Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W 14.1in Notebook Review - Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W Review

Traditionally a strong point of Sony laptops, the screen is yet another element that fails to impress. Vertical viewing angles are poor, making it difficult to find an ideal screen position, and even if you do manage to find the ideal angle, dark tones have a strong greenish-yellow contamination. Good horizontal viewing angles and razor sharp text go some way to improving things, but can’t alter the fact there’s nothing special about this display.

Likewise the speakers are middle of the road, delivering a bit more punch and depth than expected but distorting at high volumes. Combined with the average screen this makes for a deeply mediocre multimedia experience, making the Blu-ray options even more frivolous.

Another disappointment is the keyboard, proving to be a prime example of style over substance. It’s the isolated type that’s become synonymous with the VAIO name since Sony pioneered it and while this manages to look very nice indeed and the layout is good enough, key travel is so shallow you’ll have to develop a very light touch to get on with it and overall typing feels a bit sticky with little positive feedback.

Given all these complaints, one thing this machine does have is a very good touchpad. Its finish strikes the perfect balance between smooth and textured, while its size and positioning make it large enough to be practical without obstructing typing. This positive experience is further enhanced by its two faux-chromed buttons that are also large, responsive and easy to use.

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