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Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN review

A stylish and comfortable business machine, offering quality at a reasonable price

As a business machine, few laptops comes close to the Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN

Our Verdict

Mixing power with portability, this is a great corporate machine for commuters


  • Great performance
  • Impressive battery life
  • Decent build quality


  • Only 160GB storage

Sony's BZ-range is aimed at the corporate user, and the Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN (£615 inc. VAT) is an affordable, comfortable and attractive laptop.

You'll find similar styling aspects to those found on the more expensive VAIO models – such as the cylindrical hinge and green LED lighting – but finished in dark grey it's more conservative than consumer models.

Vivid display

The 15.4-inch screen is impressive. It lacks the glossy Super-TFT coating found on many of its rivals – so it's a much better choice for those working on the move in direct sunlight. Colours proved equally vivid and lifelike, and this machine is just as good for watching movies or editing photographs on.

As a corporate machine, it's no surprise to find an integrated graphics card, as it uses less power and benefits battery life. As a result, we managed to use the Sony for an outstanding 367 minutes away from a power point – noticeably more than any of its rivals.

3D performance is compromised, however, and those wanting to carry out intensive video editing or play games in their spare time should look elsewhere.

Solid laptop

The keyboard is a revelation, offering just the right amount of travel for comfortable touch-typing. It's also responsive and the keys move quietly.

The touchpad is large, offering a simple and accurate way of navigating the Windows Vista Business operating system.

Build quality is good, with magnesium-alloy used throughout, which adds a nice feel. The Sony looks like a machine that costs considerably more than its rivals. Our only gripe was the back of the screen, which flexed under pressure.

Powerful processor

The 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor is one of the more powerful among its peers, and, even with a modest 2048MB of memory, the BZ11 offers impressive multitasking capabilities. We found the system ran smoothly at all times, and applications opened with little lag. Storage space is minimal, however, with a 160GB hard drive.

You'll be able to back up files to DVDs and CDs, and there's support for SD cards and Sony's Memory Stick format.

A fingerprint scanner protects your data, and also makes it easier to log in quickly. Networking features are comprehensive, with 802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet, but those wanting to connect an external display will have to do so by the analogue-only VGA-out port.

As a business machine, few laptops comes close to the Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN. Its impressive blend of performance, quality and excellent battery life make it a great choice for mobile users.