Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/W review

Sony's ultraportable laptop has had some upgrades

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Our Verdict

A very impressive ultraportable, but it's not perfect, and it's not cheap

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 800
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Great image quality
  • Extremely portable


  • Some disappointing build quality
  • Expensive

Sony's VAIO SR series has been around for a year or so now, sitting in the middle of the company's ultraportable range. The VAIO SR41M/W (£1099 inc. VAT) sees a number of updates to the design and internal components.

The Sony SR41's screen remains the same at 13.3 inches. With a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, images are sharp, and LED backlighting also results in incredibly bright and accurate colour reproduction – ideal for watching films or working with photographs. The glossy Super-TFT coating will put off some users, however, producing reflections when out on the road.

Multimedia performance is better than most ultraportable systems, thanks to the provision of a mid-range ATIi Mobility Radeon HD 4570 graphics card, allowing you to play games in your spare time or run intensive 3D applications.

All the latest SR models can be distinguished by the use of a white keyboard with the familiar isolation design retained. The keys protrude through holes in the chassis, with space between each key, making it easy to type at speed.

Build quality is good, with aluminium and magnesium alloy used in the construction to keep the weight down to 1.9kg. The plastics used for the palmrests let this machine down, however, bending slightly under pressure and lacking the quality shown in the rest of the laptop.

Processing power comes from a midrange Intel Core 2 Duo chip, running at 2GHz. Along with 3072MB of memory, we found this laptop a more than capable companion during daily use. It failed to shine in our benchmark tests, but in real life we noticed little lag and start-up times were impressively quick.

Excellent battery life

The biggest improvement is seen when it comes to battery life, however. Where the original VAIO SR struggled to better three hours between charges, this model lasted for an outstanding 349 minutes, letting you use it for most of a working day away from a power point.

Two USB ports limit the amount of peripherals you'll be able to connect simultaneously, although an ExpressCard slot offers further connectivity. Bluetooth also offers wireless connections. When it comes to networking, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet offer the fastest connections currently possible. An HDMI port has also been added, letting you hook up a high-definition TV.

Although this model marks an evolution rather than a revolution for the SR range, the changes are all welcome and turn this into a very good ultraportable. It's a shame the plastics used inside aren't a little tougher but, that aside, it's a highly impressive machine.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelMobility Radeon HD 4570
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilitySemi-shared
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
Product FamilyVAIO SR
Processor ModelT6400
Operating SystemWindows Vista Home Premium
Brand NameSony
Processor Speed2 GHz
Processor TypeCore 2 Duo
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.99 kg
Cache2 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelPM45 Express
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 2.17 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyX-black
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports2
Memory StandardDDR2-800/PC2-6400
Height34 mm
Width315 mm
Depth233.8 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesSR
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelSR41M/W
Product NameVAIO SR41M/W Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineVAIO
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberVGNSR41M/W.CEK
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Multimedia files, presentations and photo collections are all brought vividly to life by the smart, versatile VAIO SR41M/W Notebook. Its widescreen 13.3" X-black LCD display with LED technology delivers intense contrast and exceptionally true-to-life colour.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • VAIO SR41M/W Notebook
  • Lithium-Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Power Cord
Limited Warranty1 Year
Bus Speed800 MHz