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Sony VAIO VPC-YB15KXS 11.6-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

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Sony VAIO VPC-YB15KXS 11.6-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

Sony VAIO Y

©Sony VAIO

The Bottom Line

Mar 4 2011 - Sony's VAIO VPC-YB15KX/S offers a more powerful alternative to those looking at a netbook with the ability to handle multitasking and high definition video. The problem is HP's Pavilion dm1z which provides similarly performance and features but at a lower price tag and with longer battery life. So unless you need a larger hard drive, HP provides the better overall value.
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Pros

  • Good Performance From AMD Fusion Processor
  • Larger 500GB Hard Drive

Cons

  • Battery Life Falls Short Of Similar Equipped Laptop
  • 32-bit Software

Description

  • AMD E-350 Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
  • 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 11.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • AMD Radeon HD 6310 Integrated Graphics
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Three USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI, Memory Stick/SD Card Slot
  • 11.4" x 9" x 1.3" @ 3.2 lbs.
  • Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security

Guide Review - Sony VAIO VPC-YB15KXS 11.6-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

Mar 4 2011 - Sony VAIO Y series laptop keeps the form factor of a premium netbook but offers much higher performance thanks to the new AMD E-350 dual core processor based on its Fusion platform that integrated the graphics onto the same processor. In terms of performance, it is similar to the older Athlon II Neo K325. This means it is much more powerful than the Intel Atom but falls short of the Core 2 Duo CULV platforms. This combined with 4GB of DDR3 memory gives it very smooth performance for those on the go.

As mentioned above, the graphics processor, Radeon HD 6310M, is an integrated solution but rather than residing in the chipset it is built into the processor. This gives it much greater performance thanks to fewer paths between it and the processor. In terms of performance, it surpasses the Intel integrated solutions for the Atom by providing full 1080p high definition video playback support. It can even play some casual 3D PC games at lower resolutions and detail levels. The 11.6-inch display is decent quality but nothing that hasn't been seen in pretty much every other 11-inch laptop on the market.

Sony offers a fairly large 500GB hard drive on this $600 ultraportable laptop. This provides it with more space for applications, data and media files. On the downside, the drive uses the slower 5400rpm spin rate. This means that the drive performs a bit slower than HP's Pavilion dm1 which uses a smaller 320GB drive but with a faster 7200rpm spin rate. It does not feature an optical drive like most netbooks and ultraportables.

Sony ships the VAIO Y with a relatively small standard capacity battery pack in order to keep the size and weight down. AMD has also generally not be as well known for good power management with their mobile parts compared to Intel. In video streaming tests, the laptop was able to run for just under four hours before going into standby mode. This is pretty good on the whole but it falls short of the similar equipped and less expensive HP Pavilion dm1.

Sony continues to use their isolated keyboard layout design with the VAIO Y. The ksyeboard itself is fairly comfortable but the keys tend to be a bit too class at times. The right shift key has also been reduced in size to better fit the arrow keys but this can cause problems for some. The trackpad is smaller than the HP trackpad and doesn't provide as nice of a surface. What it does do differently though is have dedicated right and left buttons which are much easier to use than the integrated buttons of the HP.

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