Sony Vaio Duo 11 - Blurring the Line Between Tablet and Notebook

Launch SRP: S$2699

Performance & Benchmarking

Performance & Benchmarking

With almost every manufacturer releasing a Windows 8 Ultrabook there's lots of competition out there for the Duo 11. The review model we were sent uses a Core i7-3517U (1.9GHz) processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD, and costs a hefty S$2699. However a Core i5-3317U model is also available with 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD for a much more affordable S$1999. Do note that the rest of our tested models are using Core i5 processors. Additionally, the Duo 11 is the only 11-inch contender under consideration, with Toshiba U920t being a 12-inch model, and each model from Samsung, HP and Lenovo being a 13-inch unit.

Test Notebooks Compared
Specifications/Notebook Sony Vaio Duo 11 Toshiba Satellite U920t Samsung Series 5
Ultra Touch
HP Envy 4 Touchsmart Ultra

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga

Processor Intel Core i7-3517U (1.9GHz) Intel Core i5-3317U
(1.7GHz)
Intel Core i5-3317U
(1.7GHz)
Intel Core i5-3317U
(1.7GHz)
Intel Core i5-3317U
(1.7GHz)
Chipset Intel HM76 Intel UM77 Intel UM77 Intel HM77 Intel QS77
Memory 8GB DDR3 4GB DDR3  4GB DDR3 8GB DDR3 4GB DDR3
Storage 256GB SSD 128GB SSD 500GB HDD with 24GB SSD Cache 500GB HDD with 32GB SSD Cache 128GB SSD
Video Intel HD Graphics 4000 Intel HD Graphics 4000 Intel HD Graphics 4000 Intel HD Graphics 4000 Intel HD Graphics 4000
Battery 36 WHr 37.7WHr 45 WHr 52WHr 54.7WHr
Dimensions 320 x 199 x 17.85mm 326.5 x 213 x 19.9mm 315 x 218 x 16.8 - 19.8mm 342.2 x 237.1 x 23 mm 333.4 x 224.8 x 16.9 mm
Weight 1.3kg 1.45kg 1.73kg 2.12kg 1.54kg

 

PC Mark 7

PC Mark 7 tests a system's overall performance. The Duo 11 with its more powerful i7 processor was about 10% better than the competition, scoring particularly well on the Computation benchmark which stresses the notebook's CPU. For an idea of how the Core i5 version Duo 11 would score, take a look at the scores for Toshiba's U920t, which uses identical components.

 

3DMark 11

3DMark 11 is a synthetic benchmark designed to test a notebook's GPU performance at various aspects of DirectX 11 such as tessellation and DirectCompute. In this test, the Duo 11's Core i7 processor almost didn't give it any advantage. Normally, the processor alone doesn't make much of an impact on this test since it's a GPU-heavy test, but the Core i7-3517U has a slightly speedier HD 4000 integrated graphics that's rated for 1.15GHz maximum dynamic frequency. This is a minor boost over the 1.05GHz maximum dynamic frequency for the Core i5-3317U processor used in our other comparison notebooks. Unfortunately, the base GPU clock is identical at 350MHz, so the overall net difference between the two hardly differed as our results show. Sure, it's 5% better by calculation, but the raw performance numbers are low to begin with that you don't notice any gain.

 

Far Cry 2

We saw a similar result with Far Cry 2 with every Ultrabook scoring within 1 or 2 average FPS (with the exception of Samsung's Series 5 Ultra Touch, which did surprisingly well here). On a side note, playing games on the Duo 11 is virtually impossible due to the cramped keyboard and fiddly optical sensor. Touchscreen controls work in a pinch, but the experience feels more like you're playing an oversized smartphone game with jerky graphics, rather than a true PC game.

8.5
Design
8
Features
9.5
Performance
8
Value
7
Mobility
8.5
The Good
Full HD, IPS display
Quickly transforms between tablet/laptop form
Digitiser Stylus with interchangeable tips
Specialized Apps
NFC Support
VGA, HDMI and RJ-45 ports
Ideal business tablet for mobile workers
The Bad
Cramped, small keyboard
No wrist rest or trackpad
Noticeable jerkiness with Optical Sensor
Exposed display vulnerable to damage
Can't adjust angle of screen
Awards:
Most Innovative Product