We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Sony Vaio W series review

£345.88 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Sony

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Not one to be squeezed into the back pocket of your jeans, Sony's Vaio W is a 'proper' netbook.

Not one to be squeezed into the back pocket of your jeans, Sony's Vaio W is a 'proper' netbook.

The Vaio W heralds Sony's full-fledged entry into the netbook world. Not one to be squeezed into the back pocket of your jeans, the Vaio W is a proper netbook - one that can lock horns with other brands dominating the market right now.

What impressed us most about the Sony Vaio W was its style and design. It isn't the thinnest netbook around, nor the lightest, but boy is it good looking. Sony offers the Vaio W with three colour choices on the screen lid: white, brown, and pink. Glossiness is all the rage in netbooks these days - from screen lid, bezel, even palmrests - its everywhere, and so are your fingerprints, as a result. Thankfully, the Sony Vaio W doesn't come with a glossy screen lid - it has a smooth matt finish, in common with a typical Vaio notebook. In fact, there's not an inch of gloss on the netbook, not even on the screen bezel, and we like that. The build of the Vaio W is very good, too. The netbook oozes the aura of a premium, lifestyle product.

The Vaio W's 10.1in glossy screen is capable of 1,366x768 resolution - most 10in netbook displays are capable of 1,024x768. The Sony Vaio W, therefore, gives you more desktop space in the same form factor, and we hope other netbook manufacturers follow this trend. The LED-backlit screen also has a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is great for watching movies. Around the keyboard, including the palmrest and palmrest, Sony has adorned the Vaio W with finely textured plastic. The keyboard has chiclet-styled keys, and well spaced, but they are tiny in comparison to netbooks from Asus, Acer, or Samsung.

More netbook reviews

The Sony Vaio W has standard netbook specs, and nothing here stands out. It has an Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM and a 160GB hard drive. Sony also includes ethernet, draft-n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a webcam, for connectivity and communication. It has a multicard reader and Sony's proprietary Memory Stick Pro Duo card, but disappointingly only two USB ports.

Port placement is well thought out on the Sony Vaio W. Take the front edge below the touchpad, for example: The power slider-button resides on the right corner, the Wi-Fi toggle on the left, and the two card readers in between them.

Visit Laptop Advisor

The Sony Vaio W did little to differentiate itself from the rest of the netbook pack in our performance benchmarks. A WorldBench 6 score of 36 is pretty average from a netbook. In real-world usage, its performance was in line with expectations - we was able to browse the web on a browser with multiple tabs over Wi-Fi, while listening to music at the same time. Whether it was working with productivity suites or watching movies, it was all good on the Vaio W. Disappointingly, the three-cell battery didn't go past the three-hour mark.

Sony Vaio W Expert Verdict »

Sony Vaio VPC-W12S1E (Netbook) Scores 7.6 out of 10 based on 83 reviews
1.6GHz Intel Aton N280
1GB DDR2 RAM
160GB HDD
10.1in (1,366x768) display
2 x USB 2.0
802.11n
ethernet
Bluetooth
multicard reader
webcam
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The good-looking Sony Vaio W is very well-designed. But it's just like any other netbook available today, in terms of internal hardware and performance. And it comes with poor battery life in comparison.

  • Sony VAIO M review

    Sony VAIO M

    The Sony VAIO M is a 10-inch netbook that comes with an Intel Atom N470 processor and improved hardware compared to the VAIO W.

  • Sony VAIO E review

    Sony VAIO E

    The new Sony VAIO E is a 15.5-inch mainstream laptop from Sony, based on the Intel Core i5-520M processor - a cheaper, Intel i3 version is available.

  • Acer Aspire One D260 review

    Acer Aspire One D260

    The Acer Aspire One D260 is a 10-inch netbook based on the Intel Pinetrail Atom N450 1.66GHz processor. But compared to the Acer Aspire One 532h, the Aspire One D260 doesn't offer anything new in terms of hardware and features.

  • Asus Eee PC 1018P review

    Asus Eee PC 1018P

    The Asus Eee PC 1018P is a premium 10-inch netbook that runs on the new Intel Atom N470 1.83-GHz processor and integrates unique features such as a fingerprint reader and USB 3.0 support. Here's our expert review of the Asus Eee PC 1018P.

  • Acer Aspire One 532h review

    Acer Aspire One 532h

    Netbooks based on Intel's Pine Trail Atom chips are now available, and the Acer Aspire One 532h is Acer's latest offering based on the new Atom chip.


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: Great if you like big, expensive phones

IDG UK Sites

Why Sony's PS4 2.0 update is every gamer's dream (well, mine at least)

IDG UK Sites

This Grolsch ad combines stop-motion & CG for majestic results

IDG UK Sites

Apple rumours and predictions for 2015: What to expect from Apple in 2015