The Bottom Line
- Very Good High Resolution Display
- Nice Trackpad
- 802.11n and Bluetooth Support
- Limited Battery Life With 3-Cell Battery
- Keyboard Too Small for Netbook Size
- Intel Atom N280 Mobile Processor
- 1GB PC2-4200 DDR2 Memory
- 160GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 10.1" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel GMA 950 Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Two USB 2.0, VGA, Memory Stick Slot, SD Card Slot
- 10.5" x 7.1" x 1.3" @ 2.6 lbs.
- Windows XP Home, VAIO Suite, Works, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - Sony VAIO W VPCW111XX/W 10.1-inch Netbook Laptop PC
Aug 27 2009 - Sony's VAIO W doesn't really set itself apart from other netbooks in just about any way other than price. Sure, it uses a slightly faster Intel Atom N280 processor, but it still has the same memory and hard drive restrictions as every other Windows XP based netbook. The problem is that Sony for some reason thinks it can charge $500 for a netbook that costs roughly $400 from its competitors.
Sony continues to use their isolated keyboard layout that does help prevent pushing multiple keys. The problem is that the keyboard is a good inch narrower than the width of the netbook. This makes the VAIO W more difficult to type on then it should be. At least the smaller keyboard does provide some additional space for the trackpad and buttons that is one of the better on the market for a netbook.
What really sets the Sony VAIO W apart from other netbooks is the display. With a 1366x768 resolution packed into a 10.1-inch display, this screen has an extremely sharp display. This may cause problems for some with less than perfect eyesight. The LED backlighting on it provides an extremely colorful and bright display that is a joy for full view web page viewing or watching video. All of this is fine until you try to use it outdoors and the glossy coating makes it pretty much useless due to reflections and glare.
The connectivity options are also quite good on the VAIO W thanks to support of the faster 802.11n wireless standard and Bluetooth. The problem is that these features can be found on netbooks for $100 or more less than what Sony is charging.
Battery life on the VAIO W is limited because of Sony's use of a smaller 3-cell battery. In video playback tests, it wasn't even able to run for two and a half hours. This is far from what can be achieved from netbooks using similar features but with a 6-cell battery.