Sony VAIO YB Series (VPCYB16KG) laptop

Sony VAIO YB Series (VPCYB16KG) laptop review: A good looking 11.6in notebook with AMD Fusion technololgy

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews (2)
  • Buy Now 6
  • Accessories
Sony VAIO YB Series (VPCYB16KG)
  • Sony VAIO YB Series (VPCYB16KG)
  • Sony VAIO YB Series (VPCYB16KG)
  • Sony VAIO YB Series (VPCYB16KG)
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5
  • User Rating

    5.00 / 5 (of 2 Reviews)

Pros

  • Good looks, good graphics performance, doesn't get noticeably warm, HDMI output, excellent 11.6in screen, very small power adapter

Cons

  • Hard drive produced slow results in our tests, bottom half of touchpad was sometimes unresponsive

Bottom Line

The Sony VAIO YB Series is one of the best little laptops on the market. Its screen quality is excellent, it performs well, and it has good looks as well as plenty of useful features. We recommend it to anyone who wants a sub-$1000 ultraportable laptop that isn't a netbook. Perhaps go for a colour other than pink though.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)

See all prices Accessories

One thing is certain when reviewing a Sony VAIO laptop: lots of people will come up to us and tell us how nice it looks. And we're not going to argue. The Sony VAIO YB Series (VPCYB16KG) ultraportable laptop (or sub-notebook) sure does look good with its sloping style, subtle curves, isolated keys and coloured lid (although we hate pink), and it feels very comfortable to use, too. It's an 11.6in notebook that's light (only 1.42kg), and best of all, it also has a very small and light power adapter.

VAIO YB Series: Specifications

The Sony VAIO YB Series (VPCYB16KG) is based on the AMD Fusion platform, which houses processing and graphics capabilities in a single little chip, which AMD claims is around the size of an Australian five cent piece. It also has 2GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Gigabit Ethernet. The Fusion platform in this VAIO is composed of the dual-core, 1.6GHz AMD E-350 CPU and AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics, which give the notebook a decent dab of speed for office applications, Web and multimedia tasks.

The graphics processor, in particular, is very strong for such a small laptop. Not only does it drive a beautiful 11.6in LED-backlit LCD screen with a resolution of 1366x768 pixels, it can also drive a Full HD television through the notebook's HDMI port (there is also a VGA port for those of you who want to hook it up to monitor that doesn't have HDMI). Once connected to a TV, the graphics driver has options for adjusting the screen if the desktop ends up being too big or too small; this means you can fit the whole Windows 7 Home Premium desktop onto a TV. We couldn't do this with the 10.1in Toshiba NB550D, which runs a slightly slower Fusion platform comprising a 1GHz AMD C-50 CPU and AMD Radeon HD 6250 graphics. Movie playback on a 40in Full HD TV was clear and smooth, and if you buy yourself a remote control the VAIO YB Series can be used capably as a Media Centre.

VAIO YB Series: Performance

In our performance tests, the VAIO YB Series returned solid results. Our Blender 3D rendering test was completed in 2min 44sec, while our iTunes MP3 encoding test took 4min 4sec, and our hard drive transfer test recorded a rate of 15.82 megabytes per second. The hard drive result is a lot slower than we expected (we would have been happy with around 20-22MBps), while the Blender and MP3 results are much faster than a netbook with an Intel Atom CPU and a little slower than a laptop with an Intel ultra-low-voltage Core i3 CPU. The previous VAIO Y Series notebook we reviewed, the VPCYA15FGB, features an Intel Core i3-380UM CPU and recorded times of 1min 52sec in Blender and 3min 06sec in iTumes.

The overall feel of the YB Series isn't too sluggish when you use it for typical office tasks and Web browsing, but if you're used to a laptop with an Intel Core i5 CPU or similar, you will notice that it's a lot less responsive when launching applications and system windows. When it comes to processing graphics, though, the YB Series isn't a slouch, and large photos and videos will be displayed with ease. A result of 2229 in 3DMark06 reinforces just how much better than a typical laptop (let alone an entry-level netbook) the graphics processing of the Fusion platform is. For example, Intel HD graphics in a mainstream Core i5 notebook (such as the Toshiba Satellite C650) will record a score between 1000 and 1500 in this benchmark.

We love the overall style of the VAIO YB Series laptop and also think it's quite comfortable to use — especially on your lap. The notebook never really got warm at all during our tests, even after many hours of use. It will get warm, however, if you inadvertently block the air vent on the left side of the chassis, so you will need to keep this in mind. The notebook feels solidly built; its hinges are smooth and do a good job of holding the screen in place. The battery does rattle around a little though (we've also noticed in other VAIO laptops recently). It didn't cause any problems and the battery never fell out while we were using the laptop.

VAIO YB Series: Battery life

In our battery test, in which we disable power management, maximise screen brightness, enable Wi-Fi and loop an Xvid-encoded video file, the VAIO YB Series lasted 3hr 34min, which is 20min better than the VAIO Y Series notebook equipped with a Intel Core i3-380UM CPU and 21min better than the Toshiba NB550D. Its not as good as the time recorded by many netbooks, such as the HP Mini 5103 and Acer Aspire One Happy, but the VAIO YB Series has a lot more CPU and graphics processing power.

Conclusion

The one thing we don't like about the Sony VAIO YB Series laptop is its touchpad, which was sometimes unresponsive when we dragged our finger across its bottom half. Apart from that and the slow hard drive, we have few complaints. The screen's colour and clarity is among the best (if not the best) we've seen in a sub-$1000 laptop, the HDMI port allows you to plug in to a big-screen TV with ease, and the laptop's base barely gets warm even after prolonged periods of use. If you're after a small laptop for general use, watching videos and viewing photos, then you probably can't do any better than the VAIO YB Series (VPCYA15FGB). We recommend it.

Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook

Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu

Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Read more on these topics: notebooks, ultraportable laptops, Sony VAIO, laptops, sony

thomas g

1

This is not a good review. If you compared Sony YB to HP DM1z Fusion, the specs are sub par. Sony=3500mah batter Hp=4400mah battery Sony=weak speaker Hp=excellent speaker Sony 32bit win7 HP=64bit win7. Sony=5400rpm HHD HP=700rpm HHD. Hp $100 cheaper with te same specs. Sony maybe nicer looking and may have a lighted keyboard. This reviewer obviusly didn't do his research.

Kevin

2

Perhaps the lack of mention of the HP is due to this being an Australian website - that machine is not sold in Australia.

Silvo

3

Yes, as far as i can see the DM1z isn't available in here in Oz. Even if it was, with the way we get screwed on pricing it probably wouldn't even be $100 cheaper!

Steve

4

I recently bought the sony yb, but as was mentioned above the standard battery is quite small. I bought a larger 5000mah battery from the sony spare parts store (for some reason it doesn't appear on the website, but it works with the yb and is the same size and weight as the standard 3500mah battery) which lasts for 6-8 hours depending on activity.

I upgraded the ram to 4gb and removed all the sony media programs that come installed. The notebook runs brilliantly now and i couldn't be happier with the design, weight and build quality.

I also upgraded the touchpad driver with the latest one on the synaptics site. The touchpad now works fine, and scrolling is continuous (doesn't scroll a number of lines at a time, but in a smooth continuous fashion).

Denny Raharjo

5

http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/review/notebooks/hp/pavilion_dm1-3010au/385125

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Losso

5.0

1

Pros
bob davage's hair port
Cons
anal warts
• • •

I'd say this notebook was significantly easier to use when cutting hair then the opposition. The sleek design and pink colour make location and removal of unwanted hair, fluff and nits a cinch.

On the other hand, wart removal may not be what this notebook was intended for so any would-be backdoor surgeons would be best advised to seek proper medical equipment, or at least a visit a real doctor.

In conclusion - the Sony YB is good at hair and bad at genital surgery.

ben

4.5

2

Pros
small, lightweight, well built
Cons
keyboard keys feel too small
• • •

I'm really happy with the VPCYB16KG as I bought it for a family member who wanted the MacBook Air but couldn't cause their work software had to run on windows. I own a MacBook Air 11" and while that is much lighter and slimmer, the Sony Y series 11" would have to be the best windows 11" available in Australia (the DM1z isn't available here!). The Y series is well designed, really portable and performance is great for it's size, much better than any netbook. My only gripes are the keys could have been made a tad bigger for fat fingers like mine and the battery isn't a snug fit like most laptops.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

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.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?