Sony Vaio W netbook reviewed – premium not justified

July 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Sony Vaio WThe 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.


3 Responses to “Sony Vaio W netbook reviewed – premium not justified”

  1. SpencerUk said:
    July 29th, 2009 10:06 AM

    Sony product..Nuff said

  2. spud said:
    October 30th, 2009 12:21 PM

    you say it doesnt justify the premium but you missed the main point, its a vaio so it will last and last and last, unlike the dodgy aspire one my sister had that had power issues a mere 3 months after buying, acer wanted 50 quid to even look at it (because of course you can do full testing over the phone). and they are right once youve had a vaio you dont go back, ive been using them for near 10 years now and theres still no better system out there (although toshiba come close)

  3. Tej said:
    October 30th, 2009 2:45 PM

    spud – This post was just summarising the Computer Shopper’s reviews, they are not our thoughts. However, I can understand where they are coming from, as there is better value elsewhere in the netbook space. Netbook stalwarts such as Asus & Samsung have better netbooks for the money compared to the Sony.

    I can’t speak for Acer as it’s the one brand we’ve not had in the NbC labs. Despite a number of attempts at contacting Acer’s UK PR, they just don’t seem to want to send any review samples over. However, you’re not alone, check out the unhappy people in this previous post on the Acer Aspire One 751.