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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value - much better than NetBook
This is a great product. Sturdy construction, great screen resolution, super lightweight, boots up reasonably fast (it's Windows 7), 4GB of memory - value wise, it's hard to beat. Battery life is not staggering compared to some of the Apple products I own, but I needed a windows based machine for a specific application and this one did the trick.
Published on October 24, 2011 by Tampa Pat

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83 of 90 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A reasonable system, but not cheap, with some real annoyances.
So in this market of not-quite laptop/more-than-a netbook, it's easy to get bogged down and flustered, trying to figure out which system is the one for you. Sony has tried to bring its own netbook/notebook to the market with the Vaio YB series, but hasn't really succeeded. It hasn't altogether failed though either, but let's break it down and figure things out...
Published on November 22, 2011 by William Grose


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83 of 90 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A reasonable system, but not cheap, with some real annoyances., November 22, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
So in this market of not-quite laptop/more-than-a netbook, it's easy to get bogged down and flustered, trying to figure out which system is the one for you. Sony has tried to bring its own netbook/notebook to the market with the Vaio YB series, but hasn't really succeeded. It hasn't altogether failed though either, but let's break it down and figure things out.

Pros:

1.) Incredibly easy out-of-box experience. Connect battery, turn on. Run through a very simple Windows 7 setup, and you're done.

2.) Not an altogether awful amount of pre-installed software (though still far too many Vaio entries in Programs/Features). The 500GB hard drive (456GB after formatting) has 437GB available, which is pretty reasonable after a Windows 7 installation.

3.) The system itself feels fairly solid, despite its platicky nature, with little to no flex anywhere.

4.) A nice array of ports for an 11.6" laptop, with 3x USB, 1x HDMI, Ethernet, VGA, headphone/microphone, SD Card/Memory Stick.

5.) Nice resolution for the screen size, at 1366x768, and very bright.

6.) Decent battery life (4-5 hours).

7.) Raised palm rests that are quite comfortable, solid, and not smudge-magnets like many other systems.

However, the cons have to come in here, and there's a lot of them...

Cons:

1.) The screen, while featuring a lovely resolution, is desperately (and I mean desperately) lacking in contrast. Viewing angles are atrocious, vertically and horizontally, and I'm just not happy with the way text is displayed due to the lack of contrast. Black text just looks faded and grey.

2.) There's one fan in the system, and that's on the left side of the system. It's always blowing, and makes a noticeable whining in a quiet room. I wouldn't classify it as obnoxious, even under full power, but it's definitely present, and runs 100% of the time.

3.) There's 4GB of DDR3 in the system, but with Windows 7 32bit installed, only 3.5GB is actually usable. Even more bizarrely, after opening up the panel on the underside, I found my system is equipped with one stick of 4GB RAM. But despite having two slots total in the computer, it's only capable of 4GB max (even with Windows 7 64bit - tested)! So one slot will always stay empty...

4.) The trackpad, despite being very responsive, is very, very small. Curiously, it supports multitouch (but not for scrolling - that's taken care of on one side of the trackpad with one finger, and is adjustable). Pinch to zoom and rotate is present, but good luck doing that with one hand. I found I had to use the index fingers of two hands to make it work. A bigger trackpad would help.

5.) The physical trackpad buttons are very loud and click-y. Definitely not conveying a high-end system here (which of course, it's not).

6.) The E-series dual-core AMD processor in the system just seems to struggle doing the most menial tasks. Watching HD YouTube videos pretty much means not doing anything else, and there's just a general sense of "slow" surrounding the entire computer. This isn't helped by the pedestrian 500GB 5400rpm Hitachi hard drive inside. Thankfully the drive is easily swapped out for something faster (7200rpm drive or SSD, please!). The unfortunate thing is this computer feels slightly less netbook-y, but altogether not enough notebook-y.

7.) The keyboard's keys are not full size. You get used to this for the most part, except for two absolutely obnoxious keys: The right shift key and the question mark key. The right shift is the same size as every other normal letter, and I just can't get used to it. Any time I use this key (which is all the time), I have to look down at it to see where I'm pressing. And entering a question mark is even more difficult, since that key is even smaller than the right shift - and they're both next to each other! Ohh the pain!

8.) While the keyboard has a nice, chiclet-style feel to it, the higher rows of keys (the numbers especially) have a noticeably "tinny" sound to them, which once again doesn't convey quality...

9.) The power LEDs (yes, there are two of them, side and top, for no good reason), are astonishingly bright. These things light up a pitch-black bedroom. Good luck to your wife/husband/partner sleeping with you using your Vaio. Bright green fills the darkness. Oh, and you can't cover the larger of the two LEDs (the one on the side) with some felt or duct tape, because the LED houses the actual power button!

10.) Extremely tinny/thin sound, but this isn't altogether unexpected. Use earphones.

11.) Last and definitely least, there are 5 individual stickers on the laptop out of the box. While easily removed, it feels like an advertisement for everything about your new computer. Windows 7 sticker, AMD E sticker, Dual Core Graphics sticker, Energy Star sticker, and the Sony goodness-this-thing-has-HDMI-and-weighs-only-3.2lbs sticker. So many stickers!

Overall, this isn't a horrible system. If you have big hands look elsewhere as the keyboard (and to a lesser degree - trackpad) will drive you mental, but if you can get past the cons, it's quite a nice, solid computer. It's hard to recommend, but not exactly easy to dismiss. For the money, though, be sure it's what you want.

3 stars out of 5.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars cute laptop, but doesn't justify the price, December 20, 2011
By 
Guy Harel (Tel Aviv, Israel) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony VAIO YB Series VPCYB35KX/S 11.6-Inch Laptop (Silver) (Personal Computers)
I ordered this laptop for my wife as a replacement for her aging MSI Wind netbook which has server her very well for almost 3 years but has become quite sluggish...

The screen on the Sony is gorgeous (although it has glare issues and a rigid viewing angle), and altogether it is a beautiful machine. It also comes with 4GB of ram which is high for a netbook and compensates for the netbook-grade processor inside the hood. Windows Home Premium is also a welcome upgrade from Starter, and loads up quite quickly.

However, in retrospect the laptop does not justify it's very high price, for 2 main reasons:
1. Build quality is OK but not magnificient, it looks great but up-close and personal you feel the plastic. I actually had to superglue the top part of the display, as it came shipped with a small gap.

2. Battery life is absolutely unacceptable - less than 3 hours on a charge, simply browsing the web with WiFi. Come on Sony, this isn't 2008 anymore...

In hindsight the TimelineX series is probably a much better buy. It looks less good IMO (which was actually a decisive factor for my wife), but in terms of battery life, CPU, etc, it probably beats the Sony for about the same price (I have no first hand experience with it, but was debating between the two before the purchase).
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value - much better than NetBook, October 24, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a great product. Sturdy construction, great screen resolution, super lightweight, boots up reasonably fast (it's Windows 7), 4GB of memory - value wise, it's hard to beat. Battery life is not staggering compared to some of the Apple products I own, but I needed a windows based machine for a specific application and this one did the trick.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Loose battery, February 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Popup keeps coming up saying.

"Caution.
The installed battery may not be properly connected to the computer or may not be compatible with the computer.
Click "OK" to enter Hibernate mode, and remove and reinsert the battery.
See the eletronic VAIO(R) User Guide for more information about using the battery."

I would have given one star but Sony warned me of the pending lithium fire.
Thank you for not burning my house down :-)

And thanks to Amazon for having a good return policy!

PS When I say loose battery, I mean moves freely to the point you can hear it when you set the laptop down.
If someone had given me this as a gift, I would carry it in a bag so the battery wouldn't be able to slip out and go skipping across the floor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far, I am very happy, May 6, 2012
This review is from: Sony VAIO YB Series VPCYB35KX/S 11.6-Inch Laptop (Silver) (Personal Computers)
I am not easily pleased with electronics, and I have been searching for a decent lightweight (portable) laptop/netbook for months. I am not into purchasing overpriced anything (including laptops), but with this one I was willing to pay a little extra for a decent product. My basic requirement to the laptop/netbook was portability, but 10" was somewhat too small for me. I am also very easily annoyed by a slow computer (ie slow switching between the windows), so I wanted bigger RAM. I have been considering Acer one initially, but after seeing it in the store, I decided against it (mainly based on the looks and the screen). After quite a bit of hesitation, Sony Vaio 11.6" was selected.
I have been using this laptop/netbook for about 2 weeks, and so far - I have been very happy. It looks awesome and is lightweight enough for a frequent traveler. The battery life is about 5 hours using wifi but this works for me. The screen is awesome, so bright and crisp! The overall look is very good, it does not feel cheap (as other similar less expensive models). Performance has been good as well. I am not using any memory-demanding games or software, but this computer is never slow. This is exactly what I wanted as I absolutely CANNOT stand a slow computer! The touchpad is extremely responsive as well. Wifi works just fine and is quite fast.

To sum it up, the purchase seems to be very well worth a few extra bucks, compared to what you will pay for similar cheaper models. So far, I like this product a lot. The only drawback I can see is a very bright LED light on the side, but considering everything else I am willing to live with this. Overall, a 5-star product.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I almost love it, March 21, 2012
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have to first to admit that I'm a Sony Vaio fan. I've purchased 7 Sony Vaio notebooks so far (including this new YB) and with the exception of a faulty spacebar on last Vaio, they all are still running strong.

Every couple of years I usually upgrade to one of the latest models, but I was hoping to hold out for a Vaio Ultrabook with Windows 8 this year, but the Vaio Y 13.3" that I've used daily since January 2010 no longer has a working spacebar, so I decided to purchase the Vaio YB 11.6".

Surprisingly enough, the Vaio Y 13.3" and the Vaio YB 11.6" actually use the same battery packs, so both my standard VGP-BPS21A battery and extended VGP-BPL21 battery can be used on the YB. The Vaio YB came with 4GB of memory and a 500GB Hitachi model 5K750-500 5400RPM hard drive.

I just replaced the YB's 500GB drive, though, with a 128GB SSD from Amazon Crucial 128 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s with Data Transfer Kit CT128M4SSD2CCA and the YB is now lightning fast. It's really a pleasure to use because it boots up in less than 20 seconds with the SSD installed. There's a good video on YouTube that shows how to replace the YB's hard drive with an SSD. It took me less than 10 minutes to do it. To find the video, type "swap vaio YB hard drive" into the YouTube search.

My only complaint, and the only reason I'm giving the YB 4 stars instead of 5 is because the build quality is not the best. There is a slight gap on the right outside of the screen where if I squeeze the plastic border of the screen with my fingers, I will hear a click because it is not completely together and won't stay together. My guess is that something went awry during manufacturing on this particular version. I know Amazon would exchange it for me, but I've already put in the new SSD drive and I don't feel like packing this one up and shipping it back, so I'll live with it.

Otherwise, this is a great little computer and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fast ultraportable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great netbook, January 14, 2012
I got mine 2 years ago and I still love it! Battery is still great and I never had any problems so far. I use it pretty much every day for reports and I use it for internet as well. Also if you have a Sony camera, you will like it even more because you can just stick the memory card in the netbook. Recomended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's the Bad Fuzz about?, December 30, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought it as a X'mas Gift for my kid.
So far so good, the original configuration may have not favoured it on some reviews:

1) Screen Brightness: can be adjusted to a decent brightness, not bad and not dark at all...
2) Stickers: 1 Large, 4 small, not a big deal, take it out if you'd like to...
3) Fan Noise: minimal and barey noticeable in the bedroom at night...
4) Sound strength: after configuring it and also adjusting the Equalizer in the Windows Media Player, resulted in strong Speakers...
5) Highly recommend "Buffalo Technology MediaStation 8x Portable DVD Writer with LED Power Indicator DVSM-PC58U2VB", where the LCD tell you if it has enough power to run on 1 USB plug (blue LCD) or 2 USB plugs (red LED) depending on your computer's USB capabilities, in the case of this wonderful Y Series Sony, 1 USB was enough., to install MS Office, PhotoImpact and what have you...
6) The size and finish of this netbook is a blessing frequent travellers and kids, light and yet functional Windows 7 32-Bit Home Premium SP-1 Edition.

Hope it helps some folks out here. Thanks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awsome laptop., December 23, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a great product!The page size is 10 inches wide,and 5 inches high,so some scrolling is needed.the sound is low,but headphones or speakers work great for movies,music and such.Be sure to get a mouse along with this,as the pad is tiny,and hard to manuver.The chiclet type keys are easier then the normal keys,so typing is faster.I like the power cord,because it is angled so you can use it any which way without damaging the plug.Although you might spend another 50-100 bucks for the mouse,speakers,and disk reader/writer,this is a great ,light little laptop. For this price,its a steal!I'd buy this for students,travelers,and people who are on planes/trains often.But for anyone on a budget,trust me,this thing is the number one choice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vaio, February 23, 2012
This review is from: Sony VAIO YB Series VPCYB35KX/S 11.6-Inch Laptop (Silver) (Personal Computers)
This is a great laptop. It isn't any mac book pro, but it is 1000 dollars cheaper. It wakes in a flash when you open it, has a great sleek design, light for travel, and is good with video. Make sure the WiFi connection at your house it good because it can get a little slow. overall great product
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