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back to article Sony deploys 11in Vaio to battle Apple Air

Sony has turned to AMD for processors to power its 11in sub-notebook, the Vaio E 11. The 11.6in, 1366 x 768 machine incorporates an AMD dual-core 1.7GHz E2-1800 CPU plus Radeon HD 7340 graphics. Sony Vaio E 11 Pack in a 500GB, 5400rpm hard drive, 4GB of 1333MHz DDR 3, three USB ports - one of them USB 3.0 - HDMI, Gigabit …

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Silver badge

Huh

This is actually a very attractive package. 1366x768 nonsense aside, that's passable in 11.6".

I do wish that 5400 RPM HDDs were banned, though, they're barely pennies cheaper than a 7200 RPM equivalent. Obviously an SSD is something you do yourself to keep the base cost low, and I'm fine with that.

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Re: Huh

Totally agree about the slow speed drives

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Re: Huh

Agreed... surprised me first time I swapped out a 5400 for a 7200, didn't think it would make much of a difference.

SSD prices will come down... doesn't seem so long ago that I paid £120 for a 2.1GB drive....

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Re: Huh

What about battery life? I thought that was why they went for slower drives in laptops. Even the Apple laptops that still have hard drives only have 5400 ones I think.

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WTF?

Re: Huh

Loving the fact that some 'tard has obviously disagreed with one of my posts and is now spending their time thumbing down most/all of my posts. Jeepers, you're just like the 5400 HDD

Still, maybe they have a point, thumbs down to slow drives - although another poster has a point about battery life.

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Silver badge

Re: Huh

Not really, very little difference, I believe. Check out any manufacturer's spec sheets, here's an example:

http://www.seagate.com/files/staticfiles/docs/pdf/en-GB/datasheet/disc/momentus-family-ds1701.7-1109-gb.pdf

For a 500GB middle of the road option, the 5400 RPM is recorded is 1.54W seeking, the 7200 RPM as 1.5W. Less, for some reason. Idling and under load.

I guess the point is, the drives have so little friction anyway, that once the platter is up to speed, the energy required to spin that tiny disc is pretty small.

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@Piro

Though you example is correct it looks like a non-typical situation, and I would sugest those drives are not being made to the same standards, despite the product names.

Also according to those figures the 5400rpm unit is also noisier, which suggests it has inferior barings and motors, thought the 750GB model shows what you would expect; lower power and noise levels.

also from the first page of that pdf:

• 7,200 RPM delivers a constant high-performance boost

• 5,400 RPM enables affordable, low-power and high-capacity drives for external enclosures

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Re: Huh

>What about battery life?

Genuine question - to what extent can HDDs be configured on the fly for power saving Vs speed?

I remember having a noisy-as-sin desktop HDD (can't remember the make) causing me to look into the issue. Apparently its hardware supported a feature to make it quieter at the expense of speed, but it had disabled because the drive maker had infringed a competitors IP, or somesuch.

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Re: Huh

Only problem I see with SSDs is the issue of longevity. Yes, there's wear-levelling funkiness going on, but spinning platters still beat SSD hands-down as far as endurance goes. I can see the point of sticking the OS and frequently-used, rarely-updated programs on a chip, but a whole system running from SSD seems like a slow, inevitable death from lack of drive space waiting to happen.

Now, what some people are doing, with SSD being used as a non-volatile, replaceable cache.. that makes some sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Huh

"but spinning platters still beat SSD hands-down as far as endurance goes"

Unless the laptop gets an unfortunate jolt.

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Re: Huh

If it's jolted hard enough to damage the drive, then that sheet of glass your picture displays on really isn't going to be loving it. Anyway, wouldn't a "premium" computer feature somewhat better drives with shock sensors and platters that aren't themselves made of glass?

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competitor for the MBA??

What you have here my friend is a good old-fashioned 11 inch netbook, plain and simplex

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Bronze badge

Re: competitor for the MBA??

I have a similarly specced Dell, which I purchased as a replacement for a Samsung NC10.

My experience is that the faster processor and larger screen make it suitable for real work, of the sort sensible people may wish to do on a laptop. The netbook was hopelessly slow at anything other than surfing and light word processing.

Clearly this is not for the road warrior, but is is significantly more than a netbook, based on my experience.

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Anonymous Coward

Netbook?

Looks like more of an alternative to a netbook than an air. As a netbook replacement it's highly desirable.

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K
Bronze badge

Nice...

About 3-4 years ago, I paid £1200 for a Sony 11" Laptop with a similar spec... regarding the SSD, that is a big disappointment. You can pick up a very fast 120Gb SSD for less that £80, or a fast 750Gb hybrid for around the same - so it wouldn't push the price up unreasonably!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice...

Adding £80-100 to a £399 unit is a very significant increase (ie: 20+%)

For the vast majority of users the difference is nether noticeable or relevent, unlike seeing a price tag of £399 rather than £499.

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Refreshing...

This is just a refresh of the VPCYB36KG E450 line, nothing at all to do with the "Apple Air"???

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WTF?

Re: Refreshing...

Bloody hell - who at Sony decided that the above is a sensible model number for a consumer laptop??

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Facepalm

El Reg... drop the Apple obession

This and the MacBook Air are Apples and Oranges when comparing them. The Sony doesn't have SSD, it isn't a similar slim-profile, no Thunderbolt, it's AMD, and it's made out of plastic.

Better make sure you take your sanity pills next time.

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Battle Apple Air?

Not a hope. I'm no fan of Apple, but this thing looks like a Tonka toy in comparison to an Air.

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Bronze badge
Go

Maybe

I could do with a new netbook. My Asus 1005 HA-P has developed some weird problem whereby it bluescreens randomly within every 20 minutes, sounds like a dicky connection on the motherboard. Not surprising the amount of airmiles it's racked up though, it really did get thrashed. 1Kg and 9 hour battery life meant it was the ultimate portable machine and went pretty much everywhere with me. So to get 3 years out of it is pretty good and at £200 it's pretty much disposable.

Ultrabooks? Larger than a netbook (though usually the same weight). Dongles needed for ethernet and often video. 3 to 4 times the cost and 1/3 of the battery life. No thanks, netbooks win on every level for me.

If this gets 5+ hours of battery life in the real-world then I might bite. The Sony site says 6 hours but that was probably measured in a lab, with the display off, in a vacuum, at 1*C above absolute zero, and idling. Sony machines always seem to be crippled with crapware bloat though. And every laptop I've ever had with an AMD processor has ended up being a bit of a turkey.

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Re: Maybe

Had a similar problem on an IBM (or was it a Tosh...my memory fades) laptop many years ago. I tightened all the screws on the underside of the case and it was fine for ever more.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Maybe

I love my netbook after adding another GB. It works well in cattle class trains and planes. Lots of battery life, real keyboard, a slightly higher resolution screen would be nice, but it's enough for a bit of gentle coding and presentation writing.

I don't see why I would pay more for an Air or Ultrabook.

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FAIL

El Reg in Apple Troll Clickbait Shocker!

El Reg in Apple Troll Clickbait Shocker!

thats it

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So basically a Lenovo x121e

But with a sony badge, and a weaker processor. (And probably a worse keyboard)

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Anonymous Coward

New marketing strategy?

"X battles Apple Y" (where X stands for boring old product you wish to flog) seems to be the new trend.

If you can't beat them, use them I guess.

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Coffee/keyboard

"... to battle Apple Air"

Won't be much of a battle unless Apple makes an Air powered by an Atom D2700?

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FAIL

El Reg

So it's a £400 Netbook??

How is that value for money?

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Anonymous Coward

Shitty, shitty, shitty screen. No ta. Not even if it were free. Ok it's cheap but cheap's for cheapskates. I like to enjoy using my computer. Enjoyment is not hunched over a crappy track pad, laboriously scrollIng for all you're worth because of the crappy vertical resolution while watching the screen update slowly line by line because of the shitty CPU and even shittier GPU. I wouldn't inflict this on a twelve year old.

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