Sony Vaio Duo 11 review

Sliding tablet-laptop hybrid with Windows 8

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Summing up the Sony Vaio Duo 11 is difficult, and it will certainly polarise opinions, all of which are perfectly valid.

On the one hand, the Sony Vaio Duo 11 is a £999/AU$1,499/US$1,199.99 tablet that's too heavy and cumbersome to be wielded in the way we see iPads dominating public transport.

People will dismiss it for being too costly, and comments sections of reviews will doubtlessly be filled with those who point out that the 16GB new iPad 3 can be bought for £399/AU$539/US$499 - just over 1/3 of the Sony Vaio Duo 11's mammoth price tag.

Then there's the other argument. The Sony Vaio Duo 11 packs the power and versatility of a laptop, can run Windows programs as well as Windows Store apps, all in the guise of an 11-inch tablet.

We liked

Connectivity is one of the Sony Vaio Duo 11's biggest wins, and we loved being able to plug in USB drives and peripherals to our tablet.

Editing on Photoshop and running our favourite apps was also cause for celebration, as well as being able to sit back and enjoy the latest Windows apps from what's shaping up to be a promising selection.

The Sony Vaio Duo 11 is also a solid piece of engineering, and despite its bulk it certainly turns heads. This in no small part thanks to the gorgeous 1080p screen, and if you need a device to watch a film on after a day working on the road, you have a top contender in the Sony Vaio Duo 11.

We disliked

The cramped keyboard, lack of a proper trackpad and substantial weight combine to make the Sony Vaio Duo 11 a problematic hybrid tablet. While the likes of the Samsung Ativ Smart PC and Asus Vivo Tab can be detached from their docks to halve the weight, with the Sony you're stuck with the bulk.

The poor marriage of usability, cost and power mean that this is still unlikely to be anyone's dedicated PC, and at nearly £999/AU$1,499/US$1,199.99, this is a big complaint.

If you're not worried about legacy x86 apps, then this kind of tablet isn't for you. With Microsoft Surface RT debuting at a reasonable £399 /AU$559/$US499, forking out £999/AU$1,499/US$1,200 for the ability to run Photoshop - which could be introduced as a Windows Store app in the future - will be too much to stomach.

Final verdict

It may not be wafer thin or super-light, but it has a gorgeous Full HD screen, 128GB of storage, full connectivity and is as good for work as it is for play.

That is something the iPad, Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire just can't compete with.

While it's not a perfect laptop-tablet hybrid, and certainly won't have mass appeal, Sony has furthered the Windows 8 cause with an exceptionally powerful device that challenges the perceptions of what tablets can achieve.

If you're a business user who wants on-the-go convenience and power then take the plunge, but for most people the Duo will be a luxury for problems that can be solved with an enormous range of cheaper, more versatile devices.


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