Sony VAIO Y Series Notebook Review

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The CULV notebook market has been overloaded with options over the past few months, and this year's Consumer Electronics Show saw even more PC makers  jump in with an abundance of new offerings. Asus and Acer seemed to be at the forefront of the CULV revolution, which--for those who don't know--are machines that split the divide between low-powered netbooks and energy-draining full size laptops.  Today we'll be looking at a CULV-based model from Sony, as they have taken their well respected VAIO line to the land of the Intel Consumer Ultra Low Voltage notebook platform. 

The VAIO Y-Series that we're testing today is one of Sony's newest machines, and just as Lenovo ThinkPad machines wear their legacy on their sleeves, this one screams VAIO from end to end. The exact model number is VPCY115FX/BI, and it's definitely one of the most stylish ultraportables out today. Like it or not, this machine is going head-to-head against Lenovo's also-appealing ThinkPad Edge 13", and we're going to compare and contrast the two throughout these pages to give you an idea of which machine has the overall advantage, in our opinion. Contrary to popular belief, Sony actually is in the business of making lower-end machines in terms of price, and even we were shocked to see that this machine had a base price of just $799.99. VAIO's typically have a rather noticeable price premium attached to them, so seeing a well-equipped version under the $800 mark is somewhat impressive.

Sony VAIO Y-Series VPCY115FX/BI Notebook
Specifications and Features (as tested)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 @ 1.30GHz, 533MHz FSB; 3MB L3 Cache
  • 4GB of DDR3 RAM (800MHz)
  • 13.3" LCD (1366x768 resolution); LED backlight
  • Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics
  • 320GB (5400RPM) Toshiba MK3263GSX  Hard Drive
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • No Optical Drive
  • MotionEye webcam
  • VGA and HDMI Outputs
  • USB 2.0 x 3
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • RJ-45 (Ethernet 10/100/1000)
  • Headphone / Mic Input Jacks
  • SD / MMC / MSPro Multimedia Card Reader
  • Mini FireWire Port
  • 34mm ExpressCard slot
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Gesture-Enabled Multi-Touch Trackpad
  • 3.9 Pounds (with standard battery installed)
  • Removable Li-ion battery (Standard 5000mAh, optional extended; claimed life of 8 hours STD / 12 hours EXT)
  • 12.80" x 8.92" x 0.93"-1.26" (Dimensions)
  • Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
  • Price (starting): $799.99

If you've been intentionally overlooking Sony because you thought their machines were on the expensive side, it's time to give the manufacturer another look. At $799, but specified well above many other base units from rival companies that are also selling CULV machines, this machine offers a great deal of value on paper. Will this VAIO model bring performance along with its good looks?  Join us in the pages to come to find out...

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rapid1 4 years ago

While this may be OK it. for the market I would not choose the components in the review for anything. Why would I use a 5400 rpm drive to begin with. Especially for energy issues (SSD all the way), but even a 7200 RPM drive would add some pep, as well as a switchable GPU model. The SSD would also partially make up for a solo GPU config with DDR3. Sony is to much like Apple for me, you can get better components in an MSI unit, an Asus one and on and on. The name of SONY just does not impress me by itself in general. Yes they do have some good things, there usually not in the PC market. Although Vaio's look cool usually thats about

oktobella 4 years ago

Great review, thanks.  It helped me decide to buy one - I'm now the proud owner of a VPCY216FD/B  One thing: the review points out that having the power switch on the outside means that the computer could be turned on accidentally.  In fact, the power button will not turn the unit on unless it is open.

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