Sony VAIO VGN-G118GN
- Size, battery life, internal optical drive, slim design
- Screen flexes too much
The Sony VAIO VGN-G811GN/B is a very nice option for people who expect to be on the road a lot. The battery life is good and for such a small unit it's nice to see an internal optical drive.
Price$ 3,699.00 (AUD)
Sony's put its stamp on the ultra-portable market by introducing the VAIO VGN-G118GN/B; a small, lightweight notebook with a 12.1in screen and an ultra low voltage CPU. Despite its smaller stature, the new G-series doesn't skimp on functionality, offering an internal optical drive and Windows Vista Business edition. It performed comfortably in our tests and has excellent battery life.
The Sony VGN-G118GN/B uses an Intel Core Solo U1500 1.33GHz ultra low voltage CPU, which offers lower performance, but also emits less heat and helps keep the battery running for longer. The onboard Intel graphics chip is enough to handle most business applications and manages Vista's Aero interface without a problem. Although the VGN-G118GN/B is small, it still comes with a decently sized 100GB hard drive for data storage. There's also 1GB of DDR2 RAM built into this system, but the smaller chassis limits the maximum RAM capacity to only 1.5GB for future upgrades.
We encoded 53 minutes of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files to test the system's performance. Its encoding time of three minutes and 52 seconds is fairly slow and indicates that the U1500 CPU is not up to heavy processing tasks. However, for general business applications it will be fine.
As a business notebook this unit comes with some useful features. A biometric fingerprint scanner allows the system to be locked and adds security to the login process. A VGA port is available to output presentations to a larger screen or projector. Meanwhile a programmable "S-Button", can be customised to switch between external display modes and other presentation-friendly functions, or it can be programmed to run any application.
Weighing just 1.15kg this new G-series notebook from Sony is designed with portability in mind. The 12.1in screen provides a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768 and is one of the thinnest screens we've seen. However, Sony's efforts to make this unit small and lightweight haven't left the chassis weak and vulnerable. The carbon fibre compound used is both light and strong, but at only 4mm in thickness the screen is frightfully flexible. Although the housing around the LCD manages to take a portion of the strain, we wouldn't recommend this unit if you have a rough lifestyle.
The screen uses a white LED as a backlight and produces a reasonably bright image with decent contrast, but it only has a very shallow viewing angle, making it more difficult to see from any position other than directly front-on.
Considering the size of the unit, one of its best features is the internal optical drive; an option often omitted from ultra portables. We used this drive to facilitate our worst-case scenario battery test, where we run down the battery using a looped DVD. The system held out for an impressive three hours and 31 minutes. This test is considered worst case as the optical drive and speakers help drain the battery, as well as the core components like the CPU and RAM. To save battery-life, power to the optical drive can be turned off within Windows when it's not in use. Under normal workloads we expect this system to run considerably longer when away from a power source and using the power saving features according to your requirements can further enhance battery life.
We noted that the speakers were able to reach very loud volumes for such a small machine, but beyond a certain level the sound became severely distorted. That said, with the volume at a reasonable level we were still able to hear our movie comfortably.
The keyboard is very small and the keys take some getting used to. We don't recommend you use this for typing long documents. The touchpad and mouse buttons were comfortable to use and responsive in our tests.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Lenovo ThinkPad celebrates 25 years of cutting edge technology
- Crowdfunding campaign to bring wireless charging to the Macbook
- Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixelbook, Google Home Mini & Max: Everything Announced At Today’s Google Event
- MSI GE73 7RF VR Raider Gaming Laptop: Full, in-depth review
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
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.
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
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.
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.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
- Apple TV 4K review
- Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop review
- 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
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTLinux Systems EngineerOther
- FTPayments Business AnalystVIC
- FTNetwork ArchitectNSW
- FTDevOps Engineer/ LeadOther
- FTData AnalystOther
- FTBDM/Account Manager - TechnologyACT
- CCBusiness Analyst (Finance/Grants)QLD
- CCDevOps Engineer - Maximo - TelcoVIC
- TPJava DeveloperWA
- FTPreSales / Offerings Solution Architect - BPS or BPONSW
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - TelcoVIC
- CCITSM Project ManagerNSW
- CC.net developerNSW
- CCSAP AdminstratorNSW
- FTSoftware DeveloperOther
- FTSenior Change ManagerNSW
- CCDevelopers ? Multiple opportunities (Brisbane)NSW
- TPBusiness Intelligence Analyst/Software DeveloperQLD
- FTIT Support & System AdministratorNSW
- TPieMR Program Director - Gold CoastQLD
- FTSenior Solution ArchitectOther
- FTFinance Business PartnerOther
- CCTransition Manger - Infrastructure ServicesVIC
- FTReporting, Analytics and Insights Analyst - $62 p/hrOther