Sony VAIO VGN-G118GN
- Size, battery life, internal optical drive, slim design
- Screen flexes too much
The Sony VAIO VGN-G811GN/B is a very nice option for people who expect to be on the road a lot. The battery life is good and for such a small unit it's nice to see an internal optical drive.
Price$ 3,699.00 (AUD)
Sony's put its stamp on the ultra-portable market by introducing the VAIO VGN-G118GN/B; a small, lightweight notebook with a 12.1in screen and an ultra low voltage CPU. Despite its smaller stature, the new G-series doesn't skimp on functionality, offering an internal optical drive and Windows Vista Business edition. It performed comfortably in our tests and has excellent battery life.
The Sony VGN-G118GN/B uses an Intel Core Solo U1500 1.33GHz ultra low voltage CPU, which offers lower performance, but also emits less heat and helps keep the battery running for longer. The onboard Intel graphics chip is enough to handle most business applications and manages Vista's Aero interface without a problem. Although the VGN-G118GN/B is small, it still comes with a decently sized 100GB hard drive for data storage. There's also 1GB of DDR2 RAM built into this system, but the smaller chassis limits the maximum RAM capacity to only 1.5GB for future upgrades.
We encoded 53 minutes of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files to test the system's performance. Its encoding time of three minutes and 52 seconds is fairly slow and indicates that the U1500 CPU is not up to heavy processing tasks. However, for general business applications it will be fine.
As a business notebook this unit comes with some useful features. A biometric fingerprint scanner allows the system to be locked and adds security to the login process. A VGA port is available to output presentations to a larger screen or projector. Meanwhile a programmable "S-Button", can be customised to switch between external display modes and other presentation-friendly functions, or it can be programmed to run any application.
Weighing just 1.15kg this new G-series notebook from Sony is designed with portability in mind. The 12.1in screen provides a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768 and is one of the thinnest screens we've seen. However, Sony's efforts to make this unit small and lightweight haven't left the chassis weak and vulnerable. The carbon fibre compound used is both light and strong, but at only 4mm in thickness the screen is frightfully flexible. Although the housing around the LCD manages to take a portion of the strain, we wouldn't recommend this unit if you have a rough lifestyle.
The screen uses a white LED as a backlight and produces a reasonably bright image with decent contrast, but it only has a very shallow viewing angle, making it more difficult to see from any position other than directly front-on.
Considering the size of the unit, one of its best features is the internal optical drive; an option often omitted from ultra portables. We used this drive to facilitate our worst-case scenario battery test, where we run down the battery using a looped DVD. The system held out for an impressive three hours and 31 minutes. This test is considered worst case as the optical drive and speakers help drain the battery, as well as the core components like the CPU and RAM. To save battery-life, power to the optical drive can be turned off within Windows when it's not in use. Under normal workloads we expect this system to run considerably longer when away from a power source and using the power saving features according to your requirements can further enhance battery life.
We noted that the speakers were able to reach very loud volumes for such a small machine, but beyond a certain level the sound became severely distorted. That said, with the volume at a reasonable level we were still able to hear our movie comfortably.
The keyboard is very small and the keys take some getting used to. We don't recommend you use this for typing long documents. The touchpad and mouse buttons were comfortable to use and responsive in our tests.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
- Lenovo's Yoga A12 Android 2-in-1 has futuristic touch panel keyboard
- In PC comeback, ARM will battle Intel in Chromebooks and Windows 10
- Dell: Mainstream laptops with wireless charging are still years away
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPProject OfficerQLD
- CCNetwork ArchitectWA
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)ACT
- FTMicrosoft ProgrammerSA
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)ACT
- TPICT Contracts Compliance ManagerWA
- FTNetwork Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCBPM Technical AnalystVIC
- TPNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- CCProject Scheduler-Port MacquarieQLD
- FTPMO Specialist - PermanentACT
- TPSpatial Science OfficerQLD
- CCWindows System EngineerNSW
- FTDigital Strategist - Global Consulting FirmACT
- TPMaster SchedulerNSW
- FTJava Developer - Fixed Term ContractQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectVIC
- TPProject Coordinator/Junior Project ManagerVIC
- TPChange AnalystQLD
- TPFunctional AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- CCSenior Mobile Application DeveloperNSW