July 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm
The Sony Vaio W netbook is due to launch in the middle of next month, however Computer Shopper already has a review up of the device. We didn’t really learn anything that we didn’t already suspect. It wins marks for its interior design, high-resolution (1366 x 768) display and touchpad. However, it was let down by a poorly performing 3-cell battery, small keyboard and only two USB ports.
Whilst the model does come with a 6-cell battery option, the upgrade is prohibitively expensive. They did reiterate though that if you’re not too concerned regarding battery life, then the high-resolution screen really is excellent. They even went as far as saying that once you’ve used a screen like this, there’s no going back, mainly due to a lack of scrolling issues that you normally find on a 1024 x 600 netbook display. Click through for the main review points.
Key review points of the Sony Vaio W netbook:
- The exterior design doesn’t look that different from the competition, although the same can’t be said of the stylish inside. The silver chiclet keyboard is matched by a textured palm rest that is a lighter version of the netbook’s colour.
- The highlight is a bright, crisp 10.1-inch LED-backlit screen with 1366 x 768 resolution. Colour reproduction is very good. Would have preferred a matte, rather than glossy display.
- The keyboard has good spacing between the keys, and is comfortable to type on thanks to deep key presses. It does feel slightly cramped though compared to newer netbooks like the Samsung N120.
- Annoyingly, the right shift key is the same size as the latter keys. This is partly due to an extra ‘Fn’ function key.
- The touchpad is larger than most other netbooks and has a good button design with the right amount of resistance. The touch pad has a darker, patterned design.
- The netbook has two memory slots one for SD cards and the other for its proprietary Memory Stick Pro Duo cards.
- Performance was average. The Vaio W took 27 minutes and 23 seconds to do the Windows Media Encoder test, same as most N270 Atom models. 3DMark06 performance was below average, scoring 76 3DMarks.
- Audio volume is surprisingly loud for a netbook, though clarity degrades when you pass about 75 percent volume.
- Battery life was poor, even for a 3-cell battery, at 2 hours and 24 minutes. Sony claims it should last for 3 hours. An expensive ($129) 6-cell battery will be available in September that should double the battery life.