For performance testing the CR11Z/R was put through our usual set of notebook tests, including PC Mark 05 and our own in-house Photoshop Elements and Virtual Dub tests. There was also a subjective battery test, which was conducted by using the notebook for standard word processing and web browsing with the Balanced performance profile, Wi-Fi enabled and display brightness set to maximum.
In PC Mark 05 the CR11Z/R was a good match for the dv2560ea, achieving comparable scores in all but the CPU test where the faster Core 2 Duo T7300 in the HP produced a significantly higher score. This was certainly a major contributing factor in our in-house tests too, with the HP proving significantly faster in both tests.
How this will affect you in real world scenarios rather depends on usage. For most purposes the Sony has more than enough power, and will happily run a few programs concurrently without faltering. But, if you like to dabble in the occasional bout of on the move image editing then the faster CPU in the HP may prove more attractive.
Battery testing produced another good result, with the CR11Z/R managing close to three hours under our testing conditions. This with just a standard six-cell battery marks a pretty good return, and ensures a good amount of working time before you'll need to re-charge or insert a new battery.
Overall the CR11Z/R, and the whole CR series, is another excellent example of Sony design and quality. Fine, it's not the cheapest out there but then nothing in this class looks or feels quite as good, which adds its own sense of value beyond that of simply specs and raw speed. Much the same can be applied to the Sony TZ series, but whereas the TZ is more or less alone in its class the CR has more competition, and as such lacks that sense of exclusivity and uniqueness. This ultimately robs it of a Recommended Award, but if you like the form factor and want something that offers style and impact, you can't get much better than this.