Sony VAIO VGNTT15GNR
A smooth and sexy ultraportable laptop.
- Built-in DVD burner, light and easy to carry, screen produces vibrant colours and plenty of contrast, auto brightness is effective
- Screen feels a little flimsy, keys feel soft and lack crisp bounce-back, the red lid can be distracting when viewing the screen outdoors
Sony has produced an ultraportable that is rich in features, elegant in design and has a striking paint job. It's easy to carry and easy to use once you get used to it.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
There's a good reason that Sony's 11.1in VAIO VGNTT15GNR has a red lid — it's to highlight just how good its screen is. Not only that, it gives this ultraportable unit an undeniable appeal. But there is more to the VGNTT15GNR than good looks and a well-performing screen — it is easy to use, and it is equipped with plenty of features.
It's only 28cm wide and 20cm deep, and it weighs 1.3kg without its power supply. It's very easy to carry around in a small bag and equally easy to operate while using public transport. It has an 82-key keyboard with raised keys that feel a little sponge-like to the touch. Coupled with the slightly cramped nature of the keyboard it can be a little uncomfortable to type on this unit, but eventually you get used to it. Typing for long periods of time can get a little tiring, but it's not as bad as typing on a netbook.
The laptop is based on an Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300 CPU, which runs at 1.2GHz and has a thermal design rating of 10 Watts. Coupled with 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a 120GB 1.8in (mini Serial ATA) hard drive and integrated graphics, it forms the basis of a system that can be used for running everyday office, e-mail and Web applications. It is effective at multitasking, and it can also be used for watching movies and listening to music while you're on the go.
In our benchmarks, the VGNTT15GNR returned the results we were expecting. It scored 53 in WorldBench 6, which is about twice as fast as what a netbook with an Intel Atom CPU can achieve; it recorded times of 2min 32sec and 2min 24sec in the Blender 3-D rendering and iTunes MP3 encoding tests, respectively. These two tests maximise the CPU processor load and the results show that it is about three times faster than an Atom-based netbook.
But there really is no point comparing this VAIO to a netbook, because it just isn't in the same league. It costs approximately four times as much as a new-release netbook, and it has a lot more connectivity options and design features.
Along the edges of the laptop you will find one four-pin FireWire 400 port, two USB 2.0 ports, SD and MemoryStick slots, and a D-Sub port. If you look closer, you will also find concealed Gigabit Ethernet and 56Kbps modem ports, a concealed ExpressCard/34 slot, as well as a built-in DVD burner. There are shortcut buttons located on the front lip of the laptop that allow you to manipulate the volume, eject the DVD tray (which is just as well as the tray itself has a very small button) and also one shortcut button.
The shortcut button is set up to invoke the VAIO Control Centre by default; this is a Control Panel–like interface that lets you adjust the power, screen, network and security features of the laptop. The most interesting feature that you'll find in here is the automatic brightness feature, which is hooked up to a sensor on the chassis of the laptop. It dynamically adjusts the brightness of the laptop's screen depending on the amount of light hitting the sensor. It worked very well during our tests, as the screen reached maximum brightness while outdoors, and dimmed down as we moved inside. It's a good idea to leave this feature enabled, as it can prolong the life of the battery (unless you always use your laptop at the lowest brightness setting).
In our DVD rundown test (with maximum brightness and with the wireless card enabled), the laptop lasted 2hr 45min, which is a good result for a small unit with a DVD drive. You can expect more from it if you employ a sensible power management scheme.
Watching movies on the laptop's screen was a joy; its contrast and colour reproduction is the best we have seen from a notebook for a while. Blacks were dark, and dark scenes in photos and movies were rendered accurately; colours were vibrant. The screen isn't overly glossy, so it doesn't suffer from reflections, and its horizontal viewing angles are wide (approximately 170 degrees). This meant we could see what was on the screen while we were almost side-on to it. Our only quibble is that the screen feels a little flimsy. Its hinges are a little loose and its frame isn't solidly bonded to the lid. However, the notebook we tested was only a demo unit.
While using it on your lap, the right side of the base will get warm. This will be noticeable, especially in warm weather. There is a fan that spits warm air out of the left side of the laptop, but it's not too loud. Additionally, you can select the Silent profile in the power options, which is perfect for when you use the laptop at night to type documents. (The soft keys help with this, too, as they don't make any noise.)
Other features of this red VAIO include an Intel WiFi Link 5100 wireless adapter, which can run on 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks at 802.11a/b/g and draft-n speeds. You also get Bluetooth and a built-in webcam.
There's not much to dislike about this ultraportable laptop, which looks great and is generally easy to use once you get accustomed to it. Its small size and large array of built-in features make it a desirable laptop, especially if you want something that will also stand out from the crowd or match your handbag.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- More iPad screen sizes unlikely to stop slump
- Android struggling in tablets as Windows 10 2-in-1s come on strong
- Samsung unveils Galaxy Book, a Windows 10 tablet aimed at the Surface-curious
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
PCW Evaluation Team
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTPeoplesoft Functional Consultant - Campus SolutionsNSW
- FTSolution Architect - StorageVIC
- CCOrganisational Change Analyst - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- CCOrganisational Change Manager - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- FTJunior Applications SupportNSW
- FTSenior IOS DeveloperNSW
- TPSystems ManagerQLD
- FTTechnical Expert | 3mth+contractVIC
- FTImplementation LeadVIC
- FTAutomation TesterQLD
- TPDigital Business AnalystNSW
- FTLevel 3 Application Support AnalystVIC
- CCWeb Devops EngineerNSW
- FTGIS Software DeveloperQLD
- FTSoftware Tech Lead - C++ Back Office Trading SystemsNSW
- FTSenior Developer/DevOpsVIC
- CCLevel 1 IT Support OfficerACT
- FTSoftware EngineerSA
- TPBusiness Analyst - Infrastructure ProjectQLD
- FTSecurity Support AnalystNSW
- TPAnalyst Programmer (.Net)SA
- FTICT Change AnalystSA
- FTRelease Coordinator - Project ManagementQLD
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW