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Sony Vaio Duo 11 review

Fri Dec 14 2012, 13:30

Design and build
Aside from the weak feeling slide mechanism, the Vaio Duo 11 is nicely finished and projects a premium but minimalist style. Its all-black chassis has a high gloss shine to it, with sharp edges that make it look stylish and worth the £850 it costs.

Sony Vaio Duo 11 laptop tablet hybrid side

Weighing 1.3kg, it's heavy enough to feel expensive while not feeling too heavy to carry around in a bag. Measuring 320x199x18mm, it does feel a little chunky when in tablet mode, which is a shame, and if it was just a few millimetres thinner it would feel better to use.

Keyboard
The keyboard is perhaps our least favourite aspect of the Vaio Duo 11. This is because there is no track pad. When typing we found our fingers naturally wanted to move to a track pad due to the location of the mouse buttons. The mouse button is irritating to use and doesn't provide an enjoyable experience.

Sony Vaio Duo 11 laptop tablet hybrid keyboard overview

Seated and using the Vaio Duo 11 at a desk, it can also feel a little restrictive, as the small keyboard doesn't offer space for your hands to do the usual swift movements on a larger sized keyboard. However, those looking to use it for long periods of time at a desk can always invest in a full size portable USB keyboard and mouse to accompany it.

Sony Vaio Duo 11 laptop tablet hybrid keyboard

Though it looks and feels well built, it's fair to say the keys are a little too far apart and also quite small, meaning you can miss certain letters occasionally while typing. We can't help but think that Sony could have made the Vaio Duo 11 keys bigger and thus closer together to improve typing accuracy.

Display
One of our favourite features of the Vaio Duo 11 is its touchscreen display. This is due to its Opticontrast panel, which means it has a special resin layer that Sony says helps to absorb any diffused light delivered from the backlight for high contrast and natural colours. The 11in display panel also reduces glare from light sources, with little light reflected when in use.

Sony Vaio Duo 11 laptop tablet hybrid overview

The Vaio Duo 11's screen resolution is set at 1920x1080 and though it provides brilliant viewing for movies, for general use it feels a little too high for its 11in screen. Text appears tiny so if your eyes aren't great, it's probably worth changing it to 1600x900. However, it is worth noting that the screen doesn't seem as crisp overall at this setting.

Next: Display performance and OS

 

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