Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W 14.1in Notebook - Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers


Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

Traditionally a strong point of Sony laptops, the screen is yet another element that fails to impress. Vertical viewing angles are poor, making it difficult to find an ideal screen position, and even if you do manage to find the ideal angle, dark tones have a strong greenish-yellow contamination. Good horizontal viewing angles and razor sharp text go some way to improving things, but can't alter the fact there's nothing special about this display.

Likewise the speakers are middle of the road, delivering a bit more punch and depth than expected but distorting at high volumes. Combined with the average screen this makes for a deeply mediocre multimedia experience, making the Blu-ray options even more frivolous.

Another disappointment is the keyboard, proving to be a prime example of style over substance. It's the isolated type that's become synonymous with the VAIO name since Sony pioneered it and while this manages to look very nice indeed and the layout is good enough, key travel is so shallow you'll have to develop a very light touch to get on with it and overall typing feels a bit sticky with little positive feedback.

Given all these complaints, one thing this machine does have is a very good touchpad. Its finish strikes the perfect balance between smooth and textured, while its size and positioning make it large enough to be practical without obstructing typing. This positive experience is further enhanced by its two faux-chromed buttons that are also large, responsive and easy to use.

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December 12, 2008, 5:27 am

Geez, Sony's really on a roll lately! ;)


December 12, 2008, 7:07 am

Are you sure the ethernet port is gigabit? The spec page on Sony's site lists it as only 100mbit.

I'm rather annoyed with Sony's lack of gigabit ethernet on some of their notebooks, I'm thinking of a SR29XN/S which is nearly a grand, though according to Sony's site it also only has 100mbit. Annoyingly I recently bought a Sony NS10 for my mother, the lowest priced vaio, and that has gigabit ...ridiculous.


December 12, 2008, 3:27 pm

@BlackAle: Thanks for pointing that out. You're right, as it turns out the VGN-CS11 DOESN'T have gigabit ethernet either. One more black mark among many...


December 12, 2008, 8:59 pm

alright: this, or a macbook air


December 12, 2008, 9:30 pm

@ilovethemonkeyhead: no no no, even a MacBook Air has digital video out. And the new ones have Gigabit Ethernet to boot. Oh yeah, and it's gorgeous. And... oh, just get the Sony then :D.


February 3, 2009, 5:39 pm

Hi, i've been recently looking for a brand new laptop for my girlfriend. She seems pretty interest on the CS model (because is pink). However, i've been reading the article pointed out few bad things about this CS model. I just wonder either buy this or the Dell XPS M1530, could anyone give me some suggestion? Many thanks


February 10, 2009, 7:09 pm

@ alvinm: After reading the review, do you really need to ask? You don't even have to get the XPS to beat the Sony in every single regard. Just get a Dell Studio 15 or even Inspiron and you'll be better (and cheaper) off, plus Dell is doing a free colour-upgrade promotion right now.

Basically, get any pink laptop but the CS11 one.

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