SONY VAIO YB Series 11.6” Laptop Review

SONY VAIO YB Series 11.6” Laptop ReviewSony’s VAIO YB series is a laptop with eye-catching design, the laptop is now available at Amazon for $599. The sharp designed Sony VAIO YB is powered with dual-core 1.60GHz AMD E-350 APU with AMD’s new Brazos Fusion Technology. And the VAIO YB series are now available in Silver or Pink.

At 11.4 x 8 x 1.25 inches and 3.2 pounds, the Sony VAIO YB isn’t MacBook Air-light (2.9 pounds). However, this notebook is lighter than other 11-inch Fusion ultraportables, such as the HP Pavilion dm1z (11.4 x 8.4 x 1.2 inches, 3.4 pounds) and the Lenovo ThinkPad X120e (11.1 x 8.2 x 1.2-inches, 3.4 pounds).

The Laptop also is pre-installed with Windows 7 Home premium, and features 4 GB of DDR 3 memory and 500 GB of HDD storage, Webcam, a microphone, three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and VGA outputs. For Connectivity the laptop has 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 functionality.

The device was first introduced at CES 2011 and featuring AMD’s dual-core E-350 Zacate processor which is part of the AMD Fusion APU platform. The E-Series Fusion APUs are based on AMD’s new x86 core architecture for mobile devices, code-named Bobcat.

The VAIO YB’s island-style keyboard is attractive and offers a reasonable amount of tactile feedback. However, the keyboard is noticeably smaller than those on 11-inch competitors such as the ThinkPad X120e and the 11-inch MacBook Air. Unlike the Lenovo ThinkPad X120e, which had a few warm spots in the high 90s and over 100 degrees, the VAIO YB stayed so cool.

The 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel glossy display produces sharp images and bright, vibrant colors.  The VAIO YB carries a pretty standard array of ports, with few surprises. On the right side are audio in/out jacks, two USB ports, a Kensington lock, and an Ethernet port. On the left are a VGA port, HDMI-out, and a third USB port for a total of 3 USB connections. Unique to Sony notebooks, the front lip of the system has two different card readers, one for SD cards and the other for Sony’s proprietary Memory Sticks.

SONY VAIO YB Series 11.6” Laptop Review

During a Skype call, 0.3-megapixel webcam doen’t provide much clarity for video calling though not clumsy . With its AMD E-350 CPU,  Radeon HD 6310 integrated graphics, and 4GB of RAM, the Sony VAIO YB provides solid performance that’s good enough for most tasks.

The 500GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive initially took as long as 76 seconds to boot into windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit), but after removing the pre-loaded antivirus software and used the notebook a few times, that time dropped to a speedy 43 seconds.

Though the Sony VAIO YB isn’t as speedy as the average ultraportable on CPU-intensive tasks such as video encoding and PCMark Vantage, its Radeon HD 6310 integrated graphics deliver impressive video playback and even some gaming ability. The VAIO YB deliveres high frame rates, smooth playback, and sharp images.

The Atheros AR9285 802.11n Wi-Fi card managed respectable transfer rates of 34.2 and 14.3 Mbps at distances of 15 and 50 feet from the router, respectively. These rates are similar to the 35.3/15.1 Mbps returned by the HP Pavilion dm1z, but a little slower than the 37.7/20.3 Mbps achieved the Lenovo ThinkPad X120e.

Battery of the Laptop lasts 4 hours and 58 minutes with continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi.  While that time is long enough for many users, it falls more than an hour short of the HP Pavilion dm1z (6:37) and the Lenovo ThinkPad X120e (6:05).

Sony recalled thousands of Sony Vaio VPCF11 and VPCCW2 notebooks after discovering a flaw in their internal temperature management system. The error allowed those systems to overheat to the point where their cases and keyboards could potentially melt and users could be burned.

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