Review: Sony Vaio Y Series PDF Print E-mail

Have Sony Vaio Y; will travel lightly, productively.

When Sony released its colourful Y range of new subnotebooks earlier this year, the company described the model as being the “ultimate road warrior”. I recently put this claim to the test when I took it along to the other side of the world.

When I first received the test model it was certainly adoration at first sight. The folks over at Sony South Africa must have read my previous criticisms of companies that seem to think that slapping a swath of pink paint on a device will automatically make it appealing to all women. Luckily Sony knows that not all chicks are into pink. Although the Y is available in (I have to grudgingly admit, a pretty) pink, I was far happier to take temporary possession of the gorgeously lime green model. It was a regular little eye-catcher too, and people commented about how lovely it was wherever I took it, from Tamboerskloof to Taipei.

But whether you pick the pink or green or silver model, it quickly becomes apparent that this subnotebook should not be judged by the colour of its surprisingly sturdy cover.  Firstly, it is called a subnotebook because it is larger than a netbook and therefore also a bit heftier, yet its lack of an integrated optical CD/DVD-Rom drive makes it smaller and significantly lighter than a regular notebook.
 
 
Its dual-core AMD Fusion CPU runs at 1.6GHz, it boasts 2GB of RAM and packs HDD space of 320GB, which I found more than adequate for on the road working, media consumption and storage. Despite using it for some time off power in international airports and before I had bought the correct adapter for Taiwan, I never once depleted its battery life.
 
Being a writer, I spend loads of time typing, so I’m quite picky about keyboards and comfort. I’ve worked on some netbooks before and generally find the keys frustratingly small. Luckily, since the Vaio Y is roomier than a netbook, its keyboard is decently sized, with well-spaced chiclet-style keys, making typing for hours on end an absolute pleasure.
 
 
My one criticism of this Vaio is that the on button is located at the right side of the device, inside the rounded hinge. Users who are less tech-savvy might erroneously press the Vaio “Assist” button instead, which is at the top right hand side of the keyboard and gives users access to a set of system and diagnostic tools. I think that would have been the more intuitive spot for the on switch, but it is just a minor hitch in what turned out to be an otherwise awesome long-haul travel buddy.
 
The only remaining gripe I have about this device? That I have to give it back!
 
SPECIFICATIONS
 
OS: Windows 7 Starter 32-bit
Display: 11.6-inch wide; 1366x768 pixels; LED backlight
Weight: 1.46kgs (including battery)
Architecture: AMD Dual-Core Processor, 1.6GHz
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6310 Graphics
Interface: USB 2.0 x3; HDMI out x1; SD card slot; headphone; microphone; DC in; 0.3-megapixel web camera.
Connectivity: Wireless LAN; Bluetooth 2.1
 
IN SUMMARY
 
Pros: It delivers on Sony’s claim that it is a road warrior; it is sturdy yet light; boasts great battery life; and has a comfortably sized keyboard.
Cons: A non-intuitively located on-switch; and a rather hefty price tag.
Rating: 7/10
Price: R5213 
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