Sony Vaio YB Series VPC-YB35KX/B

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One of Sony’s latest entries in the ultraportable segment is this Vaio YB Series VPC-YB35KXB which is based on AMD’s Fusion platform that is considerably more powerful than Intel’s Atom. This model is clad in a grayish-black plastic which makes it look rather generic. On a closer look, you will notice a few of the Sony Vaio touches, like the convex palm rest, slightly cramped raised keyboard, along with the circular side hinges. In right side of the hinges is the embedded green power button.

Priced at $499, this entry-level Vaio model is powered by an AMD Fusion E-450 dual-core processor clocked at 1.65 GHz. It has 4GB of DDR3 memory running at 1,333 MHz and has a 500GB hard drive spinning at 5,400 rpm. The chipset is an AMD 1510h while the graphics power is offered by the integrated AMD Radeon HD 6320. This mini laptop from Sony measures 11.2 x 8 x 1-1.2 inches and it has a curb weight of 3.1 pounds (0.5 pounds more with the AC adapter).

Sony Vaio YB Series VPC-YB35KX/B (Source: shopper.cnet.com)

Sony Vaio YB Series VPC-YB35KX/B (Source: shopper.cnet.com)

It has a rather modest keyboard which features small keys that have a good key travel, providing a netbook-like typing feeling. Instead of using dedicated buttons you will have to use the numbered function keys for controlling the screen brightness and the volume level. Below the keyboard you’ll find an extremely small touchpad that has two discrete buttons made from plastic.

The 11.6-inch glossy inset screen of the Sony Vaio YB Series VPC-YB35KXB has a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels and manages to be bright and crisp, but the viewing angles are not very good. Pictures and movies will look very sharp, but the quality of the sound is quite disappointing, even though it has two stereo speakers. As for the webcam performance, it has a maximum resolution of 640 x 480 pixels and takes rather dark pictures which are also considerably grainy.

Sony Vaio YB Series VPC-YB35KX/B (Source: reviews.cnet.com)

Sony Vaio YB Series VPC-YB35KX/B (Source: reviews.cnet.com)

This ultraportable from Sony comes with an HDMI port and VGA out, along with headphone + microphone jacks. It has three USB 2.0 ports, a memory stick reader and an SD card reader. In the networking area it comes with Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Ethernet. The AMD E-450 APU is able to run Street Fighter IV at 17.8 fps at the native 720p resolution, which is a little bit less than the HP Pavilion dm1-4010us that has the same CPU.

As far as the battery is concerned, during a video playback test it should last for almost 5 hours, which is better than the Apple MacBook Air (11-inch model) and the 4h 23min obtained by the February’s Vaio YB15KX/S. However, the aforementioned HP Pavilion dm1-4010us can survive for 5 hours and 18 minutes.