January 05, 2013 00:00
By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
Sony's new ultrabook comes with a cool pressure-sensitive stylus for arty people
Sony VAIO Duo 11 can function both as a ultrabook computer and a Windows 8-based tablet computer with sleek looks and good performance.
Its 11.6-inch touch screen can fold down to sit on its keyboard, transforming itself into a tablet whose screen has good response to the tap and sliding and scrolling. Sony calls this design Surf Slider.
Its backlit keyboard is easy to type on and makes it convenient to type your Word documents or mail. The keyboard has an optical track pad in the middle for controlling the cursor, but you rarely need it as you can conveniently tap a particular point on the screen to interact with the computer.
The VAIO Duo 11 reviewed here is the SVD11215CH model. It is powered by an Intel Core 15-3317U processor 1.70 GHz with 4 gigabytes of RAM and 128 GB storage, using a fast solid state drive (SSD). It runs on Windows 8 64-bit version.
Its graphics horsepower comes from an Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset, which is good for playing casual games. Its screen has Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, so it is really good for watching videos and viewing photos on the go with the Duo 11.
The Duo 11 has good performance for an ultrabook/tablet computer.
It took only eight seconds to start up and display app tiles and be ready for use. Its shutdown took only nine seconds, apparently because of the use of the SSD drive.
Measured by Windows 8’s internal benchmark tool, the Duo 11 got good scores. On the scale of 1.0 to 9.9 points, it received 8.1 for the performance of disk data transfer rate.
It got 6.9 for processor calculations per second and 5.9 for memory operations per second.
It got 5.5 for desktop graphics performance, which is normal for power of Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset. Anyway, it got 6.4 points for 3D business and gaming graphics performance.
You can enjoy music and video on the Duo 11 thanks to its Dolby Home Theater v4 technology, that enhances sounds either through its speakers or a provided Noise Cancelling Headphones (MDR-NC033L2). It uses an S-Master headphone amplifier, which drives the provided headphones with really good music quality.
And to allow you to make most of the touch-screen tablet style panel, Sony also provides a digitiser stylus so that you can enjoy drawing or editing photos and graphics on the touch screen.
The stylus is sensitive, allowing you to use pen pressure while drawing. When the stylus comes close to the LCD, the touch sensors automatically turn off so you can comfortably rest your palm on the screen while writing.
The stylus comes with a variety of nibs – standard, felt, stroke and flex – for writing, art and design applications. You can also download ArtRage Studio Pro for using the stylus to draw on the tablet.
The Duo 11 comes with several useful apps, including vMusic by Sony.
The vMusic lets you browse music by albums or by artists to listen to your favourite songs online without having to download them.
Another app which is very useful is the English Club by British Council that allows you to download lessons to practise English speaking.
Another nice feature of the Duo 11 is that it comes with Near field communication (NFC) technology, making it easy for you to share messages, photos, files and more between your VAIO Duo and NFC-enabled smart phone or other device simply by tapping the two together.
Sony VAIO Duo 11 SVD11215 CH retails for Bt44,900, VAT included.
_OS: Windows 8 Single Language 64 bit (English Version
_CPU: Intel Core i5-3317U Processor 1.70 GHz
_Core logic Chipset: Intel HM76 Express Chipset
_Memory: 4 GB (2 GB (On Board) x 1 + 2 GB (Custom Module)
_Storage: 128 GB SSD
_Optical drive: None
_Graphics engine: Intel HD Graphics 4000
_Display: 11.6 inch wide (Full HD: 1920 x 1080) Touch screen(Capacitive) TFT colour display
_Ports: 2 USB 3.0, 1000BASE-T/100BASE-TX/10BASE-T, Analogue-RGB mini D-sub 15 pin, HDMI, Memory Stick/SD Memory Card slot
_Connectivity: Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth V 4.
_Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyro, Digital Compass
_Battery: VGP-BPS31 Lithium-ion battery: up to 4.5 hours of use