Sony Vaio S Series VPCS111FM Laptop Review

Intel recently sent me a Sony Vaio VPCS111FM laptop bundled with a Netgear Push2TV device to test out the new Intel Wireless Display technology. A more complete review of Intel Wireless Display is coming soon, but in the meantime, I thought I'd provide a review of the Sony Vaio VPCS111FM. This is a Best Buy exclusive model, although you can also buy other S Series laptops directly from Sony. At the $1000 price range where the VPCS111FM sits, this is a solid choice, particularly because that price includes the Netgear Push2TV as part of a bundle. Read on for specs and my thoughts about the Sony Viao VPCS111FM laptop.

Sony Vaio VPCS111FM Specs
The Sony Vaio VPCS111FM offers fairly standard specifications for laptop computers in the $1000 price range. Display resolution is 1366x768. The VPCS111FM uses an Intel i5 processor. 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive round out the core components. The computer includes WiFi, a webcam mounted above the screen, both SD and MemoryStick card readers, VGA and HDMI display output, 3 USB slots, a FireWire slot, and an Ethernet port. Overall a fairly standard configuration.

Sony Vaio VPCS111FM Performance
I don't tend to use performance benchmarking software when testing a laptop. I prefer to rely on how the computer performs my own day-to-day needs, which typically translates to real world usage. The Sony VPCS111FM handles both HDV and AVCHD in Pinnacle Studio HD with no problem. Photoshop Elements handles large PSD files without choking, although I'd prefer a much larger screen resolution for both video and photo editing. I had as many as 25 browser tabs open simultaneously without feeling like the laptop slowed to a crawl and have consistently used multiple applications with solid performance. Battery life is average at about 3-4 hours with continuous use.

What I don't like about the Sony Vaio VPCS111FM
I don't have any major complaints about the Vaio VPCS111FM. For the price, the VPCS111FM seems to be in line with other competing products. The button click on the mouse pad is louder than I like, but that is a minor annoyance. One thing I don't like is the way the battery seats in the bottom of the laptop. While the battery is locked in place, it feels loose as if it could fall out. The aluminum case on the back of the screen also feels like it could be designed a little better, but this is less of an issue than the loose battery. I don't see the battery as a show stopper, but as you can hear in the video, it is loose enough that it creates noise if you push on the battery.

What the video below for more on the Sony Vaio VPCS111FM

Bottom line on the Sony Vaio S Series VPCS111FM
If Intel hadn't given me the Sony Vaio VPCS111FM laptop, I probably would not have looked at it. Now that I have the VPCS111FM, I find it to perform well for all my daily computing needs. I integrated it into my routine to give it a fair test and I find it to outperform my previous HP computer that's about 16 months old. In spite of my complaints about the battery and the loud mousepad, I would use this as a day-to-day computer and feel comfortable recommending it for most daily computing tasks. The Intel Wireless Display feature is a nice bonus for sharing your screen on an HDTV (an Intel Wireless Display review is coming soon). If you do opt to purchase the VPCS111FM, I recommend a second battery so that it will last for longer plane rides and periods where no power outlet is available.