Sony VAIO VGN-Z31VN/X review

Price when reviewed

And versatility is improved by a plentiful selection of connections. Two USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a mini-FireWire port and audio and headphone jacks sit alongside VGA and HDMI outputs. It’s not quite as impressive as the ThinkPad X301, which packs in an additional USB socket as well as ExpressCard/34, but it’s a vast improvement on the minimalism of the MacBook Air.

Sony VAIO VGN-Z31VN/X review

The Sony VAIO Z31VN/X quite simply forces all of its rivals it into submission on most fronts: it has more power, better design and superior battery life to every other ultraportable we’ve seen. It is a machine almost without compromise and, consequently, should sit proudly atop any mobile worker’s laptop shortlist.


Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions314 x 213 x 33mm (WDH)
Travelling weight1.8kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P9600
Motherboard chipsetIntel GM45 Express
RAM capacity4.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size13.1in
Resolution screen horizontal1,600
Resolution screen vertical900
Resolution1600 x 900
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce 9300M GS/Intel GMA X4500 HD
Graphics card RAM256MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity297GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA/150
Hard diskToshiba MK3252GSX
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical driveMatshita UJ862AS
Battery capacity5,400mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


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

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchyes
Wireless key-combination switchno
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)2
FireWire ports1
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks2
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readerno
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationAbove keyboard
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Fingerprint readeryes
Smartcard readerno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use550
Battery life, heavy use120
Overall application benchmark score1.45
Office application benchmark score1.61
2D graphics application benchmark score1.47
Encoding application benchmark score1.20
Multitasking application benchmark score1.52
3D performance (crysis) low settings6fps
3D performance settingMedium

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows Vista Business
OS familyWindows Vista
Recovery methodRecovery partition

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