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Review Sony Vaio VGN-N11M Notebook

White Christmas? Yes - for all those who obtain the Sony Vaio VGN-N11M office notebook. Sony's white beginner's notebook among Dualcore notebooks has to prove its technical qualities in the following reviews.

Case

As generally known there's no accounting for taste. Still, the Sony Vaio VGN-N11M was criticized quite often by us. The most amusing answer to the design: "Look's like a children's computer".

Now to the facts: The plain silver notebook with white cover is not decorated in any way. The used materials do not seem to be of high-quality, the gaps are by not means even. Nearly already typical Sony, the battery is wobbling in the case. The biggest weakness is, however, the loud creaking noise. If one picks up the notebook, puts it under pressure, or even opens or closes the display, the whole bottom trough creaks. This does not really lead to a positive picture - however, the used materials are rather flexural rigid.

The notebook is not even brilliant at the number and kinds interfaces. Only 2 USB ports are too few nowadays. Furthermore, there is no TV out and only one analog display out. This would be acceptable for a subnotebook, but in this notebook class this fact leads to a devaluation. In addition to this, most of the ports are placed at the right side - this is disturbing for right handers using an external mouse.

Front side with Cardreader
Front side with Cardreader
Back side with Modem- and LAN adapter
Back side with Modem- and LAN adapter
Left side - DVD burner
Left side - DVD burner
Right side - Headset, microphone, 2x USB 2.0, Express Card 34cm, vent hole, display, Firewire 400
Right side - Headset, microphone, 2x USB 2.0, Express Card 34cm, vent hole, display, Firewire 400

Input Devices

The keyboards properties are similar to those of the FE31B or C-1. Short way, comfortable key size, good layout and good ease of use are the features. The keyboard is tight in the case and there aren't any deflections.

Even the touch pad could convince through good floating properties and response. The two touch pad buttons are of sufficient size and work properly.

Touchpad
Touchpad
Tastatur
Tastatur

Display

Color Diagram

The bright 15.4 inch X-black display convinces through an excellent brightness of up to 187 cd/m². Therefore, one gets hardly aware of reflections (There isn't any antireflection coating applied to it, in the contrary to e.g. the FE-21M). The illumination of 83% is a good average value, whereas the right top edge is darkest. The relatively bright black valu 1.0 cd/m² has an acceptable contrast of  187:1 as a result.

Vertically the stability to the vantage point isn't really good. However, horizontally, the stability to the vantage point is average.

160.0
cd/m²
173.3
cd/m²
155.4
cd/m²
170.0
cd/m²
187.0
cd/m²
157.7
cd/m²
176.6
cd/m²
166.6
cd/m²
170.0
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 187.0 cd/m²
Average: 168.5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Stability to the Vantage Point
 

Performance

Because of the Intel parts, (Core Duo, Intel Chip set with integrated graphics) the Sony Vaio VGN-N11M has a sound office performance. However, the 512 MB main memory of the standard equipment seems to be to small for demanding applications, i.e. video processing.  Because the video card dynamically uses up to  8-128 MB of it, there can be delays when using more than one program at a time.

The game performance is, because of the integrated video card GMA 950, relatively poor. Current games can either be badly played or not played at all. If one wants to play, one should rather look for another notebook (Performance class 1-3).

3D Mark
3DMark 06
 
100 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B (min)
 740, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
54
   ...
Acer Aspire One 533-13Drr
 N455, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 3150
89
Asus N10E
 N270, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
91
Sony Vaio VGN-N11M
 T2050, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
100
Acer Aspire One D250-0BB
 N270, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
102
Samsung NF210-HZ1
 N550, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 3150
107
   ...
Clevo Clevo P157SM (max)
 4930MX, GeForce GTX 880M
29955
PC Mark
PCMark 052408 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook S6410 02DE
 T7500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
2351
HP 550
 550, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
2363
Sony Vaio VGN-N11M
 T2050, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
2408
Benq Joybook 5200G.G02
 740, Mobility Radeon X300
2413
Samsung X120
 SU7300, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500M
2440
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842

The strengthes of Sony's beginners notebook  are in the fields of noise and temperature emissions. The fan hardly ever runs, therefore, the FE-N11M stays almost always very quiet at 30.9 dB. Even, if the fan starts to run after a longer period of full load the noise is low at 36-37 dB. Even this noise is not unpleasing.

Rarely running fans often cause a heat accumulation inside the case, which leads to a higher surface temperature. This Sony notebook is a laudable exception and stays cool. In average we measured 30°C during our review. Therefore, the notebook seems to be even cool.

Upper side

palmwrist: 29°C max: 30°C avg: 29°C

Bottom side

max: 32°C avg: 30°C

Battery Runtime

We are sorry that we could not measure the exact battery runtime due to lack of time. Sony specifies a maximum runtime of 225 minutes. These are 5 minutes more than the 220 minutes specified for the FE31B, which we reviewed. Therefore one may reckon that it has a slightly longer runtime. It can be assumed that the battery runtime is between 1.5 and 3 hours. Well, this aren't really record values, however, this is the price for the very bright display.

Verdict

If one disregards the design, the customer gets a quiet, cool office notebook with bright screen and good input devices. A weak point are the case's creaking noises and the moderate number of ports (only 2x USB and no TV-Out). The performance is for non-demanding applications (surfing, office) sufficient, but the small main memory, which is also downsized by the integrated video card, additionally slows the notebook down. We would recommend to use the N11S with 100GB hard disk and 1024MB RAM for demanding work.

Sony Vaio VGN-N11M
Sony Vaio VGN-N11M

 Lots of thanks to Alime Öztürk for providing us with a notebook for this review.

Reviewed: Sony Vaio VGN-N11M
Reviewed: Sony Vaio VGN-N11M

Specifications

Sony Vaio VGN-N11M
Processor
Intel Core Duo T2050 1.6 GHz (Intel Core Duo)
Memory
512 MB 
, DDR2 SDRAM, PC2-4200, 533 MHz, max. 2048MB, 1x512MB
Display
15.4 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, X-black LC-Display WXGA, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel 945GM
Harddisk
80 GB - 5400 rpm, 80 GB 
5400 rpm S-ATA: 80GB, 5400rpm
Connections
Express Card (34mm), IEEE1394 Firewire, Mic-In, Kopfhörer, 2x USB 2.0, VGA out, Kensington Lock
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 29 x 364 x 264.5 ( = 1.14 x 14.33 x 10.41 in)
Weight
3.1 kg ( = 109.35 oz) ( = 0 oz)
Battery
, 4400 mAh Lithium Ionen Akku (VGP-BPS2A/S)
Price
950 Euro
Additional features
HDD: 80GB, 5400rpm, S-ATA, Azalia HD Audio, DVD Multi (DL) Writer,

 

[+] compare
One needs to get accustomed to the design of the Vaio VGN-N11M office notebook first...
One needs to get accustomed to the design of the  Vaio VGN-N11M office notebook first...
... gets a cheap, quiet and cool notebook, with bright display.
... gets a cheap, quiet and cool notebook, with bright display.
Whoever likes the design and doesn't mind the creaking ...
Whoever likes the design and doesn't mind the creaking ...
The weight of 3,1 kg is more than it looks like.
The weight of 3,1 kg is more than it looks like.
The N11M comes with only 512MB main memory (N11S 2x512MB), which limits the performance.
The N11M comes with only 512MB main memory (N11S 2x512MB), which limits the performance.
The noise and temperature emissions of the notebook are low.
The noise and temperature emissions of the notebook are low.
The number of interfaces is small and they are all at the right side.
The number of interfaces is small and they are all at the right side.
Furthermore, the display doesn't have a transport hook.
Furthermore, the display doesn't have a transport hook.
... and the battery wobbles (Click the image!).
... and the battery wobbles (Click the image!).
... and the quality of the case is not first-class (creaking noises) ...
... and the quality of the case is not first-class (creaking noises) ...

Pro

  • Manual WLAN switch
  • Low noise emissions
  • Bright display
  • Notebook stays cool
  • Contra

  • Only 2 USB ports
  • Bad Workmanship
  • Creaking case
  • Design
  • Similar Notebook

    Price Comparison

    Ciao Sony Vaio VGN-N11M

    Bewertung

    Sony Vaio VGN-N11M
    08/31/2007
    J. Simon Leitner

    Chassis
    65%
    Keyboard
    84%
    Pointing Device
    86%
    Connectivity
    74%
    Weight
    90%
    Battery
    67%
    Display
    83%
    Games Performance
    82%
    Application Performance
    72%
    Temperature
    80%
    Noise
    95%
    Add Points
    80%
    Average
    80%
    80%
    Office *
    Weighted Average

    > Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Sony Vaio VGN-N11M
    Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2007-01-26 (Update: 2013-05- 8)