Sony VAIO Fit 11A review

Sony's laptops go out with a fizzle, not a bang

Sony VAIO Fit 11A review
How well does Sony's Vaio Fit 11A send of its laptop line?

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The Sony Vaio Fit 11A is a computer that doesn't quite know what it wants to be. As a notebook, it feels cheap and cramped, despite the nice display. (That's thanks mostly to a poor quality keyboard.) As a tablet, it's heavy and awkward to hold, and the design feels disjointed.

The trackpad and touchscreen display feel premium, but that's in contrast to the rest of the device. A fantastic touch screen is great on a tablet, but I never really wanted to use the laptop as a tablet for extended periods of time. When I used it as a notebook, my hands were constantly on the keyboard, which only highlighted how cramped and uncomfortable it is.

Instead of getting the best of both worlds, the Vaio Fit 11A goes halfway in both directions. Performance was decent, despite the comparatively low benchmark results, but it never felt like the notebook truly excelled at anything.

We Liked

When it comes to 11.6-inch notebooks, portability is often a fairly high priority. The Fit 11A succeeds in making a light and travel-friendly device, which I had no problem tossing in a bag to walk around the city.

The display is great as well, cramming plenty of pixels into an 11.6-inch panel to make video watching a crisp and clear experience. Thanks to an SSD storage drive, app load times and boot times were fast, even though the processor isn't quite as powerful as some of the competition.

Sony chose all the right ports, as well. Opting for the faster and more powerful USB 3.0 connectors is a great choice, especially when a notebook like the Lenovo Yoga 11S only has USB 2.0. The full-sized HDMI port means you'll be able to easily hook this notebook to a large display without worrying about converters of any kind.

We Disliked

The Fit 11A just feels awkward as a tablet, with a body that doesn't quite lay flat and a weird widescreen aspect ratio. I wanted it to feel more like the Lenovo Yoga 11S, despite the Yoga's exposed keys, simply because the Fit 11A tablet design just felt forced.

The cramped keyboard didn't do the laptop any favors, either. Typing for long periods of time made me long for a full-sized keyboard, and I stopped mid-sentence to stretch my fingers multiple times.

A bigger keyboard can be tricky, especially on an 11.6-inch notebook, but I wanted more. The keys look tiny on the deck, making me wonder why Sony didn't try to squeeze in a bigger keyboard. There appears to be room.

Final Verdict

The Sony Vaio Fit 11A isn't quite up to Sony's standards, which isn't surprising given the company's exit from the computer manufacturing business after this. I'd much rather have a better laptop experience and a separate tablet than a subpar version of both, but Sony seemed to think its users wanted the latter.

It's nice to have all your apps and documents in one device and the flexibility of either a notebook or tablet. But cloud storage and connected apps have brought us closer to that experience already, regardless of the number of devices. I needed to give up too many comforts when I was using the Vaio Fit 11A, and that just isn't something I'm quite willing to do.