Sony Vaio Duo 11 review

Sliding tablet-laptop hybrid with Windows 8

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If the Sony Vaio Duo 11 is fighting for its place as your main PC, performance will be a key consideration. At more than double the price of the new iPad or Microsoft Surface RT, we'd expect the Duo 11 to pack serious punch.

And we're pleased to say that the Sony Vaio Duo 11 is a heavyweight trapped inside a welterweight's body.

The Intel Core i7 processor racked up a score of 9,579 in our Cinebench 11 tests, which is staggering for an 11.6-inch tablet, ranking it among the most powerful laptops we've seen.

Sony Vaio Duo 11 review

To put that in context, the HP Envy Spectre 14 Ultrabook managed just 7,336 on the same test under the same conditions, which shows that despite its form factor, the Sony Vaio Duo 11 offers Ultrabook power.

Thanks to the x86 Intel Core processor at the heart of this hybrid tablet the Sony Vaio Duo 11 can run Photoshop, Word and any PC app in all their glory. This puts it in a different league to iOS and Android tablets, which are limited to their own app store.

However, the extra power doesn't do the battery life any favours, and the Duo 11 hit the canvas after 2.5 hours of HD video playback.

Sony Vaio Duo 11 review

That's less than most laptops, and way behind mainstream tablets - a black mark against the Sony's portable credentials.

As you might expect from all of the power onboard, HD video played seamlessly without stuttering or stopping, which is the least you should expect from a PC priced at £999/AU$1,499/US$1,199.99.

Unlike the iPad and Android tablets, using Windows means it plays nicely with every kind of file format, meaning you can watch movies in any manner you please, and you also get a valuable extra inch of real estate to play with.

Sony Vaio Duo 11 review

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If you are sitting back to enjoy a movie, however, you will need to invest in a decent pair of headphones. The built-in speakers are woeful, creating a tinny din that is barely audible.

Like many Windows tablets, the Sony Vaio Duo 11 ships with its own stylus, which can be used to enter text free-hand and be more creative with apps. In time we expect there to be more apps that support pen interaction, but it worked a charm with OneNote MX on the Windows Store.

The pen has a reassuring weight and two function buttons that enable you to cut out elements from a page and paste them into notes, before annotating and scribbling all over them.

Sony Vaio Duo 11 review

The accuracy is excellent, and Windows 8 does a great job of turning even the most illegible handwriting into editable text.

If you're serious about using a stylus, then the Samsung Ativ Smart PC with its excellent S-Pen technology is worth a look first, having borrowed a bucket load of tech from the fabulous Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

However, the Sony Vaio Duo 11 is a close second place.

Cinebench: 9,579
3D Mark: 3,684
Battery life: 163 minutes

Sony Vaio Duo 11 review


Tech Specs

Product TypeUltrabook/Tablet
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4000
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time6.50 Hour
Finger Print ReaderNo
Solid State Drive Capacity256 GB
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyVAIO Duo 11
Keyboard BacklightYes
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor Modeli7-3517U
Operating SystemWindows 8 Pro
Brand NameSony
Form FactorConvertible
Processor Speed1.90 GHz
Processor TypeCore i7
Screen Size29.5 cm (11.6")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Memory8 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.31 kg
Cache4 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
WWAN SupportedNo
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0 + HS
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Memory StandardDDR3-1600/PC3-12800
Height17.9 mm
Width319.9 mm
Depth199 mm
Screen ModeFull HD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesDuo 11
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelSVD1121Z9E
Product NameVAIO Duo 11 SVD1121Z9E Ultrabook/Tablet
Product LineVAIO
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberSVD1121Z9E
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Masters of mobility.

Your on-the-go lifestyle requires a travel-friendly laptop without compromises. That's why select VAIO laptops are crafted from premium materials like magnesium and carbon fiber that are ultra lightweight yet extremely durable. And with big-time battery life and energy-efficient processors, you can stay portable and productive longer.

The best of the best.

Premium materials and innovative design elements are hallmarks of any VAIO computer. And the quality is more than skin deep. Blazing-fast processors, the latest operating systems and exclusive pre-installed software come together to make your life easier.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Package Contents
  • VAIO Duo 11 SVD1121Z9E Ultrabook/Tablet
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Stylus
  • Documentation Pack
  • Guide VAIO International Repair Service
  • Power Cord