Sony Vaio X series (VPCX11S1E/B) review: Sony Vaio X series (VPCX11S1E/B)

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The Good Unbelievably thin; long battery life.

The Bad Unbelievably expensive; small trackpad.

The Bottom Line It may offer the power of an Eee PC for roughly the price of a 15-inch MacBook Pro, but we defy anyone not to be impressed by the technological expertise that went into making the Sony Vaio VPCX11S1E/B. It's not worth the asking price, but that doesn't stop us from wanting one

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6.5 Overall

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Is it a netbook? Is it a laptop? One thing's for sure -- the Sony Vaio VPCX11S1E/B is the thinnest portable PC we've ever seen. But, at about £1,200, is it just an over-priced plaything for executives to pester their IT department about?

Remarkably thin and light
The Vaio P-series Lifestyle PC already showed us that Sony knows how to squeeze a quart into a pint pot, but this X-series laptop demonstrates even more impressive miniaturisation skills. This 11.1-inch machine is a mere 14mm thick, and we're not talking about its thinnest point. With a total weight of just 780g, it's hard to understand how the VPCX11S1E/B can be a working computer at all.

The VPCX11S1E/B is made from a combination of plastic and carbon fibre. Although there's plenty of flex if you grip either side of the keyboard and twist, the case doesn't feel particularly flimsy. The lid is worryingly thin and rather bendy, but it's almost impossible to put enough pressure on the outside to distort the screen.

Considering how slender the VPCX11S1E/B is, Sony's made surprisingly few design compromises

Such a slim profile means Sony has had to compromise on ports, but it's still managed to fit a full-size VGA socket on one side. It looks totally out of place -- a mini DisplayPort socket would have been more suitable -- but at least it means this go-anywhere laptop can plug into any display with the minimum of fuss.

Sony has also compromised slightly on the keyboard. Although it's only around 10 per cent narrower than normal, the chiclet keys aren't much bigger than a fingernail. They're spaced out well, but they still take some getting used to, and the tiny shift keys are particularly fiddly.

There's plenty of empty space on the wrist rest, but, for some reason, Sony has seemingly slapped the smallest-possible multi-touch trackpad in the middle of it. Still, it works well enough and the buttons are of a more manageable size.

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