It has long been recognised that Sony produces the widest, and some would say best looking, array of ultra-portable laptops. Larger than the TX series, but slightly smaller than the S Series it is aimed to replace, the VAIO is for business professionals who need to have a fully specified machine with them at all times.
To this end, in a machine that weighs 1.1kg, you'll find the inclusion of a DVD rewriter built into the casing. You'll also find a 12.1-inch screen, which uses LED technology instead of fluorescent tubes.
Image quality is excellent and with a thickness of 4mm, the screen may be flexible, but it's well built. Not only does LED give a better image quality, it also helps preserve battery life, which is ideal in an ultraportable laptop.
With an overall thickness of just 29mm, we were impressed with how compact and robust the chassis was. It comes with a leather folio slipcase, so you can just drop it into your standard luggage, and we didn't find it a problem to carry this machine around on a daily basis.
The Sony comes with Windows Vista Business pre-installed, which is ideal, as you'll find a biometric fingerprint scanner above the keyboard that works seamlessly with the new security features built into the OS.
The one area where this machine failed to excel was in its keyboard. It spans the length of the case, but the keys are a little small and feel cramped into the space. The end result is that it takes time to grow accustomed to them.
Small but accurate
The touchpad is also small, but it's accurate, as are the mouse buttons. Naturally, compromises have to be made on the components used inside. So, you'll find an Intel Core Solo chip being used. This is a single core and ultra-low voltage processor that runs at 1.33GHz. It won't compete in terms of processing power, but for office tasks, such as answering emails and writing reports, it's more than adequate.
Things are helped along by the inclusion of 2048MB of memory, which helps speed data from the 100GB hard disk to the processor quicker. This all aids battery life, which is great for the mobile traveller.
The Sony VAIO VGN-G11VN/T is a good addition to the VAIO range. We're just not convinced it's as versatile as the S Series, though. It may be lighter, but it lacks the all-round versatility of its predecessor. However, if your work needs are average, this is a good machine for the typical mobile professional.