Sony VPC-SB1V9E review: Verdict

Sony vaio vpc-sb1v9e

If you find you're regularly stuck on malfunctioning public transport, with a dire need to conduct some urgent spreadsheet analysis, then an excellent solution is an ultra-portable laptop such as a Sony VAIO VPC-SB1V9E. These slender devices pack an impressive amount of power into a tiny chassis, perfect for taking on your travels.

The VAIO VPC-SB1V9E is a competitor to the likes of Apple's MacBook Air and the upcoming Samsung 9-Series, featuring Intel Sandy Bridge technology and a host of features.

We liked

There's no denying the portability of the VAIO VPC-SB1V9E. The slender chassis measures just 30mm at its thickest point and weighs a measly 1.7kg, while the near-five hour battery life means you won't need the charger for your daily commute.

But there's no sacrifice to performance, thanks to Intel's Sandy Bridge technology. The VAIO VPC-SB1V9E can handle anything you throw at it, making this the most powerful ultra-portable laptop we've tested. A dedicated AMD Mobility Radeon HD graphics card means you can even run video editing software and other fairly intensive multimedia applications.

Usability is another highlight, with a backlit isolation-style keyboard and spacious touchpad in place. The 13.3-inch anti-glare TFT screen reduces glare yet is still satisfyingly sharp and colourful.

Finally, the feature set is fantastic. A built-in fingerprint scanner, USB 3.0 connectivity and an HDMI output are all well appreciated, while 500GB of storage is more than expected. Even better, Sony has somehow found space for a built-in DVD drive.

We dislike

Our first impression of the plain black interior was less than great – it's rather plasticky, considering the high price.

The laptop also tends to whine a little when running applications, although it's not so noisy that you'll be forced to don earphones.

Verdict

If you want a highly portable laptop that still has enough grunt to run all of your applications, as well as a DVD drive and plenty of storage space, then the Sony VAIO VPC-SB1V9E is a fantastic option.