Alas, the notebook is not so glamorous on the inside. The nice pearly color of its exterior is transformed into a dull and trivial lusterless pink that looks rather cheap as if meant for teenage girls. The style of an original, beautiful and luxurious solution is not maintained. I guess it would even be better if the interior surface were just silvery like the color of the keyboard. The dark-blue VGN-CE11SR/L is made exactly like that, actually.
The screen bezel is pink, too. There are pink rubber pads all along it for a softer contract between the lid and the notebook’s body. A 1.3-megapixel web-camera is built into the center of the top part of the bezel. It cannot be moved, so you can only aim it by adjusting the display’s position. An activity indicator of the camera and a hole of the integrated mono microphone are placed to the left.
The silvery keyboard and the black screen stand out among the mass of pink. But as soon as you turn the notebook on, the display goes all pink, too. The CR11SR/P has a bright-pink wallpaper by default.
The notebook is equipped with a widescreen 14.1” LCD matrix that has a native resolution of 1280x800 pixels. The viewing angles seem quite large subjectively. The matrix has a “glassy” coating that yields high-contrast and lush colors but also produces flares and reflections of any brightly lit objects that happen to be behind your back.
I measured the brightness and contrast of the notebook’s display using a Pantone ColorVision Spyder with OptiCAL 3.7.8 software. I selected the maximum brightness setting before this test. The display parameters remain the same irrespective of the power source as you can see:
AC power source:
- 116.6cd/sq.m brightness, 40:1 contrast ratio
DC power source:
- 116.9cd/sq.m brightness, 39:1 contrast ratio
The notebook’s keyboard is painted silver. It resembles the keyboard of the Sony VAIO VGN-TZ1RXN/B but larger because the 14-inch form-factor provides a wider base and allows to make the keys larger, too. The keyboard is nonstandard, though. I mean the width of its keys is smaller than their height. And the keys are placed with considerable gaps to avoid your striking a neighboring key by mistake. The keys move softly and do not rattle. The keyboard is built into a silvery tray, each key firmly fixed in its seat. There are 82 keys in total, which indicates one drawback. There is no vertical column of buttons including Home, Page Up, Page Down and End. This could be explained for the Sony VAIO VGN-TZ1RXN/B sub-notebook where each millimeter of the base was put to use, but here the case is wide enough to accommodate one more column of keys.
The mentioned keys are now combined with the functional ones and accessible via Fn. The arrow buttons are placed below the keyboard’s baseline to lower the risk of your pressing them accidentally.
The bottom left corner of the keyboard is occupied by a Control button – that’s convenient for people who are used to Control-involving shortcuts. A numpad (combined with the main keyboard) and two Windows keys are available: the Context Menu key is placed over one key to the right of the spacebar; the Windows Logo key is to the left of the spacebar. The functional keys are smaller than others. Num Lock, Print Screen, Insert and Delete continue the row of functional keys. The letters are painted black while the functional buttons are painted blue (you should press them together with Fn to access their additional functions).
To the right above the keyboard there are three remaining indicators together with a Power button:
- Num Lock
- Caps Lock
- Scroll Lock
Six chrome-coated multimedia buttons are placed above the center of the keyboard (from left to right):
- AV Mode (this button enables Instant Mode in which you can watch DVDs, listen to music, and view photographs when the OS is not booted up; when the notebook is turned on, this button allows selecting the necessary program)
- Volume Up/Down
- Capture (starts up the VAIO Camera Capture tool for making photos and videos with the integrated web-camera)
Stereo speakers are placed on both sides of the keyboard. It is impossible for you to block them with your hands at work. By the way, if it were not for these speakers, the keyboard would be large enough to accommodate one more column of buttons (Home, Page Up, Page Down and End).
The touchpad is as pink as the interior surface of the case. It is responsive and somewhat sunken into the case – you can see and feel its borderline. There are two buttons beneath the touch-sensitive panel. The touchpad lacks a scrolling zone or a scrolling joystick.