Consumers are increasingly spoilt for choice for affordable, ultra-portable laptops and we've reviewed plenty of good ones of late. Considering its components are virtually identical to those found in the Toshiba Satellite Pro T130-15F, it's no surprise to see that the Sony performs very similarly in our tests. Both of these Intel-based laptops consistently outperform the AMD Athlon-toting HP Pavilion dm3-1020ea, but the difference isn't so large as to make the HP inadequate.
Particularly as the tables are turned where gaming is concerned. Though the ATI graphics in the HP still struggle somewhat in our Trackmania Nations test, it comfortably outperforms the Sony and the Toshiba who are both hamstrung by their Intel integrated graphics. Unless your idea of gaming is Farmville or the occasional flash game, you can forget about playing games on the Y Series.
This isn't really a problem, though, as these kinds of systems are all about longevity. Here the Y11 really shines. Its 5,000mAh (54 Watt-hour) capacity battery gets awfully close to Sony's nine-hour claims: in our semi-intensive Productivity test it lasted an impressive 519 minutes (8hrs, 39mins).
There's very little that can touch this VAIO's longevity at its price point, though it's worth keeping in mind that the screen's brightness (at 40 per cent) is just slightly lower than some laptops. Its battery life is stunning regardless, though, making it ideal for anyone who needs all-day computing but doesn't want to break the bank for it.
In summary, then, the Y Series fulfils almost all the requirements of an excellent portable laptop. Not only does it have stylish looks, it's also got a decent and fairly comprehensive specification and some of the best battery life we've seen in this segment. Only the lack of an optical drive will put people off, but if you can live without one - or don't mind buying one separately - then this is a great option.
Anyone who wants an affordable and portable laptop should look into the Sony VAIO Y11M1E/S. It's attractive, good to use, excellent value and offers incredible battery life, which just goes to prove Sony can make portable laptops for any budget.