Product snapshot: Sony VAIO Duo 11

A Windows 8 tablet with a hidden keyboard and slide-up screen

Sony’s VAIO Duo 11 hybrid tablet is a ‘slider’, with a flip-up screen that exposes a built-in laptop-style keyboard and track-ball mouse controller. Running the full, non-RT version of Windows 8, it can be used equally well as a tablet and an ultraportable laptop.

The VAIO Duo 11 is built around a sliding mechanism — when it’s in tablet mode, all you have to do is pull the screen up from the little tab at the top back of the screen. The screen flips up, locking to a moderate angle and exposing a miniature, but still usable, Ultrabook laptop-style keyboard (which is also backlit).

You won’t be wanting for extra connections with the Duo 11. Home and business users are equally catered for; HDMI and VGA mean a TV or monitor can be easily connected (and Windows 8 detects them automatically), and two USB 3.0 ports support high-speed external storage or a larger keyboard and mouse, or you can use the dual-size SD card/Memory Stick slot. A stand-out feature is the inclusion of a wired Ethernet port — much faster and more reliable than wireless, which businesses should love.

The keyboard of the Sony VAIO Duo 11 is alright. The key are are quite small compared to a full-size keyboard, and are spaced closely together to fit behind the tablet’s screen. They are backlit though, which is good for night-time work. There’s a nifty optical track-ball to replace a full-size trackpad; it works reasonably well but we would have preferred a joystick instead.

The screen on the VAIO Duo 11 is great. It’s a Full HD, 1920x1080 pixel unit that’s 11.6 inches in size, with Sony’s usual swathe of image-enhancing technology. It’s one of the best screens we’ve seen in a tablet or ultraportable notebook, and looks clear and detailed over a wide range of viewing angles — which makes the locked screen angle less of an issue.

Packing an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, the Duo 11 is more than fast enough for any use you could find for a tablet or similar Ultrabook. It’s not going to be a gaming powerhouse by any means, and it will struggle with CPU-heavy tasks like photo or video editing, but for general Web browsing and mark-ups in Office, it works perfectly well.

The battery of the Duo 11 is rated for 4hrs and 30mins of use by Sony. This is a moderate figure, but it’s bested by Windows 8 tablets that have a second battery hidden in their removable keyboard docks. Sony does sell a secondary clip-on battery that doubles the Duo 11’s usable life to 9 hours per charge, though.

We liked the Duo 11, but its slider design does mean you’ll need to live with two signficant compromises — a fixed screen and a cramped keyboard.

Read our full review of the Sony VAIO Duo 11 hybrid tablet here.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?