Sony VAIO X-Series VPC-X11Z1E/X review

An Atom-based ultraportable laptop that sets a new standard in mobility

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Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768

View full specification


  • 256GB SSD drive
  • Stunning screen
  • High quality build


  • Short typing action to keyboard

Sony's VAIO range has long been associated with ultraportable laptops, and the 11.1-inch VAIO X-Series VPC-X11Z1E/X is one of the most extreme to date.

With a chassis that measures just 16mm in depth and weighs an amazing 775g, it's the most portable fully-fledged laptop we've seen so far.

The screen is stunning, with a pin-sharp 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. Unlike Sony's Atom-based VAIO P-series, text and icons are clear and easy to read, and it's great for watching films on or working with a couple of documents open side by side.

It's also a bright and colourful panel, and reflections are well suppressed.

The dimensions are kept small through the use of an Intel Atom processor, which allows for minimal cooling and more compact packaging. The chip runs at 2GHz, and is backed by 2048MB of memory, but we found performance broadly similar to most current netbooks.

That said, it starts up quickly and runs smoothly, and files are easily accessed thanks to the use of a fast 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD). One of the biggest differences between this machine and a netbook is the design.

Along with the amazingly compact dimensions, Sony has used high-quality materials such as carbon fibre throughout, in order to keep the weight down. The result is a premium machine that feels every bit the executive toy.

A downside of the thin design on the VAIO X-Series is a chassis that flexes noticeably under pressure, however. With the entire front of the chassis filled by the battery, there's little here to provide strength, so the use of a protective case is a very good idea.

Compact keyboard

The keyboard features the same style as other Sony laptops, with the keys protruding through individual holes in the chassis. It makes it a little easier to type at speed, with mistakes less common.

It's not perfect, with a short typing action a result of the thin chassis, but it's better than many similarly sized laptops and netbooks.

The keyboard is set slightly below the palm rest, however, so you may have to adjust your typing style to strike the keys.

You'll find two USB ports for connecting peripherals, a VGA port for hooking up an external display, and two memory card readers, one supporting SD cards and the other Sony's Memory Stick format.

There's also a Gigabit Ethernet connection with a half-sized port that clips open fully when required. 802.11n Wi-Fi and 3G/HSDPA are also all in place for wireless connections.

The VAIO X-Series VPCX11Z1E/X may share its processor with cheaper netbooks, but there's a lot to separate this tiny machine. If you place portability and design above all else and money isn't an issue, then it's definitely worth a look.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Hard Drive CapacityNo
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelGraphics Media Accelerator 500
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Solid State Drive Capacity256 GB
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
Product FamilyVAIO X
Processor ModelZ550
ColourCarbon Black
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional
Brand NameSony
Processor Speed2 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Screen Size28.2 cm (11.1")
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)780 g
Cache512 KB
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelUS15W
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyX-black
WWAN SupportedYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports2
Height13.9 mm
Width278 mm
Depth185 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesX
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelX11Z1E/X
Product NameVAIO X11Z1E/X Netbook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineVAIO
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVPCX11Z1E/X.CEK
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Just touch VAIO X11Z1E/X Netbook and you'll realize this is a unique and special notebook. With a 13.9mm full flat carbon fibre chassis, it's easy to carry in one hand or under arm when meeting friends or going on holiday. So sleek and slim, you'll hardly notice it's there.

Maximum Memory2 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • VAIO X11Z1E/X Netbook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Power Cord
Bus Speed533 MHz