CES 2014: Sony Vaio Fit 11a review
Besides unveiling a host of new phones, cameras and fitness-devices, Sony has expanded its VAIO line-up of laptops with a 11-inch Flip model. The Flip PC is named Fit 11A and will come pre-installed with Adobe Photoshop Elements 12. The Sony Vaio Fit 11a is an 11-inch laptop with a unique second screen hinge that lets you flip the screen around, turning the keyboard base into a stand for the display making it perfect for watching films or showing others what’s on-screen. One can also close the laptop with the screen on the outside, turning it into a tablet. To give it more tablet like feel, the Fit 11a also has an active digitiser pen.
In addition to the Fit 11A, models like the VAIO Tap 11, Tap 21, Duo 13, Fit 14E and Fit 15E are also being updated with Windows 8.1 and Adobe Photoshop Elements 12. The VAIO Pro 11, Pro 13, Tap 11 and Tap 21 models will now also include 802.11ac, next-generation wireless connectivity technology.The Sony Vaio Fit 11a is a mix of things like a Ultrabook laptop, a tablet, and it has elements of a graphics tablet too. It has an active pen and the second hinge that sits halfway up the laptop lid. The latter gives the Vaio Fit 11a the title ‘flip’ computer, because the screen literally flips over, back onto the outside of the laptop lid. It features an 8MP rear facing camera and will come bundled with a pressure sensitive VAIO Active Pen to better use Adobe’s products with. Sony has tied up with Adobe for many of its above mentioned models and this includes bundling the Active Pen which is about $100 (Rs 6,235 approx.) in value. The pen should give the laptop some credibility as a graphics tablet.
It’s also not a very powerful PC, though, using a quad-core Pentium N3520 processor rather than the speedier Intel Core type. You get 128GB of SSD storage and 8GB of RAM, although the spec may change slightly when it hits our shores.The Sony Vaio Fit 11a has an 11.6-inch screen of Full HD resolution. It’s a good screen, and a touchscreen too. It’s not just a normal touchscreen either. There’s also a digitiser layer that lets you use the Active stylus that comes with the Fit 11a. It’s a pressure sensitive pen that’s a good deal more sophisticated than the capacitive styluses you can use with any capacitive touchscreen. In order to give the digitiser enough of a feature spotlight, the Sony Vaio Fit 11a comes with Photoshop Elements 12, which costs upwards of £60 on its own. Also coming along is Photoshop Elements 12, which offers photo editing with three modes, multiple output options, content aware technology, an easy to use photo organiser, and mobile albums.
Other neat features of the Fit 11a include a backlit keyboard and three colour options – black, silver or pink. As far as the Fit 11A goes, the Flip PC weighs in at 2.82-pounds and is available in black, silver and pink aluminum colours. It also features a full-pitch backlit keyboard and a gesture enabled touch pad. The Fit 11A is powered by a quad-core Intel Pentium processor and solid state drive. The flip PC will come equipped with a Triluminos display and Sony’s ClearAudio technology.
It’s a nicely-built laptop, though, which is a necessary reassurance when the secondary hinge is an obvious point at which the Vaio Fit 11a may fail. It doesn’t feel immensely strong but Sony says it has tested the hinge with 20,000 cycles of movement. The lid is made of metal, but the inner part of it is plastic. It’s understandable as this is not an exceedingly expensive laptop. The VAIO Fit 11A Flip PC will be available starting late February and will set you back by $799 (Rs 49,821 approx.)
To some this may seem less useful than a full hybrid, because when in its tablet-like form it’s very thick for tablet. It’s arguably a bit thick to be called an Ultrabook too. It weighs 1.27kg, which is light enough to carry around without shoulder ache, if not particularly notable given the screen size.