Sony Vaio X Series Ultra Thin Notebook Review

Last week we showed you some photos of Sony’s latest ultra thin notebook, the Sony Vaio X-Series, we have had a good chance to try the Vaio X-Series out over the last week, so I thought it was about time to do a review of it.

Sony Vaio X Series Ultra Thin Notebook Review

The model we tested was the Vaio X-Series VPC11S1E/B, which comes with an Intel Atom Z540 1.8GHz processor, 2GB of 533 MHz DDR2 RAM, a 128GB SATA SSD, and an 11.1 inch WXGA X-black LCD display with a resolution of 1366 x 768, plus Windows 7 professional and it also featured a built in 3G modem.

Sony Vaio X Series Ultra Thin Notebook Review

My first impression of the Sony Vaio X-series, when I opened the box, was how small and light it was, the design is absolutely stunning, and it is probably the best designed ultra compact notebook I have ever seen, it is so easy to carry around, you can see from the photo above, compared to a ten pence piece just how thin the X Series is.

sony vaio x-series review

The specifications on the Vaio X series are pretty good, apart from the processor, although the Intel Atom Z540 1.8GHz processor is one of Intel’s faster Atom processors, I would have expected more in this notebook, especially for the price.

sony vaio x-series review

The processor does a good job with the majority of tasks, we did try it out with all of the Windows 7 Aero features on, which did seem to slow it down a bit, but performing every day tasks it did a good job at handling everything.

sony vaio x-series review

The 11.1 inch WXGA X-black LCD display is great and having a decent resolution on it of 1366 x 768 makes it really pleasant to use, the screen is also pretty bright and easy to see, even when it switches automatically to lower brightness in power saving mode it is still crystal clear.

Sony Vaio X Series Ultra Thin Notebook Review

The battery on the Vaio X series is decent, the model we tested had a battery which is supposed to last up to 5 hours, and it comes close, on both tests we got around 4.5 hours of battery life whilst performing a number of different tasks, Sony also offer a higher capacity battery that will give you up to 8 hours of usage.

Sony Vaio X Series Ultra Thin Notebook Review

Graphics on the Vaio X Series is provided by Intel’s GMA 500 graphics chip, which is designed to save you power whilst still offering decent graphics, don’t expect to play many graphic hungry games on the X Series, but it does a great job with every day tasks.

sony vaio x-series review

The keyboard isn’t bad, it is just about big enough to use properly, although if it was slightly bigger it would make things a lot easier, mind you the Vaio X-series is incredibly small, so I suppose a larger keyboard would increase the size. The touchpad is also small, and not the easiest to use, but after using it for a while you get used to it.

Sony Vaio X Series Ultra Thin Notebook Review

The overall design of the Sony Vaio X-Series is stunning, the chassis is made from carbon fiber, which makes sure it stays nice and light, one one side of the notebook there are two USB 2.0 ports plus a headphone jack and an AC adapter point, the other side features and Ethernet port and an VGA port so it can be hooked up to an external monitor.


Overall the Sony Vaio X-Series is probably the best looking ultra compact notebook available on the market today, it is so light and stylish, I could end up getting used to using it on a daily basis.

There are just two things that let it down the first is the Atom processor, for this sort of money, you definitely want something more powerful.

The second is the price, the Sony Vaio X series starts at £1,299, when compared to the specifications is extremely high, although Sony market it as an ultra portable notebook, it shares a lot of similar specifications with todays netbooks which cost a lot less.

If Sony could make netbooks that looked this good for a similar price to other manufacturers, they would fly off the shelves.

At the end of the day if you are looking for an ultra portable notebook, with a stylish design, and money is no object then it may be worth you checking out the Sony Vaio X-Series, but  I personally feel that it is overpriced for the specifications.

You can find out more about the Sony Vaio-X Series ultra company notebook over at Sony.

Filed Under: Laptops, Reviews
  • Nuisance

    No, I really do not agree with the decency of the battery. The specifications say up to 8 hours and not 5 hours.

    But the most annoying thing is that there is a battery drain while the notebook is shut down. This has been an issue for several Vaio models and here they have not learnt a thing. Drainage of 15-20% in a day without use! It is unbelievable! A nuisance!


  • Roland Hutchinson

    Hi Fred

    Thanks for your comments.

    I think the up to 8 hours battery is an extended one, the model we tested had a five hour battery.

    I know what you mean about the battery drain, I have have had problems with this on previous Sony Vaio’s I have owned.

    The one we tested didn’t suffer from this problem, and the battery worked fairly well.

  • Nuisance

    Did you really test the drain? I tried two models and the same result. Battery drainage.

    And no, 8 hours is advertised for the standard model. Just go to the Vaio homepage and you will see.

    I think the drain is something which should not happen. And I was really annoyed by it. Especially when you talk to support and they want to sell it as something normal, treating you like an idiot. This relly sucks!


  • Roland Hutchinson

    Hi Fred

    We tested it over the last week, and we didn’t notice any drain on the battery at all.

    I am not sure about the total battery life as, I know that the Sony website says ‘up to’ 8 hours, but on the model we tested it said five hours left, after a full charge.

  • jehzlau

    I agree that it’s overpriced. But there’s nothing we can do.. It’s a SONY. :)

  • Sprokonoitmambu!

    wow it’s nice

  • Snezok

    Excellent laptop. It remains only to save money. And thanks for the excellent review. As always you are at height!

  • Dan


    There may be confusion on the battery life and rated hours. Depending on what country the X ships in, there are 3 different batteries: 2-cell (S), 4-cell (L), and 6-cell (X). In the U.S., the Vaio X ships with the S and X batteries standard, but in the UK (and I think also Australia), the Vaio ships with only the L battery, which is not available in the U.S. The marketing sheet for the U.S. VPCX115KX/N gives a rating of 3.0 hours with the S and 12.0 hours with the X. I don’t know how the L is rated overseas.

  • JIN

    Shutting down does drain the battery….. The best thing to do is put it into sleep mode so really that’s not an issue or is it ?

  • Kryptic

    Used one of these in a Sony Store today. To be honest, I couldn’t care less if the battery is rubbish, or that Aero runs like a bulldozer through treacle; I wanted one! At almost exactly the same thickness, my iPhone looked so chunky beside it…