Sony VAIO VPC-L11S1E review

Price when reviewed

For all the advances in PC technology over the past few decades, the humble mouse appears in little danger of becoming extinct anytime soon. Other control methods have plugged away with limited success, and the most promising of these right now looks to be touch. Indeed, where Microsoft’s previous operating systems relegated touch to little more than a novelty, Windows 7 finally brings it to the fore, and Sony has harnessed its potential with the VAIO VPC-L11S1E/S.

We’ve seen some stunning all-in-one PCs in our time, but this Sony is the best. Heave it from its box and its weighty, solid build reassures from the off. The VPC-L11S1E/S oozes such quality that every time we returned to the PC Pro Labs, we found someone amorously prodding its wide touchscreen display.

It’s the display that raises the VAIO above the opposition. The patented X-Black glossy finish might be dogged by reflectivity, but fire up a Blu-ray movie and the immense brightness and vibrancy allay any concerns. Its 24in splendour is matched by a Full HD native resolution and superb image quality, with dual backlights making for beautiful colours and fantastic contrast levels. Whether images are moving or still, the Sony imparts them with a depth that has to be seen to be believed.


Rather than the resistive technology employed by many of the touchscreen PCs we’ve seen, the Sony’s optical multitouch screen is altogether more suitable. The panel is incredibly sensitive, and in concert with Windows 7’s touch-friendly onscreen keyboard, you’ll rarely have to use the supplied wireless keyboard and mouse. Surfing the web is rapid and intuitive, with “pen flick” gestures or the stroke of a finger allowing you to navigate the web, and pinching motions zoom seamlessly in and out of websites.

Windows 7’s Touch Pack collects some of its more alluring touch software, culled from the much-touted Surface project. Surface Globe is clunky, but the range of games prove an impressive showcase for the Sony’s multitouch talents.

Spritely performance helps to keep Windows 7 Home Premium feeling light on its feet, largely thanks to Intel’s 3GHz Core 2 Duo E8400. The combination of 4GB of memory and 64-bit Windows means even serious multitasking or video editing is on the agenda – a score of 1.44 in our benchmarks might not be cutting edge, but it’s fast by all-in-one standards.

The only disappointment is Nvidia’s GeForce G210M graphics chipset. The G210M has enough grunt to decode Blu-ray, but struggled to a disappointing 14fps at 1,280 x 1,024 and medium detail in our Crysis benchmark.

Sony hasn’t missed a trick with the rest of the VAIO’s specification. A dual digital-tuner TV card is included as standard, and there are HDMI and composite video inputs to allow other devices to take full advantage of the sublime display. There’s even picture-in-picture technology. And when you’re watching TV, the loud distortion-free speakers will easily fill most rooms.

There’s no shortage of ports, with the two USB connectors on the left-hand edge supplemented by mini-FireWire, and both SD and Memory Stick card readers. An aerial socket provides for both tuners, while there are three more USB ports alongside an optical digital S/PDIF output. The package is rounded off with Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11bgn wireless networking.

It isn’t cheap, but with a generous core specification, the Sony VAIO VPC-L11S1/E is ready for pretty much any task you throw at it. Its looks are matched by an equally stunning high-definition display, and the multitouch capability is a fine match for Windows 7. It’s an expensive, luxurious, hands-on triumph.


Warranty1yr collect and return

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity500
RAM capacity4.00GB
Screen size24.0in


CPU familyIntel Core 2 Duo
CPU nominal frequency3.00GHz
Processor socketLGA 775


Motherboard chipsetIntel P45
Conventional PCI slots free0
Conventional PCI slots total0
PCI-E x16 slots free0
PCI-E x16 slots total0
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free0
PCI-E x1 slots total0
Internal SAS connectors0
Internal PATA connectors0
Internal floppy connectors0
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR2
Memory sockets free0
Memory sockets total2

Graphics card

Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce G210M
Graphics card RAM512MB
DVI-I outputs0
HDMI outputs0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0
Number of graphics cardsN/A

Hard disk

Hard diskWestern Digital WD5000AAJS-55A8B2
Hard disk usable capacity466GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Spindle speed7,200RPM
Cache size16MB
Hard disk 2 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 2 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speedN/A
Hard disk 2 cache sizeN/A
Hard disk 3 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 4 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacityN/A


Optical driveSony Optiarc BC-5500S4
Optical disc technologyBlu-ray reader
Optical disk 2 make and modelN/A
Optical disk 3 make and modelN/A


Resolution screen horizontal1,920
Resolution screen vertical1,080
Resolution1920 x 1080
DVI inputs0
HDMI inputs1
VGA inputs0
DisplayPort inputs0

Additional Peripherals

Speaker typeStereo
Sound cardRealtek HD Audio
PeripheralsWireless keyboard and mouse, Media Center remote control


Case formatAll-in-one
Dimensions584 x 200 x 433mm (WDH)

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays0

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)5
FireWire ports1
PS/2 mouse portno
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
3.5mm audio jacks3

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2
Front panel FireWire ports1
Front panel memory card readeryes

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardSony

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodRecovery disc

Noise and power

Idle power consumption91W
Peak power consumption133W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score1.44
Office application benchmark score1.51
2D graphics application benchmark score1.62
Encoding application benchmark score1.28
Multitasking application benchmark score1.37
3D performance (crysis) low settings47fps
3D performance settingLow

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