Review Sony Vaio TZ11XN Notebook

Nice Looking with weaknesses. Subnotebooks by Sony are always interesting. Be it, because of the bright and super slim LED displays, or simply, because of the beautiful Sony look, Sony notebooks have loyal fans. They like them especially, because of the outstanding mobility of these very light notebooks, not to mention the display. Here you can read, why the Sony TZ11XN does not only score high.

Sony Vaio TZ11XN Logo

Case

As expected the Sony Vaio TZ11XN pleases by its beautiful and elegant look. Especially the rounded battery, which can also be seen between the hinges from the front, contributes to the appearance of the notebook.

Another design aspect of the TZ11XN is its keyboard. In contrast to other notebooks, which have separated keyboard units, the each single key of this keyboard is  bordered by the surrounding case. The interspace created by this design is filled by glossy coated parts of the case, which is dotted with fingerprints after a short time. Overall this keyboard design reminds on the one of Apple MacBooks.

Regarding case stability the flexural rigidity of the base unit is good and its pressure resistance is good to moderate (bottom side). Carbon fiber makes this possible. However, the extra slim and elegant display, which can be clearly deformed at its top corners, could be robuster.

At the first glance it seem that the workmanship is alright. However, scrutinizing the notebook, you'll quickly detect weaknesses. E.g., the  socket of the power connector, which is at the side of the left display hinge is only loosely attached. The same is true for the plastic covers of both hinges, which can easily be dislocated and moved even by applying only a little force. Also the typical "Sony problem" persist at the TZ11XN: Right, the wobbling battery. All these points of critique are not really dire, but the impression of quality is diminished.

Apart from the filigree cover the hinges work alright. No wonder, their work is not really hard, because the display is very thin and light. We also need to mention that we reviewed a pre-series notebook, which is not meant to be sold. So, there could be improvements till the final launch.

For the benefit of a thin display the transport hook was missed out. The display is drawn close and kept locked by a mechanism.

The number of provided interfaces is a little poor. Most of the ports were placed at the left side of the case. LAN, Modem, and Firewire are hidden behind a cover. A big pro is the integrated DVD drive, which makes a mobile DVD player out of the TZ11XN. Furthermore, a docking port is provided at the bottom side.

Front Side: Audio Ports, Cardreader
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Interfaces
Left Side: Modem, LAN, Firewire (behind a cover), Fan, ExpressCard 34mm, 2x USB 2.0, Kensington Lock
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Interfaces
Back Side: No Ports (Battery)
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Interfaces
Right Side: DVD drive, VGA Out
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Interfaces

Input Devices

As already mentioned above, the keyboard attracts especially by its "single key layout". So, the space in between the keys is a little bigger than usual, but this has no impact on user-friendliness.

The somewhat smaller and, typical Sony, flattened keys are comfortable in use. Also typing feels very comfortable.

The touch pad is not that good. Partly the pad does not optimally react, and also the position of its two buttons at the very front edge is not ideal for mobile use. However, the surface of the pad is comfortable and the point of pressure of both buttons is user-friendly.

Touch pad
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Touch pad
Keyboard
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Keyboard

Display

Color Diagram
Sony Vaio TZ11XN display measurement

The biggest advantage of the LED display gets obvious soon -  excellent brightness. The WXGA format 16:9 seems unusual wide at the beginning, but, soon we got used to it. The 11.1 inch display provides a passable overview by a resolution of 1366x768.

The measurement results of this glossy display are passable. The maximum brightness amounted to very good 345.4 cd/m², and the illumination is acceptable at 80.7%. The diagram of display calibration depicts three nearly ideal color curves. Subjectively the displayed picture seems to be a little reddish, which might be caused by the special anti-reflection coating.

298.2
cd/m²
295.2
cd/m²
298.6
cd/m²
293.0
cd/m²
278.6
cd/m²
297.4
cd/m²
333.4
cd/m²
332.0
cd/m²
345.4
cd/m²
Information
Maximum: 345.4 cd/m²
Average: 308 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Black: 0.6 cd/m²
Contrast: 464:1
Distribution of brightness

The black value, i.e. the minimum brightness of the display amounted to 0.6 cd/m² which gives, together with the maximum brightness of 345.4 cd/m², a maximum contrast ratio of very good 576:1. The speed of reaction, checked by scroll tests and the Pixperan test of legibility, is average without any anomalies.

Outdoor Operation
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Outdoor

The very bright display stays also well legible in very bright environments and  is in general fit for outdoor usage. However, the reflecting surface might cause problems. Although anti-reflexion coated, you'll sometimes face reflections which essentially reduce the legibility at adverse incidence of light.

The area of operations of the Sony TZ11's LED display are horizontally and vertically spacious. While the picture hardly changes even at very acute angles, the picture darkens and the contrast diminishes, if you look from top down.

Sony Vaio TZ11XN Stability to the Vantage Point
Nexoc Osiris S619 Stability to the Vantage Point
Nexoc Osiris S619 Stability to the Vantage Point
Nexoc Osiris S619 Stability to the Vantage Point
Nexoc Osiris S619 Stability to the Vantage Point
Nexoc Osiris S619 Stability to the Vantage Point
Nexoc Osiris S619 Stability to the Vantage Point
Nexoc Osiris S619 Stability to the Vantage Point


Video of Display's Stability to the Vantage Point

Performance

The Sony Vaio TZ11XN is equipped with the most up-to-date energy-saving version of Intel's Core 2 Duo processors. The U7500 CPU works at a clockrate of only 1.06 GHz and demands only 10 Watt wattage. The Core 2 Duo architecture still provides good performance.

The benchmark comparison with other subnotebooks shows that the Vaio TZ11XN even outperforms higher-clocked Core Solo or Core Duo ULV CPUs. Of course clearly higher clocked Core Duo or Core 2 Duo processors clearly outperform the U7500, but, they also demand clearly more energy.

Regarding 3D performance the Sony TZ11 provides only a Vista base equipment as can also be seen in the diagram. There are no reserve capacities for games or similar graphical demanding applications, but, this probably won't keep anybody seriously interested in this notebook from buying.

With 2 Gigabyte main memory (PC4300, 533MHz) and a 100 GB hard disk (4200 revs/min) the Vaio provides a passable equipment for daily office and internet applications. Clearly designed for energy saving, sometimes longer speed of reactions are to be expected.

Further information about the video card can be found  here or in our comparison of mobile video cards. Detailed information about the Core 2 Duo CPU can be found here.

Please also look at our benchmark list of mobile processors or at our benchmark list of mobile video cards, in order to compare this notebook to other configurations.

Benchmark Comparison 3DMark
Benchmark Vergleich 3DMark Sony Vaio TZ11XN
Benchmark Comparison PCMark
Benchmark Vergleich PCMark Sony Vaio TZ11XN
3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE2466 points
3DMark 05308 points
3DMark 06
 
111 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B (min)
 740, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
54
   ...
Dell Latitude 2100
 N270, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
107
Zepto Notus A12
 A110, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
107
Sony TZ11XN
 U7500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
111
Sony TX5XN
 U1500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
112
MSI Megabook S262
 T2400, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
118
   ...
Alienware M18x R2 (max)
 3920XM, Radeon HD 7970M Crossfire
29496
PC Mark
PCMark 052094 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Asus Eee PC 1015PN
 N550, ION 2
2030
Acer Aspire 4810T
 SU3500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
2033
Sony TZ11XN
 U7500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
2094
Acer Aspire 3810T
 SU3500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
2197
Asus U2E-1P017E
 U7500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
2212
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
100 GB - 4200 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 13.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 28.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 22.7 MB/s
Access Time: 19.7 ms
Burst Rate: 52.6 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4.4 %

Emissions

Loudness

In idle mode the fan runs nearly all the time. At least, if the Windows energy profiles "balanced and top performance" are selected, the fans starts running after a short time and continues running ever since then.

With the profile "energy save mode" the fan runs periodically for some seconds, with short  breaks in between (some seconds).

In practice it was more comfortable to work with a higher performance and an always running fan than working in energy save mode. The always running fan disturbs less, because of its quiet rustling noise, than the periodical on and off in energy save mode.

Noise Level

Idle 30.2 / 39.8 / 39.7 dB(A)
HDD 35.7 dB(A)
DVD 40.6 / dB(A)
Load / 41.5 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The surface temperature at the top side of the notebook does neither in idle mode nor under load appreciable increase. A maximum temperature of 34.6°C measured in the center of the keyboard is alright.

At the bottom side the Sony TZ11XN gets warmer and reaches near the fan the maximum surface temperature of 41.6°C, which is alright too, even if working on top of the lap. Apropos, in the center of the bottom side there are only some small vent holes. However, even working on soft pads, we did not observe any problems regarding temperature increase or noise of the fan.

Upper side

palmwrist: 31.2°C max: 34.9°C avg: 31.0°C

Bottom side

max: 41.6°C avg: 36.0°C

Speakers

The speakers are left and right above the keyboard. Their maximum volume is alright. However, weaknesses regarding high tones and basses get obvious soon.

The sound output through the 3.5mm stereo socket (not a digital signal) was without any anomalies in our test with a headset.

Battery Runtime

The runtime of the 5200 mAh lithium ions battery is passable, because of the TZ11XN's low-energy demanding hardware.

In our tests it ranged from a minimum of slightly above one hour (85 minutes) under load to up to 4.5 hours at optimized energy settings (WLAN off, minimum performance and brightness).

So, the TZ11XN is clearly outperformed regarding battery runtime by its Sony competitor, the Vaio TX5XN, but, it is equipped with a more powerful processor and a clearly smaller battery, which contributes to a smaller weight.

Battery runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
4h 50min
DVD
2h 40min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 25min

Power consumption

Idle 13.6 / 17.0 / 19.8 Watt
Load 24.8 / 23.1 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         

Verdict

Sony Vaio TZ11XN
Sony Vaio TZ11XN

The Sony Vaio TZ11X turned out to be a very beautiful and mobile companion, which scores especially high by its bright display.

Some unnecessary weaknesses regarding workmanship disappointed us, e.g, a wobbling battery or the filigree plastic cover of the hinges.

The keyboard does not only look good, it is also very user-friendly and proper for long typing. Overall, the touch pad is alright, although it could not totally convince.

The incredible thin and nearly fragile appearing LED display has an excellent brightness and a good contrast. Working outdoors is possible, although you'll face reflexions in bad lightening conditions. These cannot totally be avoided by Sony's anti-reflexion coating.

The Sony Vaio TZ11XN's performance is also alright. A U7500 Core 2 Duo processor provides good performance and demands only low energy. Furthermore, the TZ11 is equipped with an 100 GB hard disk and 2GB main memory.

The noise emissions are decent but clearly audible. In idle mode the fan runs all the time, but, it's rustling noise is not annoying.

The surface temperature is especially at the top side rather limited, and also the bottom side is alright with a maximum of only slightly above 40°C.

Finally, also the battery runtime of the Vaio TZ11XN is passable. At optimized energy settings the notebook works up to 4.5 hours unplugged.

Reviewed: Sony Vaio TZ11XN
Sony Vaio TZ11XN

Specifications

Sony TZ11XN

:: Processor
Intel Core 2 Duo U7500 1.06 GHz (Intel Core 2 Duo)
:: Mainboard
Intel 945GM
:: Memory
2048 MB, DDR2 PC4300 533Mhz SDRAM, max. 2048MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
11.1 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, WXGA X-Black LED Display, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
100 GB - 4200 rpm, 100 GB 4200 rpm Toshiba MK1011GAH: 100GB, 4200rpm
:: Connections
ExpressCard 34mm, 2x USB 2.0, FireWire, Mikrophon, Headphones, LAN, Modem, D-Sub/VGA, Docking Station
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 23-30 x 277 x 198
:: Weight
1.2 kg
:: Battery
, 5200mAh Litium Ionen Akku
:: Price
2400 Euro
:: Additional features
Intel 945GMS, HDD: 100GB, 4200rpm, Toshiba MK1011GAH, Realtek ALC262 HD Audio, Matshita DVD-RAM UJ-852S,

 

The Sony Vaio TZ11XN looks good...
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
...with its elegant and decent design.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
The stability of the base unit...
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
...is sufficient, and it is resistant against applied forces.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
Still, there are weaknesses, e.g., a wobbling power connector socket...
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
...or hinge covers, which can be dislocated.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
Once again at the TZ11: The battery is only loosely attached.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
Some of the low number of interfaces are hidden behind a cover.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
Not granted for notebooks of this class: The Vaio TZ11XN provides an integrated DVD drive.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
This very mobile companion even provides a web cam.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
The keyboard's single key layout looks good,...
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
...and typing is user-friendly.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
The LED display is very thin,...
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
...and its brightness and contrast are very good.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
The Vaio TZ11XN is equipped with a new U7500 processor by Intel,...
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
...which provides sufficient power, while its energy demand is low.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
Although the fan runs all the time, its noise level is alright.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
The surface temperature is acceptable too.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image
The battery runtime of the 5200 mAh battery is alright.
Sony Vaio TZ11XN Image

Pro

  • Elegant design
  • Compact and light
  • Integrated DVD drive
  • Very bright display, excellent contrast
  • Acceptable noise and temperature emissions
  • Passable battery runtime
  • Contra

  • Some weaknesses regarding workmanship and case robustness
  • Number of interfaces poor
  • Similar Notebooks

    Price Comparison

    Ciao.uk

    Sony Vaio TZ11XN

    Rating

    Sony TZ11XN
    08/31/2007
    J. Simon Leitner

    Chassis
    82%
    Keyboard
    86%
    Pointing Device
    84%
    Connectivity
    79%
    Weight
    98%
    Battery
    82%
    Display
    93%
    Games Performance
    40%
    Application Performance
    79%
    Temperature
    71%
    Noise
    81%
    Add Points
    90%
    Average
    80%
    85%
    Subnotebook *
    Weighted Average

    > Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Sony Vaio TZ11XN Notebook
    Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2007-08-16 (Update: 2013-05- 8)