One of the typical strengths of Sony notebooks are the screens, and the CR11Z/R is no exception. Measuring 14.1in it sports a modest 1,280 x 800 resolution, which is fairly typical and makes it ideal for watching DVDs and videos, especially if encoded at 1,280 x 720 – otherwise known as 720p. As with many notebooks there’s a high contrast glossy finish, utilising Sony’s own X-black technology. This produces superb black levels and vibrant colours, further enhancing the video playback credentials.
The internal speakers, which are situated either side of the keyboard, are decent enough and do for casual usage, however they don’t quite the match those found on the HP Pavilion dv2560ea.
One of the more eye-catching features of the CR Series notebooks is the keyboard, which as I’ve already pointed out uses the separated style keys as found on the Sony TZ and Apple MacBooks. Initially the keys on the CR11Z/R feel a little on the shallow side, however after a little while this feeling is alleviated and you come to appreciate just how pleasing they are to type on. It helps too that the keyboard has an immaculate layout, avoiding all the annoying little niggles that perennially appear on these web pages.
Just above the keyboard are more shortcut buttons to complement the media keys below, with these adding ‘AV Mode’, Mute, Volume, Capture and Display Off controls. AV Mode, if you’re wondering, launches a menu bar that appears at the top the screen and provides shortcut buttons for media playback programs. In short, it’s a shortcut button for shortcuts – how many shortcuts does it take make a longcut? Still, snarky comments aside, it’s not quite as divisive as Toshiba’s definitively pointless Flash Cards program, and it can be easily ignored.