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Sony Vaio VPCF11Z1E/BI review

Sony's media centre laptop shines thanks to its Full HD screen

Our Verdict

With Full HD Blu-ray playback and enough power available for almost all use, this is a great media centre option

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1920 x 1080
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Good battery life
  • Superb screen
  • Lots of style

Against

  • Performance not as good as anticipated

Sony's Vaio range includes some of best multimedia machines you can buy, offering unique features that help to stand out from the crowd. The Vaio VPCF11Z1E/ BI adds to this legacy but is bettered by its rivals in key areas.

The first is performance. While the Intel Core i7 processor is backed by a staggering 8192MB of DDR3 memory – twice that of all other laptops in this group – benchmark testing revealed it to be far less powerful than its rivals.

This anomaly led us to run a range of further tests, which revealed that all was not as bad as it seemed, as the Sony proved fast and responsive in daily use. However, there is no denying that it was less capable than similarly-specced machines, so bear this in mind if cutting-edge performance is what you're after.

Graphics are also conspicuously average, but again are more than capable for most home use. The dedicated Nvidia graphics card is ideal for gaming and multimedia use. High-definition (HD) video playback, as well as video and photo editing tasks run with ease.

A unique feature of the Sony is its 16.4-inch screen. With no glossy Super-TFT coating in place, it can be comfortably viewed in all lighting conditions. Image quality is fantastic, with vibrant colours, and the screen adjusts its brightness automatically to conserve power.

The screen also boasts Full HD resolution, ensuring the sharpest possible picture. As a result, high-definition video can run in its native resolution, allowing Blu-ray discs to easily be shown to their full potential.

Build quality is excellent throughout, with tough plastics and a sturdy chassis in place. The sleek black and gun-metal design adds style and we found that the raised leather palm-rest added greatly to our comfort when typing.

Light chassis

As with the Acer, the 3.1kg chassis is the joint-lightest in this group. Battery life far exceeds the Acer, however, running for 210-minutes. While none of these machines suit frequent travel use, the Sony has a pleasing touch of portability.

This is also the only machine in this group with an isolated-key style keyboard. With each key cut through an individual hole in the chassis, there is ample space between them. It is very easy to type at speed and we found the board to be comfortable and accurate.

Despite poor first appearances, the Vaio VPCF11Z1E/BI is a highly capable machine. The glorious HD screen, impressive usability and elegant style make this yet another great addition to Sony's range and one that we like a lot.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ModelGeForce GT 330M
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeBlu-ray Writer
Maximum Battery Run Time3.16 Hour
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
FireWire/i.LINKYes
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Product FamilyVAIO F
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli7-720QM
ColourPremium Black
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameSony
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore i7
Screen Size41.7 cm (16.4")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Memory8 GB
Weight (Approximate)3.20 kg
Cache6 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityEco Mark (Japan), ENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelPM55 Express
Optical Media SupportedBD-R/RE
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports2
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10666
Height41 mm
Width387.2 mm
Depth263 mm
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesF
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelF11Z1E/BI
Product NameVAIO F11Z1E/BI Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineVAIO
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVPCF11Z1E/BI.CEK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

The VAIO F11Z1E/BI Notebook includes Full HD screen resolution and Blu-ray Disc reader for enjoying high definition movies wherever you go. Fast-moving action is smooth and crystal clear with Motion Reality HD and high performance NVIDIA graphics.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • VAIO F11Z1E/BI Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Power Cord