Excerpt: There’s no denying that Sony surprises its audience with off-beat designs and style. Remember the Sony Vaio P, a PC that could easily slide in your pocket? Not to mention the slick, ultra-slim digital cameras from Cyber-shot T-series and the incredibly colourful Vaio C-series notebooks. Sony’s hybrid laptop, the Vaio Duo 11 follows suit with a striking design that helps it transform from a tablet into an Ultrabook. Let’s find out what it packs under the hood.
Summary: At first blush, the Sony VAIO Duo 11 looks like a slick Windows 8 hybrid--and it is. We appreciate the bright and colorful full HD display and very fast boot time. However, this slider feels cramped as a notebook, too big as a tablet and has too short endurance for either type of device. We also have concerns about the durability of the screen as the Duo is thrown into bags (despite the Gorilla Glass treatment), and the fact that the stylus can get lost easily.
Pros: Bright and crisp full HD display, Accurate stylus, Fast SSD, Plenty of ports
Cons: Feels heavy in tablet mode, Short battery life, Keyboard feels cramped, Volume buttons hard to reach, No holster for pen
Conclusion: While there will be plenty of comparisons made in the coming weeks, the Sony Vaio Duo 11 doesn't make the best first impression for the emerging hybrid ultrabook category. As an ultrabook the Duo 11's awkward keyboard and short battery life hamper the productive potential it might have had. As a tablet, the design is uncomfortable and the short battery life cripples the convenience and entertainment value.
Pros: Gorgeous high-res IPS display, Solid performance benchmarks, Neat stylus with auto palm-rejection
Cons: Awkward design, Glitchy touchscreen, Short battery life