As previously mentioned, the Y Series has an isolation-style keyboard and Sony's experience with this kind of keyboard shows through. Despite the slight shallowness that’s typical of such keyboards, crisp and defined key actions ensure this is never a problem.
A textured, slightly curved wrist-rest also aids comfort while typing, a point helped by a layout that's very intuitive. Our only niggle is that, due to the large touchpad, we occasionally found ourselves jogging the cursor with our palm. This is obviously quite annoying, but adjusting the Palm Check feature in the touchpad driver improved matters noticeably and it's not a problem that will affect everyone.
On the plus side its large size makes the touchpad great to use. It's very smooth and responsive, and supports all the usual multi-touch goodness that can make Windows 7 easier to use from time to time. Its two buttons, meanwhile, are perfectly placed and nicely responsive.
Like most laptops the 13.3in screen on the Y11 is LED-backlit and has a 1,366 x 768 resolution. In a word it's 'average'. Vertical viewing angles are quite poor, but horizontal ones are good enough for a small laptop and there was no noticeable backlight bleed around the edges.
When watching video we found it didn't resolve some of the dark, fine detail, but this is fairly typical of mainstream laptops and HD material still looks as crisp as it's meant to. We also had no problems reading small text on this screen thanks to its sharp, well-defined text production.
Sonically, meanwhile, the Y Series is surprisingly accomplished. As is so often the case its speakers are weak where bass is concerned, but in every other regard they perform well, with clear audio at high volumes. Though a good pair of headphones will still give you a better experience, it's perfectly feasible to watch a film without them.