Unfortunately there aren’t any Blu-ray movie discs available in the UK yet, so I wasn’t able to test with pre-recorded HD content, but if it was available the screen in the AR11S would have definitely shown it off to good effect. The 17in screen sports a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,200, which means that it can handle the Full HD standard of 1,920 x 1,080, without having to scale things down. High definition content does look great on the AR11S, so once those movie discs start to appear, you’re really going to get the best out of this machine.
The screen is superb for general Windows work as well as watching movies though – 1,920 x 1,200 is a great resolution to work at, giving you masses of desktop space and allowing you to have multiple windows visible at all times. The screen is finished with Sony’s X-Black coating and the result is a pin sharp, evenly lit image with rich and vibrant colours. Whether or not you like these high contrast coatings, I would be truly amazed at anyone that isn’t impressed with this display.
Of course you don’t always want to watch movies on a notebook screen, even one as good as this. So, assuming that you have an HD Ready TV, you’re going to be able to use the AR11S as your Blu-ray video player as well, thanks to the inclusion of an HDCP compliant HDMI port. Considering that first generation Blu-ray players are likely to be very expensive, being able to kill the proverbial two birds with one stone is very useful.
If you’re a regular reader of TrustedReviews you’ll know that I tend to run a set of standard benchmarks on a notebook, but unfortunately I only had the AR11S for a couple of days, so I wasn’t able to do this. That said, I’m not sure that I would have bothered to run Mobile Mark on this machine anyway – with a weight of 3.8kg and dimensions of 416 x 300 x 34mm (WxDxH) you’re not going to be using the AR11S on battery power too often.