Notebookcheck

Review Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B (11.6") Subnotebook

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Sara Kate Jaceniuk), 02/28/2011

Vaio in the land of the dwarfs. A mini-Vaio for everyone. The Vaio-dwarf throws all business ambitions overboard and concentrates rather on the embroidered demands of the masses. Good keyboard, attractive price and a usable battery life.

Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B: The first 11.6-incher from Sony
Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B: The first 11.6-incher from Sony

Sony took its time making its first 11.6-incher ready for the market. The producer left the field open for instance to Acer, which had remarkable success with the Timeline 1810TZ (2009), and later with the Aspire 1830T and the Travelmate 8172T (both 2010). Lenovo also dared to venture into the category with the ThinkPad Edge 11 and the IdeaPad U160 (both 2010). Then even Apple became the youngest entrant with the MacBook Air 11 (2010).

The 11.6-inch category is a difficult one. On the one hand devices must distinguish themselves from netbooks (technology and price), and on the other they must continually prove to the consumer why they shouldn't go for a 15.6-incher with better performance at a lower price.

But their survival on the market qualifies the 11.6-inchers' presence. Apparently the handy form factor is interesting for consumers who don't want to stoop to the low netbook-level. With that in mind, Sony goes into action and wants to offer a performance-plus in terms of technology. Although the Core i3-380UM (2x 1.33GHz) doesn't represent brute performance in the subnotebook-segment, it does allow Sony to feature attractive pricing at under 700 Euros. Find out in this review whether or not you get a good subnotebook for that price.

Case

Ansicht Vaio VPC-YA1V9E
View Vaio VPC-YA1V9E
Bodenplatte Vaio YA
Base Vaio YA
Detail (Power-On)
Detail (Power-On)

Sony's 11.6-incher is housed in a flat, wedge-shaped chassis which comes to a point at the front. It has no apparent visual similarities to the Vaio Z-series (Z13B7E) or the Vaio S13 (S13X9E). A cylindrical-look at the level of the hinges, deep-hanging joints, slightly elevated and structured palm rest and anthracite-colored, matte optics.

The handy case is stable, but not completely resistant to twisting forces. With two hands we were able to bend it somewhat. But the plastic palm rest sits absolutely secure and can't be dented at all. That's not the case with the base plate. Simply by applying pressure to the middle of the fan openings causes it to give noticeably. The battery, which doesn't project but rather sits securely latched-in, is impressive.

Many consumer-subnotebooks and netbooks these days have broken away from high-gloss, lubricious surfaces, and our Vaio goes with the trend by doing away with gloss surfaces entirely. A pleasant matte surface on the lid repels fingerprints completely. Together with the polished plastic above the keys and the textured palm rest, the YA1V9E/B delivers a subtle and hard-wearing look.

The lid seems to be quite impervious and we could only dent its surface in the middle with some force. Attempts to buckle it are also kept to a minimum. The joints only allow for a small opening angle of around 135 degrees. Unfortunately, the hinges don't have secure post in their end-position and thus allow the lid to spring there. The joints are bound securely which means the lid doesn't wobble, even when shaken.

The locking-power of the lid and base unit together are weak. When held upside down, the lid opens by 5 centimeters.

Connectivity

Due to its minimal size, the Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B is just as sparsely equipped as the Aspire 1830T or Lenovo's U160. In addition to the three USB 2.0 ports, we also come across HDMI and VGA. TVs (sound transmission by HDMI) or an external TFT hook up to the HDMI- and the VGA port.

The arrangement of the plugin-locations appears reasonable within the given space: VGA is right next to the HDMI on the left side. Here you won't have to deal with annoying, thick cables when using a right-handed mouse. Although the connections at the rear are better suited for use on a desk at home, the 11.6-incher will probably rarely be operated as a stationary device with a complete set of peripheral cabling. A docking port like on the business subnotebooks of the S- and Z-series is not available for the YA-series.

Front: Memory Stick (Duo/Pro-HG Duo) & SD-Card Slot, radio-module switch
Front: Memory Stick (Duo/Pro-HG Duo) & SD-Card Slot, radio-module switch
Left: AC, VGA, HDMI, USB 2.0
Left: AC, VGA, HDMI, USB 2.0
Rear: No connections
Rear: No connections
Right: Audio, 2 x USB 2.0, Kensington, Ethernet
Right: Audio, 2 x USB 2.0, Kensington, Ethernet

Communication

The Ethernet-plugin (RJ-45) is obligatory, even though many users no longer even own an Ethernet-cable thanks to WLAN. Large quantities of data can be transferred quickly to the home-network with the Atheros AR8131 PCI-E gigabit adaptor. Those who would rather transmit via radio can do that with Draft-N (Atheros AR9285). The radio module also carries the integrated Bluetooth 2.1+EDR module. The 0.3 MP webcam has a weak resolution. The Motion Eye camera in the display frame records with only 640 x 480 pixels. That's enough for quick video-chats, but its too thin for photos.

Accessories

The Assist-key to the right above the keyboard calls on the Vaio Care tool. Using this, the user can carry out updates or burn recovery data medium. That is also something that new owners of the Vaio YA1 should make sure to do, as it doesn't come with any recovery medium on delivery.

Warranty

The manufacturer's warranty extends to 24 months. This entails 1 year with a base-guarantee plus 1 year with an additional-guarantee. Depending on where it's purchased, the buyer may need to register.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keys come in the chiclet-look, are well spaced from each other and are generally the same size as those on the 13" Vaios. But since the width of the chassis is smaller, the right picture and positioning keys were left out, and the directional keys have been scaled down. Especially annoying is the tiny right Shift-key. Here we are constantly hitting to the side of the key and landing on the directional keys above.

The keys don't have a secure base across the entire surface. The field of keys at the level of the umlauts (Ü, Ö, Ä) buckles noticeably and makes typing here feel spongy. We think they have done a good job with the clear pressure points, but the short stroke makes writing feel short-winded, something that won't be to everyone's liking. While the input characteristics are therefore not perfect, it is a suitable compromise between a lack of space and layout.

Touchpad

The cursor moves with pinpoint accuracy across the desktop as one's finger glides over the smooth surface. A tiny border separates the sensitive surface from the palm rest. The medium stroke allows for fast clicking. Unfortunately, it is also so loud that users will grow accustomed to dirty looks in the library. It's a multi-touch pad (Synaptics V7.5) which recognizes two-finger movements to, for example enlarge, reduce and scroll.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Elevated palm rest
Elevated palm rest
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

The 11.6" (29.46 cm) display from the Taiwanese panel-producer CMO (type N116BGE_L41) has a resolution of 1.366 x 768 pixels. That is a very high resolution for a 11.6-incher, but one which was created for this particular form factor. Compared to the still-typical 10" netbook-resolution of 1.024 x 600 pixels, it is an huge advancement in terms of clarity on the desktop. With HD-ready, even serious work is possible on the small display.

The TFT with its 16:9 aspect ratio was not given an anti-glare treatment. Although the 'Glare Type', as the Sony Vaio display is called, ensures optically for more strongly-contrasting colors, that is accompanied also by annoying reflections. With a measured contrast of 170:1, one is still dealing only with a weak contrast. Black colors are not deep-black and colors do not shine.

While we were really enthralled with the panels of its business-colleagues in the Z-series (FHD & WXGA++), we are met with disenchantment with the VPC-YA1V9E/B and the same old story starts from the top. The color space, which we compared with AdobeRGB, sRGB and the panel of the Vaio Z13 FHD (transparent), is very small. professional demands won't be met by a long shot.

ICC Vaio YA1V9E vs AdobeRGB(t)
ICC Vaio YA1V9E vs AdobeRGB(t)
ICC Vaio YA1V9E vs sRGB(t)
ICC Vaio YA1V9E vs sRGB(t)
ICC Vaio YA1V9E vs Vaio Z13 FHD(t)
ICC Vaio YA1V9E vs Vaio Z13 FHD(t)
241
cd/m²
239
cd/m²
229
cd/m²
231
cd/m²
234
cd/m²
231
cd/m²
225
cd/m²
232
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 241 cd/m²
Average: 232.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 93 %
Center on Battery: 192 cd/m²
Black: 1.38 cd/m²
Contrast: 170:1

Still, the good brightness of the display at 232 cd/m² adds a few plus-points for evaluation.  But the value is deceiving as the Vaio throttles back the brightness under battery power (energy savings) and we measured only 192 cd/m² concentrically rather than the 234.  The Vaio panel is very good in terms of brightness distribution: 93% homogeneity in light distribution is a rarity.

The warm summer is sure to come and the user will want to venture out into the sun with their new Vaio-dwarf.  While the battery life would allow this, the Glare Type panel along with the reduced brightness put a spoke in the wheels of that plan.  Depending on the viewing position in relation to the sun, the reflections are more or less annoying.

View from the side, light sunlight
View from the side, light sunlight
View from the side, reflection
View from the side, reflection
View from the side, angle changed
View from the side, angle changed

The horizontal viewing angles are acceptable, but as is the case on so many notebooks, they are still quite small.  Until around 50 degrees of variation from the central position, we can recognize colors quite well.  Only then do they invert.  But writing can still be read up to 80 degrees.  It looks worse when the view is pointed downward (vertical).  Writing can only be read well up to 35 degrees and colors distort at 20 degrees.

Viewing angles Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B
Viewing angles Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B

Performance

The Vaio YA1V9E/B is currently offered in only one configuration. This is based on the Intel HM55 chipset including the Intel Core i3-380UM processor. The ultra-low-voltage processor with two cores is intended for very small and light notebooks. The clock rate is therefore limited at 1.33 GHz (no Turbo Boost) as is the TDP of 18 watts.

With Hyperthreading, the i3-380UM can execute up to four threads simultaneously. Turbo Boost only supports the Intel HD graphics chip in the processor, but not the CPU itself. There also isn't any support for AES encrypting, the VT-d and Trusted Execution. But these features are germane for only a few business devices.

The processor has a total of 4 GB of memory at its disposal, which come in the form of two two-gigabyte DDR3 modules (PC3-10600). The very accessible service flap on the underside of the devices allows for easy access to the main memory and other components.

Systeminfo CPUZ CPU
Systeminfo CPUZ Cache
Systeminfo CPUZ Mainboard
Systeminfo CPUZ RAM
Systeminfo CPUZ RAM SPD
Systeminfo CPUZ RAM SPD
Systeminfo GPUZ Intel HD
DPC-Latenzen: Sporadische Ausreißer in den roten Bereich
System Information: Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B
Low Voltage CPU Core i3-380UM 2x 1.33GHz
Low Voltage CPU Core i3-380UM 2x 1.33GHz

In the synthetic CPU-benchmarks, the  i3-380UM (2 x 1.33 GHZ) performs on the level of the  Celeron M P4600 (-4%) or  Pentium Dual Core T4200 (+1%) in the Single-Core computations (SuperPI 32M) due to its low clocking speed.

But the results of the Cinebench R10 Multi (64bit) are more relevant for daily use in the multitasking-environment of Windows. When computing with all available threads (Hyperthreading: 2 cores + 2 virtual cores), the fitting of the Arrandale Low Voltage CPU is once again unfavorable. The i3-380UM ended up with 3.729 points (i5-470UM = 4.698 (+17%); 520UM = 4.179 (+13%); i3-330M = 6.600; i5-430M = 7.800). The computing performance is in practice on the level of an Athlon II P320 (-2%), which is offered in some very low-priced 350 Euro laptops.

3.8
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
4.8
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
5
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
3.8
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
4.8
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
1268
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
3052
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
1116
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
1499 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
3729 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
1354 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
0.99 Points
Help
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage3265 points
Help
PCMark Vantage in comparison
Sony SV-S1311G4E (min)
 2350M, HD Graphics 3000
811
   ...
Lenovo Thinkpad W500 4061-2JG
 T9400, Mobility FireGL V5700
3240
Apple MacBook 2009-10
 P7550, GeForce 9400M (G) / ION (LE)
3248
Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch 2009-06
 P8700, GeForce 9400M (G) / ION (LE)
3263
Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B
 380UM, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) HD Graphics
3265
Lenovo Thinkpad SL500
 P8400, GeForce 9300M GS
3295
Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo Mobile U9210
 T9400, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
3318
Gigabyte U2142-2117U
 2117U, HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
3321
   ...
One K56-3F (max)
 4700MQ, GeForce GT 750M
23558

The PCMarkVantage Test accumulates the overall performance of the system and evaluates the interplay of the CPU, Intel HD graphics, RAM, and HDD.  The graphics performance plays a secondary role here, while the speed of the harddrive carries the most weight.  The Vaio YA achieves an overall score of 3.265 points.  The Intel system therefore clearly outdoes a Lenovo  X100e (Athlon Neo MV-40HD 3200, 1.387 points). In terms of its application performance, systems with AMD Fusion E-350 (+2%) or the older low-voltage generation Core 2 Duo SL9600 are on the same level.  Low-voltage variants of the Core i5, 520UM, could also only achieve 3.950 points (+21%) in the Aspire 1830T.

In the 3D-benchmarks, the GMA HD graphics was, as expected, on a very low level with 1.134 points in the 3DMark06 and 1.354 points in the Cinebench R10 Shading Test.  Games are therefore out of the question.  You can find out which older games run reasonably well with the Intel HD in the data sheet of the Intel HD.

3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
1134 points
Help
Samsung SpinPoint M7 HM500JI
Transfer Rate Minimum: 11.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 82 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 63.2 MB/s
Access Time: 20.8 ms
Burst Rate: 66.1 MB/s
CPU Usage: 1 %

Sony went with Samsung for the mass memory; built in is a HDD HM500JI with 500GB of gross capacity. As expected, the HD-Tune values for the 5400 rpm HDD were relatively low. Throughput in sequential reading is 63 MB/s. Crystal Disk Mark uses a different routine and delivers a comprehensive picture of the throughputs when reading/writing small and large data packets. What stands out are the small numbers when reading and writing scattered 4K packets (0.7 / 1.2 MB/s). But this is typical for rotating HDDs. A faster 7200 rpm one also doesn't come over 0.8 / 1.7 MB/s in this discipline (ST9500420AS in the HP 4720s).

HDD Samsung HM500JI, 500GB
HDD Samsung HM500JI, 500GB
HD Tune 63 MB/s reading
HD Tune 63 MB/s reading
Crystal Disk Mark 86 MB/s reading/writing
Crystal Disk Mark 86 MB/s reading/writing

Emissions

Fan vent
Fan vent

System Noise

Something so small and weighing only 1.5 kg like the Vaio YA should ideally also remain nice and quiet. That holds true for the Vaio. When surfing, mailing and typing, the fan spins with a maximum noise level of 33.8 dB(A). Occasionally the fan turns off completely, at which point the quiet rustle of the HDD at 31. dB(A) is only gently audible. But depending of the temperature of the chassis, the fan doesn't remain deactivated for long. When the case warms, the fan turns on in a spasm every two minutes with the aforementioned 33.8 dB(A), only to turn off again after a short time.

Readers have pointed to the high+frequency tones which some Vaio laptops apparently emit. We heard nothing of the sort while using the Vaio YA for various tasks, neither under stress nor at idle (battery- and wired operation).

When the Core i3-380UM with its Intel HD was stressed by our processor benchmarks, the level of noise rose to a noticeable 39.7 dB(A). This maximum level of noise remains constant and goes back to 34.1 dB(A) within 5 seconds after being unburdened. The latter level remains the same when the Intel HD graphics are taxed by only a 3DMark06 or a Furmark Test.

Noise Level

Idle 31.1 / 31.1 / 31.1 dB(A)
HDD 31.1 dB(A)
Load 34.1 / 39.7 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)
Idle CPU at 800MHz
Idle CPU at 800MHz
Stress 57 degrees at the CPU
Stress 57 degrees at the CPU

Temperature

Sony chose the appropriate processor to allow the 11.6-incher to keep a cool head in every situation. A look at our completely blue temperature graphic may cause some skepticism. Cooler under load than at idle? We didn't mix up the measurements; The Vaio YA does in fact remain on average cooler in spots during the stresstest than at idle. We imagine that this has to do with some heat traffic caused by the regularly deactivating fan.

In any event, the thermal image is perfect. The cooling system in the Vaio YA appears to have a strong heat-transfer capacity. Sony probably reserved some capacity in order to implement more potent Core i5 UM-processors or even normal 35 watt CPUs.

The low CPU temperatures during the stresstest speak for an excellent cooling system. The sensors showed just 57 degrees. At idle, the temperatures even fall to 37 degrees, which could even be cooled passively. That is even on the level of Intel Atom.

Max. Load
 29.6 °C29.4 °C24.3 °C 
 30.9 °C30.1 °C25.2 °C 
 20.1 °C24 °C22.6 °C 
Maximum: 30.9 °C
Average: 26.2 °C
25.6 °C30.1 °C30.7 °C
26 °C27 °C30.5 °C
22.1 °C23.9 °C22.7 °C
Maximum: 30.7 °C
Average: 26.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  44.8 °C | Room Temperature 17.7 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

In terms of acoustics, the 11.6-incher offers the usual high-toned squawking typical of minimalistic stereo speakers. These sit in the front under the palm rests and bounce sound off the tabletop. This was done on purpose, as the tabletop - where available - reflects the acoustic and raises the volume. But this doesn't result in an improvement to the high-pitched body of sound.  Sound-enhancements like virtual-surround or the volume-equalizer don't really improve things.

Still, the volume level can be fully cranked up without scratching or distortion from the tiny membranes.  That's almost enough to fill a small room.  The best solution for music fans it to connect an external sound system via a 3.5 millimeter cable jack.  We tried out the analogue port with two active Yamaha speakers (YST-M20SDP).  During a simple listening test, no rustling could be heard on a lower output level.

 

Battery Life

In terms of battery runtimes, the Vaio YA can just about fulfill the expectations for a mobile subnotebook. Although it can't replicate the 6:18 hour runtimes of a Asus PL30JT (i5-520UM, WLAN-Surfen), its four hours aren't the worst. When WLAN-surfing with 100 cd/m² of brightness, the 11.6-incher achieves exactly 4:05 hours (245 minutes). We can watch a film from the harddrive for just as long; it runs 4:13 hours (253 minutes).

Without load, meaning at idle with inactive radio and lowest level of brightness, the Vaio YA stays on its feet a full 6:54 hours (414 minutes). The CPU fluctuates at idle between 650 and 1080 MHz. Here two of the four threads constantly have a low degree of load of 1 to 5 %. According to the Task Manager, no burdening processes are active.

The opposite is true when the CPU is stressed. Putting a constant 100 percent load on the CPU (shown here with the BatteryEater Classic, high-performance energy mode) will empty the battery the quickest. But in the case of the 11.6-incher, this is still a decent 2:15 hours.

Charging 188min.
Charging 188min.
WLAN-surfing 245min.
WLAN-surfing 245min.
Avi-Film HDD 253min
Avi-Film HDD 253min
Load 135min.
Load 135min.
Idle 414min.
Idle 414min.
Idle CPU@650MHz varies to 1080MHz
Idle CPU@650MHz varies to 1080MHz
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
6h 54min
WiFi Surfing
4h 05min
DVD
4h 13min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 15min

Considering the weak 38Wh capacity of the lithium-ion battery (2.500 mAh), the still acceptable four-hour runtime might be surprising. But together with the good runtimes, we also measured a low current consumption of 7.6 watts at idle and 16 watts when burdened during the 3DMark2005. Depending on the energy profile, brightness and activity of the radio modules, the idle energy needs can rise up to 10.1 watts.

Those are very low values in comparison to standard notebooks. Core i3 and i5 systems have a minimal idle current consumption of 12 to 17 watts. The low current consumption of the Vaio YA is of course also thanks in part to the small surfaces of the TFT which need to be illuminated.

When the 11.6-incher has to give its all in the stresstest, the effective power rises up to 31 watts. With a CPU with an 18 watt TDP, the additional 13 watts thus come from HDD, illumination, radio modules and the chipset. The battery was fully charged during measurement. The 39 watt plug power pack is appropriately dimensioned and at the same time handy.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.2 / 0.7 Watt
Idle 7.6 / 9.3 / 10.1 Watt
Load 16.4 / 31.4 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 960

Verdict

Sony has created a true-blooded 11.6-incher for consumers. The price of under 700 euros and the omission of any business-features (docking port, fingerprint, ExpressCard, UMTS-module, matte TFT) are clearly aimed at the end consumer.  If they aren't demanding, then the low performance of the Core i3-380UM (2x 1.33GHz) system is reasonable.  The frugal processor even manages to garner a good battery life of four hours from the small capacity of only 3.500 mAh.

Those who decide on  the Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B get a solidly built subnotebook with usable input devices and low emissions.  But the good brightness of the TFT panel is of little use as the glare-type means that there are always annoying reflections under sunlight. And this represents its most notable drawback, so long as one doesn't have high business pretensions for the 11.6-incher.

Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B: Good mobile companion with the drawback of its Glare-Type display.
Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B: Good mobile companion with the drawback of its Glare-Type display.
By courtesy of ...
In Review: Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B, by courtesy of:
In Review:  Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B

Specifications

Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B
Processor
Memory
4096 MB 
, PC3-10600 667MHz
Display
11.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, CMO_N116BGE_L41, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel HM55
Harddisk
Samsung SpinPoint M7 HM500JI, 500 GB 
5.400 rpm
Soundcard
Realtek ALC269 @ Intel Ibex Peak PCH
Connections
3 USB 2.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Line-Out, Mikrofon, Card Reader: Duo/Pro-HG Duo,
Networking
Atheros AR8131 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10MBit), Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (b g n ), 2.1 + EDR Bluetooth
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 25 x 290 x 202.8 ( = 0.98 x 11.42 x 7.98 in)
Weight
1.515 kg ( = 53.44 oz) Power Supply: 149 g ( = 5.26 oz)
Battery
38 Wh Lithium-Ion, 3500mAh VGP-BPS21B
Price
699 Euro
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
Additional features
Webcam: 0.3 640×480, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The Vaio VPC-YA-series is the first 11.6-incher from Japan.
The Vaio VPC-YA-series is the first 11.6-incher from Japan.
The angled power plug leads to a ...
The angled power plug leads to a ...
... handy 39 watt power pack,
... handy 39 watt power pack,
which is pleasingly light at 149 grams.
which is pleasingly light at 149 grams.
A flap on the underside leads the way to the internals.
A flap on the underside leads the way to the internals.
In addition to the harddrive (2.5"), the memory can also be upgraded here.
In addition to the harddrive (2.5"), the memory can also be upgraded here.
The battery is removed on a roll; it sits very securely in its mounting.
The battery is removed on a roll; it sits very securely in its mounting.
The lithium-ion accumulator has a limited capacity of only 38 watt hours (3.500 mAh).
The lithium-ion accumulator has a limited capacity of only 38 watt hours (3.500 mAh).
But thanks to frugal components, this is still enough for four hours of mobility (WLAN-surfing).
But thanks to frugal components, this is still enough for four hours of mobility (WLAN-surfing).
Accessories of data medium are not included. The buyer must themselves create recovery-data medium using Vaio-Care. Ex. via a USB-DVD burner.
Accessories of data medium are not included.  The buyer must themselves create recovery-data medium using Vaio-Care.  Ex. via a USB-DVD burner.
The inconspicuous webcam also has an unremarkable resolution: 0.3 megapixels.
The inconspicuous webcam also has an unremarkable resolution: 0.3 megapixels.
The other side has the illuminate power-on switch.
The other side has the illuminate power-on switch.
The power outlet is found in the left "cylinder".
The power outlet is found in the left "cylinder".
The compact form factor is completely shrouded in matte plastic.
The compact form factor is completely shrouded in matte plastic.
The lid is glossier than the underside,
The lid is glossier than the underside,
a paint-job or coating is not found at any spot on the subnotebook.
a paint-job or coating is not found at any spot on the subnotebook.
Sony also kept the typical design features on this Vaio, like the cylindrical-look ...
Sony also kept the typical design features on this Vaio, like the cylindrical-look ...
... and the raised palm rest.
... and the raised palm rest.
The underside can be dented a great deal in the middle, otherwise the chassis is almost completely twist-resistant.
The underside can be dented a great deal in the middle, otherwise the chassis is almost completely twist-resistant.
Typical for Sony: Memory stick and SD-card slot.
Typical for Sony: Memory stick and SD-card slot.
All radio modules are immediately turned off via this switch. Good for air-travelers or other sensible environments.
All radio modules are immediately turned off via this switch.  Good for air-travelers or other sensible environments.
The video signal can be given per HDMI or analogue VGA.
The video signal can be given per HDMI or analogue VGA.
Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B with Core i3-380UM
Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B with Core i3-380UM

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Pro

+Stable case
+Good pressure points on the keyboard
+Good TFT-brightness
+Usable battery life
+Low current consumption
+Always cool
+Low volume
 

Cons

-Keys slightly too mall and spongy
-Loud mouse keys
-TFT is reflective
-Small viewing angles
-Limited application performance

Shortcut

What we like

The handy construction isn't the lightest, but it solidly built. The consistantly cool case is ideal for mobile use.

What we'd like to see

An anti-glare display as well as an input with secure footing and quiet mouse keys would make the machine perfect.

What surprises us

Four hours despite the weak 38 Wh battery.  The combination of trottled battery brightness and Glare-Type panel simply doesn't work on an ultra-mobile device.

The competition

Is often priced much lower, but with AMD-CPUs in place, aren't always on par in terms of performance.

Lenovo IBM ThinkPad Edge 11: AMD-based from 330 Eurso; Lenovo IBM ThinkPad Edge 11 #2: with i3-380UM for under 600 Euros; Sony Vaio VPC-YB1S1E/S: AMD-based sister for 500 Euros; Acer Aspire One 721: AMD-based for 390 Euros; Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T: firm  i5-470UM performance for 700 Euros; Lenovo IdeaPad U160: with Celeron U3400 starting at 350 Euros; ASUS Eee PC 1215N: Dual Core Atom; Apple MacBook Air: at 910 Euros easily the most expensive candidate; Acer TravelMate TimelineX 8172: strong battery life for 530 Euros; Acer Aspire 1551: AMD-equipped starting at 330 Euros; Lenovo IdeaPad U260: stronger with i5-470UM, but 1000 Euros more expensive; Lenovo IBM ThinkPad X100e; starting at 540 with AMD

Rating

Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B
03/25/2011 v2
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
80%
Pointing Device
82%
Connectivity
61%
Weight
90%
Battery
89%
Display
68%
Games Performance
53%
Application Performance
74%
Temperature
94%
Noise
91%
Add Points
82%
Average
79%
83%
Subnotebook *
Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Sony Vaio VPC-YA1V9E/B (11.6") Subnotebook
Author: Sebastian Jentsch, 2011-02-28 (Update: 2013-06- 6)