Sony VAIO J11 review

8 Jun 2010

A sturdy, stylish and capable all-in-one, for a lower price than you'd expect

Price when reviewed: 
899(£899 inc VAT)
4

The new Sony VAIO J11 all-in-one PC shares its basic design with the VAIO L11. The latter is our current A-List favourite so that's no bad thing, and this model looks and feels every bit as smart and solid.

Both boast optical multitouch screens at Full HD resolution, but the J11's 21.5in panel make less of a statement than the 24in screen of the L11. And the J11 effectively surrenders any claim to rival the L11 as a front-room entertainment centre. The TV tuner, remote control and video input ports have all vanished and, unusually for Sony, the optical drive is a standard DVD rewriter with no support for Blu-ray media.

But this ruthless pruning has a salutary effect on the price, which is almost £500 cheaper than the L11. By all-in-one standards, it's almost affordable. That, plus the more desk-friendly size, makes it a realistic proposition for a luxurious personal desktop.

Sony VAIO J11

And in that context it's a strong performer. The Core i3-350M processor is some way down Intel's current range, but it's still a very capable chip: in our benchmarks, partnered with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, it drove the J11 to a solid 2D benchmark score of 1.34. Throw in a 500GB hard disk and you have a system that's more than ample for office and internet tasks, and fine even for photo or video editing, although we're sure it won't be long before all-in-one PCs start showing up with more powerful i5 and i7 CPUs.

At the same time, it's a remarkably power-efficient system. The entire system drew just 52W when idle, and when we turned down the display brightness to minimum, consumption fell to an amazing 25W - less than many home server appliances, let alone complete PCs.

Perhaps even more important, the J11 is a pleasure to use. The glossy screen is beautifully rich, with bold colours and deep contrast, and Sony's multi-lamp system helps achieve even brightness across the display. Sound is good too: far louder and richer than you'd expect from a machine with no visible speakers. You could happily enjoy a Hollywood blockbuster on the J11, or even use it as a back-room music centre if you don't insist on audiophile quality. External speakers or headphones can be attached via a 3.5mm socket.

Details

Price ex VAT £765
Price inc VAT £899
Overall rating 4
Performance 4
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 500
Screen size 21.5in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i3
CPU nominal frequency 2.26GHz

Motherboard

Motherboard chipset Intel P55
Conventional PCI slots free 0
Conventional PCI slots total 0
PCI-E x16 slots free 0
PCI-E x16 slots total 0
PCI-E x8 slots free 0
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots free 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots free 0
PCI-E x1 slots total 0
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 0
Memory sockets total 2

Graphics card

Graphics card Nvidia GeForce 310M
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics card RAM 512MB
DVI-I outputs 0
HDMI outputs 0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Hard disk

Hard disk Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
Capacity 500GB
Hard disk usable capacity 465GB
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Cache size 16MB

Drives

Optical drive Optiarc AD-7700H
Optical disc technology DVD writer

Monitor

Monitor make and model Sony integrated display
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
DVI inputs 0
HDMI inputs 0
VGA inputs 0
DisplayPort inputs 0

Additional Peripherals

Speakers Integrated
Speaker type 2
Sound card Realtek HD Audio

Case

Case format All-in-one
Dimensions 525 x 174 x 395mm (WDH)

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 0

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 5
FireWire ports 1
PS/2 mouse port no
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 2

Front ports

Front panel memory card reader no

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard Sony

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Recovery partition, burn own recovery discs

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 52W
Peak power consumption 83W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 1.34
Office application benchmark score 1.09
2D graphics application benchmark score 1.46
Encoding application benchmark score 1.26
Multitasking application benchmark score 1.54
3D performance (crysis) low settings 47fps
3D performance setting Low