Sony Vaio VPC-YB15KX/S
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As most of you probably know, Sony was one of the latest PC makers that entered the netbook market and most of the models that they have launched were decent, but a little bit pricey. This Vaio VPC-YB15KXS is quite similar to the HP Pavilion dm1, but it has a bigger HDD, more RAM and also a more high-end chassis.
However, this comes at a price because the ultraportable costs $599 which is considerably more expensive than other rival models. For this money you will be getting a dual core AMD E-350 processor clocked at 1.60 GHz and 4GB of DDR3 667 MHz. For storage it features a 500GB hard drive spinning at 5,400 rpm while in the graphics area it has an integrated AMD Radeon HD 6310.
The Sony Vaio VPC-YB15KXS measures 11.4 x 8 x 1.2 inches and it tips the scales at 3.2 pounds (0.5 pounds more with the AC adapter). The design borrows a few styling cues from other Vaio models, like the large rounded hinge which features a lighted power button on one side while on the other is the power plug. Even though it’s made mostly out of plastic, it feels solid and stiff.
It adopts and island-style keyboard which appears to be solid, offering well-spaced keys that are somewhat small. This keyboard is far from being perfect because it has a very small right Shift key, just like the Tab key. As for the touchpad, this has a decent size and comes with a nice matte texture and two generous buttons.
The 11.6-inch display of this ultraportable has a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels and manages to be very bright and crisp, offering great wide viewing angles. For connectivity you get VGA out and an HDMI port in the video area, along with headphone + microphone jacks in the audio department where we also find a pair of stereo speakers. Data is covered by the memory stick reader, an SD card reader and two USB 2.0 ports, while for networking it has Bluetooth, Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi.
Even though the AMD E-350 processor is not as fast as Intel Core i3 CPUs, AMD’s Fusion platform is considerably quicker than the Intel Atom platform and is more suitable for multi-tasking. Combined with the integrated GPU, this ultraportable is able to run Unreal Tournament 3 at 27.2 fps and Street Fighter IV at 26.1 fps.
The battery of the Sony Vaio VPC-YB15KXS will last for about 4 hours and 23 minutes if you test it with continuous video playback, which is a good performance for an ultraportable, but less than HP’s dm1 and Lenovo’s ThinkPad X120E which both last almost one hour more.