The Bottom Line
Apr 12 2013 - Sony has done a few minor upgrades to its VAIO SVE11135CXW but for the most part it remains unchanged and this is a big problem. The system is anemic compared to other low cost offerings and while it is small, other systems have come out since that offer a thinner and lighter platform with better performance for just slightly more. About the only thing going for it really is its larger than average keyboard for such a small laptop.
- Compact Size
- Good Keyboard For Size
- AMD Processor Much Slower Than Similarly Priced Offerings
- Below Average Battery Life
- Swkward Touchpad
- AMD E2-2000 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 11.6" WXGA (1366x768) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- AMD Radeon HD 7340M Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- One USB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 3-in-1 Card Reader
- 11.4" x 8" x 1.3" @ 3.3 lbs.
- Windows 8
Review - Sony VAIO SVE11135CXW
Apr 12 2013 - The Sony VAIO SVE11135CXW is a minor update to the SVE11113FXW model that I looked at six months ago. This isn't necessarily bad considering the basic body of the laptop itself. It is very compact and lightweight thanks to its compact screen and lack of an optical drive. It also has that larger than average keyboard that makes it much easier to work with for such a small system. Of course this means the awkwardly short trackpad is still there and especially difficult to use with the Windows 8 multitouch gestures.
The big change on the VAIO SVE11135CXW is the processor. It still uses the same AMD E series APU but it has been bumped up to a slightly faster E2-2000 dual core processor. The downside is that this is a processor that is a bridge between the low power C series and the more powerful A series APUs. The result is a system that will provide sufficient power for basic computing tasks like browsing the web, reading mail, streaming media or productivity software but you won't want to be multitasking much with these or doing more demanding stuff as it falls well behind the Intel processors. The 4GB of memory gives it a decently smooth experience in Windows 8 but as mentioned, its best not to multitask too much.
Storage features remain completely unchanged. There is no optical drive as previously mentioned which is not a big deal as it was a few years ago. The primary storage is handled by a 500GB hard drive which is typical of a low cost system. It provides a good amount of space for applications, data and media files. Speed is not something that the drive is designed for so booting into Windows 8 can take over a half minute. If you do need additional space, there is a single USB 3.0 port on the front left hand side of the system to use with high speed external hard drives.
The display and graphics are also unchanged even with the faster AMD E2 processor as it uses the same Radeon HD 7340M graphics core on the processor. While the resolution remains a fairly low 1366x768 the display is sharper because of the greater pixel density than your average 15-inch display panel with the same resolution. It isn't a great screen as the viewing angles are limited but brightness and contrast are good. The graphics offer improved 3D performance over Intel's HD Graphics but it still isn't really suited for PC gaming beyond older titles at lower resolutions. At least it provides some acceleration for non-3D applications as well.
With its small size, the battery pack for the Sony VAIO SVE11135CXW is a small 3500mAH pack that is a good deal smaller than traditional low cost laptops that are also much bigger in size. In digital video playback tests, this still yields just over three hours before going into standby mode which is well below most of the laptops in this price segment. It is a good two hours less than what the HP Envy Sleekbook 6 maintains with its larger 15-inch screen and corresponding weight.
Sony has dropped the price on the VAIO SVE11135CXW to just $450 which makes it very affordable. The problem is has is that since the E series was introduced, ASUS released its VivoBook Q200e which is also an 11-inch laptop that is available for under $500. The ASUS model offer a thinner and lighter package, faster Intel Core i3 processor and a multitouch 11.6-inch display while still providing a longer running time. The only real downside for the ASUS laptop is the fact that it has a smaller keyboard compared to the Sony but this does allow it to offer a roomier trackpad.