Sony's take on the ultraportable market is represented by the Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN, an 11in screen notebook weighing at just over 1.3kg.

The Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN has got a very high price tag, but this is partially explained by the inclusion of an internal 3G modem for mobile internet access.

It's a relatively sober and business-like portable, with matt black plastic bodywork and pretend-chrome side trim and mouse-click buttons. And the Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN includes an on-board optical drive. A tray-loading DVD±RW drive is fitted on the right, with an eject button fitted to the front right corner, alongside extra hard buttons for volume and mute.

On the left of the Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN are two USB ports and a mini FireWire port, along with concealed HDMI and ethernet ports - accessed after pulling off a plasticky cover by the screen hinge.

The Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN's keyboard is the now-familiar Scrabble tile type - perhaps Travel Scrabble is more apt, given the shrunken size of the key tops. The amount of travel found on these keys is truly minimal and this made quick and accurate typing less easy.

The Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN's trackpad precision is good, and the click buttons are usefully sited on the edge of the chassis so they can be readily depressed with the thumb's edge.

Overall, the build quality is not bad, but the Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN is seriously let down by the wobbly and, frankly, cheap silver plastic trim. And we still can't fathom why Sony insists on putting a ‘Full HD 1080' sticker on laptop that has neither a Blu-ray drive nor, more importantly, a screen to show 1080 lines of high-definition video.

For all that, it's the screen that is actually one of the two saving graces to an otherwise underwhelming product, given the Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN's eyebrow-raising price. Unlike the great majority of modern notebooks that sell with poor-quality glossy screens, Sony has chosen a bright, high-contrast matt finish display. This allows the TT11 to be used with impunity in any environment, not just a darkened room.

A WorldBench speed benchmark score of 60 is a good result, underlined by an uncanny battery life time of 8 hours 30 minutes. This was recorded by our usual Mobilemark 2007 Productivity test, and usurps even Sony's advertised time of 7 hours 40 minutes.

Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN: Specs

  • 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300
  • 3MB L2 Cache
  • 4GB RAM
  • 160GB (1 x 160GB) 5400rpm Serial ATA Hard Drive
  • DVD±RW drive
  • qwerty keyboard and touchpad
  • 11.1in X-black LCD with LED technology WXGA
  • Built-in Stereo Speakers
  • VGA, HDMI, RJ-45, 2 x USB 2.0, FireWire (4 Pin), Microphone In Jack, Audio Out, Docking Connector, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro
  • Ethernet 10/100/1000Mbps integrated
  • IEEE 802.11 a/b/g draft n
  • Wireless WAN 7.2Mbps (HSUPA, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
  • 0.3Mp webcam
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Business
  • Lithium-Ion battery
  • 279x199.8x23.5mm
  • 1.32kg
  • 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300
  • 3MB L2 Cache
  • 4GB RAM
  • 160GB (1 x 160GB) 5400rpm Serial ATA Hard Drive
  • DVD±RW drive
  • qwerty keyboard and touchpad
  • 11.1in X-black LCD with LED technology WXGA
  • Built-in Stereo Speakers
  • VGA, HDMI, RJ-45, 2 x USB 2.0, FireWire (4 Pin), Microphone In Jack, Audio Out, Docking Connector, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro
  • Ethernet 10/100/1000Mbps integrated
  • IEEE 802.11 a/b/g draft n
  • Wireless WAN 7.2Mbps (HSUPA, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
  • 0.3Mp webcam
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Business
  • Lithium-Ion battery
  • 279x199.8x23.5mm
  • 1.32kg

OUR VERDICT

For the money, we’d expect first-rate build quality and performance, yet the Sony VAIO VGN-TT11WN fails to deliver on the former, while startling us in some respects with the latter. Screen quality and battery life are both unparalleled by any other notebook we've tested.

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