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Sony VAIO P Series (VPC-P11S1E) - Hardware, Connectivity & Usability

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


On the hardware side of things Sony has stuck with Intel's Atom range, utilising a 1.86GHz Z540 CPU and the GMA 500 graphics core. These are matched to 2GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD, though the latter is limited by using the older PATA interface that's significantly slower than the SATA enabled drives you'll find in most notebooks and netbooks.

If you're wondering how this justifies the £799 asking price, look no further than the inclusion of integrated HSDPA, Wireless-N Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and - somewhat superfluously by our reckoning - GPS and an eCompass. All of which means the P Series has almost every conceivable feature you'd demand of a mobile PC.

It's only almost, though, as physical connectivity leaves something to be desired. A couple of USB ports are adequate enough, as is the inclusion of an SD card slot and a separate memory card slot for Sony's own formats, but instead of an HDMI output we're treated to an awkward propriety VGA output that requires an adapter. Considering a mini-HDMI port would take up no more space, it would have been our preference.

Such complaints pale in comparison to the usability of the machine, though. We've already noted the difficulty of inputting text unless the device is set down, but even when it is typing is a tricky business. This is mainly due to the shallow, imprecise action on the keys, which must be hit firmly to guarantee keystrokes being registered. It's a shame really, as the layout and size of the keys are impressive considering the size of the device.

Joining the keyboard, and the aforementioned optical touchpad, is a trackpoint nestled between the G, B and H keys. It works pretty well and its three buttons, the middle one of which allows you to scroll when held down, offer up adequate feedback. It's still a significant compromise compared even to a netbook with a touchpad, though, or a touchscreen for that matter - for all ThinkPad users may disagree.

It's also worth noting that there are speakers on the P Series, but they're incredibly weak and are outperformed by many a mobile phone where volume and clarity are concerned.


May 19, 2010, 5:34 pm

For that money I'd get a Macbook Pro and install windows on it.


May 19, 2010, 5:42 pm


Sorry, don't have a comment on the article yet; just looked at the scores.

Digital Fury

May 19, 2010, 6:34 pm

WTF? Sony is now issuing Shrek themed laptops. Those P Series were already a hard sell, but who now will buy these things?


May 19, 2010, 7:14 pm

@Digital Fury: wemen.


May 19, 2010, 7:58 pm

@Digital Fury - And colour-blind people (speaking as someone who's colour-blind). And people who like their over-priced netbooks, a vomit shade of green (a small market I must admit).


May 19, 2010, 10:06 pm

Like it. Want one.

But the price is way too high .....


May 19, 2010, 10:50 pm

Am pretty sure the market for net books were for those on a budget and just wanting to access the internet. So what an earth is going on here. To be honest this is one area Sony should have left to Asus. At hat price I could buy a hard core Laptop with more capabilities, however I do acknowledge that the Sony Net book is different to a laptop - but you understand.

Ian Wright

May 19, 2010, 11:58 pm

Aside from it being hideous and slow... I have had it confirmed today from someone in Sony support and the head of customer services that all P series Vaio have a flaw in the screen which allows dust to find its way behind the screen. I was shocked they actually admitted it to be honest. Yet another reason to steer clear of this.


May 20, 2010, 12:36 am

Article is a little harsh to be honest! The P series is the only truly portable netbook (i mean really portable) without having to resort to a tablet or UMPC. Yes its expensive but it is also unique. What are the alternatives and if they are any if you spec them up to this level guarantee the cost will be the same...


May 20, 2010, 2:11 am

I like that green... yum mushy peas... wait that is a bad thing...


May 20, 2010, 3:45 am

No optical drive then? (And the other shortcomings aside - sod you all cos I love the orange!)


May 21, 2010, 8:53 pm

@darkspark88 Are you serious? Comparing a full featured netbook with a performance notebook? Totally different products.

@goldenguy How would you fit an optical drive in it? At this level all it needs is the card reader.

My opinion: a little cheaper it might be perfect, but depending on how solid and durable it is it might just be the perfect netbook. Not knowing the other colours this green looks like something you would buy for a child, though...

So stick a black one inside a leather pouch and it will look sweet in the next board of directors meeting.


May 21, 2010, 9:23 pm

Ooops... didn't see how pathetic the autonomy is...

Rachel Ingram

May 22, 2010, 3:21 am

@darkspark88 Can you install Windows on a Mac?

P.S. Im about new to this :)


May 24, 2010, 7:03 pm


"Ooops... didn't see how pathetic the autonomy is..." I assume you mean 'anatomy', or are you one of those laptopists who are against laptop independence? :)

@Rachel Ingram:

Yes, you can, especially now that the underlying hardware is virtually identical to that of a PC. There's loads of info about the various ways of running Windows on Apple systems out on the net, a quick Google search should provide in-depth reading on this topic.

Art p.

February 19, 2014, 10:05 pm

Wer can I get one in green?

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