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Laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Sony VAIO VGN-AW11XU review

£2392.85 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Sony

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Slow performance and poor colour fidelity on a laptop are no longer mandated – just look at Sony’s VAIO VGN-AW11XU, candidate for the fastest notebook in the world. UPDATED 6th MARCH 2009

Small screens and poor colour fidelity on a laptop are no longer mandated – just look at Sony’s VAIO VGN-AW11XU with its huge 18in widescreen and wide colour gamut.

For professional photographers working on location, the usual weapon of choice to accompany a digital SLR camera is a lightweight laptop, able to give quick visual feedback on work in progress. Unfortunately, most laptops suffer from relatively small screens and poor colour fidelity.

This is now no longer the case, thanks to Sony's VAIO VGN-AW11XU with its huge 18in widescreen boasting a wide colour gamut closer to a CRT monitor.

See Laptop Advisor for expert reviews of the notebook computers you need to know about

There are actually three Sony VAIO VGN-AW11 models to choose from, with prices starting at a modest £899 for the AW11M/H. Modest, that is, when set against the £2539 ticket of the VAIO VGN-AW11, the version tested here.

The jump in price between base and top models can be attributed to four principal high-performance components that demand the premium fee: the high-end dual-core processor, the graphics card, a SSD storage setup, and the choice of wide-gamut-screen.

Take the entry-level VGN-AW11M/H for example, and you'll get a 1680x945 shiny LCD using ubiquitous twisted nematic (TN) technology.

The top model trumps this in style with its full-HD 1920x1080 screen featuring RGB 3-chip LED backlighting. And that's a matt-finish screen, worthy of professional use as it doesn't suffer from distracting reflections in daylight use.

NEXT PAGE: Processor, SSD storage and graphics card >>>

Sony VAIO VGN-AW11XU [PC] Expert Verdict »

2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9600
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 32-bit
18.4in (1920x1080) 16:9 RGB 3-chip LED backlit display
nVidia GeForce 9600M GT GDDR3 512MB
Samsung 128GB SSD (2 x 61GB, RAID 0)
Fujitsu 4200rpm 500GB SATA II HDD
4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 RAM
VGA D-Sub
HDMI
gigabit ethernet
3 x USB 2.0
mini FireWire 400
ExpressCard/34
mic input
headphone/Toslink output
stereo speakers
built-in mic
SD Card reader
Memory Stick reader
Compact Flash reader
802.11a/b/g/draft-n
Bluetooth
56k modem
webcam
digital TV tuner
fingerprint reader
remote control
437x289x37-40mm
3.95kg
  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The Sony VAIO VGN-AW11XU is a triumph in build and display quality – and in sheer performance. This comes at a high purchase price, yet there is little to touch it if you need a luggable computer with dependable image reproduction and desktop-class computing power.

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