Sony VAIO Duo 11 review

Price when reviewed

For review we were supplied with the faster of the two base specifications, with a Core i7-3517U processor taking pride of place alongside 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a SanDisk 256GB SSD. The cheaper model, at £1,000 inc VAT, equips a Core i5-3317U, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD instead.

The Core i7 processor delivers sparkling performance. Set to the test in our suite of Real World Benchmarks, the Sony acquitted itself remarkably well, with an overall score of 0.71. And with the SSD recording sequential write speeds of 305MB/sec and read speeds of 417MB/sec, applications spring into view with little delay. With Sony’s Quick Boot doing its bit to speed up the process, booting from cold sees the VAIO Duo 11 leaps into life in an astonishing seven seconds flat.

Sony VAIO Duo 11 - right-hand side

Cramming in a clever spring-loaded hinge and whole host of hardware leaves little room for an internal battery, but the Sony still lasted for 7hrs 6mins in our light-use test. Splash out on the battery slice that clips to the VAIO Duo 11’s underside – a £120 optional extra – and that figure will reach well over the ten-hour mark. As an added bonus, the battery slice provides a slot for stashing the supplied stylus.

The Sony’s display is simply superb. Stretching a Full HD, 1,920 x 1,080 resolution across its 11.6in diagonal, the VAIO Duo 11 boasts exceptionally wide viewing angles and punchy colour reproduction. A maximum brightness of 451cd/m2 ensures that the screen remains legible in the brightest conditions, and those bright, sparkling whites combine with deep, luscious blacks to result in an excellent contrast ratio of 868:1. The panel doesn’t quite cover the full range of colours in the sRGB gamut, but colour reproduction is pretty accurate, despite the panel’s inability to produce the most intense shades of blue.

Sony VAIO Duo 11 - rear


While the initial wow factor will be enough to loosen many people’s wallets, the VAIO Duo 11 isn’t without its fair share of niggles. The most pressing issue is that, in laptop mode, the VAIO Duo 11 isn’t that comfortable to use. The trackpoint works, but is fiddly enough that we regularly resorted to prodding the screen with a finger instead, while other members of PC Pro disliked it so vehemently that they immediately reached for a USB mouse.

The trackpoint’s tap-to-click mode is best left disabled. With it left on, it’s all too easy to accidentally jog the cursor while typing, and on occasion we selected swathes of text with a stray finger and deleted whole chunks without realising.


Warranty1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions322 x 200 x 21mm (WDH)
Travelling weight1.6kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i7-3517U
Motherboard chipsetIntel HM76
RAM capacity8.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total0

Screen and video

Screen size11.6in
Resolution screen horizontal1,920
Resolution screen vertical1,080
Resolution1920 x 1080
Graphics chipsetIntel HD Graphics 4000
Graphics card RAMN/A
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity238GB
Spindle speedN/A
Internal disk interfaceSATA/600
Hard diskSandisk SD5SF2256G
Optical disc technologyN/A
Optical driveN/A
Replacement battery price ex VAT£120
Replacement battery price inc VAT£144


Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchno
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
FireWire ports0
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks1
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readerno
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTrackpoint
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationUnderside
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating2.0mp
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use7hr 6min
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.71

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 8 Pro 64-bit
OS familyWindows 8
Recovery methodRecovery partition
Software suppliedN/A

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