announced in May. What sets this one apart though isn't just its size. The delay in the E11's release was due to its use of AMD's new Zacate chip.
Aimed at the consumer market, the E11 is the most portable device in Sony's E Series of Vaio computers, which is intended to be a more simplified laptop line-up. It's made for those who want to "stay mobile without sacrificing PC performance", Sony claims, so we took a look to find out how portable the E11 really is and how well it performs.
Build and design
The most noticeable feature of the E11 laptop is how chunky it is. Since it's marketed as the most "portable" laptop in the E Series Vaio range, we thought Sony would have kept the thickness down to a minimum. The E11 seems way too fat for an 11in laptop, and unfortunately shoving diet pills in its SD card slot isn't going to change that. We think this could have an effect on customers' buying decisions if they want a slimmer and backpack or handbag friendly notebook.
It's a shame, too, that this issue is also mirrored in the laptop's weight. At 1.5kg, the E11 feels heavy for its size. Compared to the Asus 11in Zenbook UX21E, for example, which is 400g lighter, it feels much heavier. Perhaps this is down to the thickness of the chassis, which draws attention to its clunkiness. That said, the Asus Zenbook is double the price at £850, so perhaps you're getting what you pay for with the E11, in a roundabout way.
Despite its size and weight meaning that it's not as portable as we'd have liked, the build and finish of the E11 is excellent. It feels strong and robust. The white glossy plastic chassis makes it pleasant to touch, but we won't be surprised if some think this makes it look a little cheap.
Nevertheless, those who aren't fans of the white chassis can choose a more subtle black colour model if they wish.