Hands on: Sony Vaio Fit 11A

The Fit 11A may be the best convertible from Sony thus far, but we’re not sure it’s good enough to beat Lenovo’s Yoga 2.

Sony was one of the first companies to jump on board the convertible PC bandwagon, but you wouldn’t know it from the press surrounding it. That’s because its early attempts were, to be frank, pretty bad. We gave the Sony Vaio Duo 11, one of the early sliding convertibles, a two out of five stars, and later efforts didn’t fare much better.

The company is getting is act together, however, with the new Fit 11A. This is a new, smaller entry in the “flip” line of Sony systems, all of which feature a unique display hinge that can recline the display over the keyboard for tablet use or flip it backwards and hold it in a convenient position for touch-only lap or desk use.

Sony Fit screen angle side

Maneuvering the hinge feels a bit unwieldy on larger models, but the smaller, lighter Fit 11A is easier to handle. Sony’s design provides many of the advantages of Lenovo’s Yoga, but with the added benefit of covering the keyboard during tablet use. Anyone who intends to use their convertible PC as a tablet just as often as a laptop may find the Fit 11A a better choice.

We also like the look of the “Triluminos” 1080p display, which has a sharp, colorful picture and was bright enough to be usable under the glare of the show room’s lights. Responses to changes in orientation were quick, too, which made converting from one mode to another a seamless experience.

The Fit 11A does have a few issues, however, and most of them are related to the hinge. While it does its job well, the hinge is more complex than those used by Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga 2 or the Dell XPS 12. This means weight comes to a 2.82 pounds, a bit hefty for an 11-inch system, and the chassis is quite thick. Yet that thickness doesn’t translate to knockout performance; an Intel Pentium processor, rather than an Intel Core, lurks inside.

We also had some reservations about the keyboard. The layout is fine and almost every millimeter of available space is used, but individual key caps are small and can throw off speedy touch-typists.

Aesthetically, the Fit 11A looks good on its own, but the show floor proved the brushed metal exterior is quite the fingerprint magnet. Worse, smudges seemed to persist despite tireless buffing and scrubbing by Sony’s booth workers. There’s something about the exterior metal that absorbs, rather than resists, greasy palms.

Sony plans to start selling this system in February for $799. That’s not bad, but Lenovo will be selling its new 11-inch Yoga 2 for $529, albeit with a less impressive display. We think a lot of buyers will opt for the less expensive Lenovo, but the Fit will appeal to people who can’t stand to have the keyboard hanging out or want an excellent display.

Highs

  • Versatile display hinge
  • Attractive and bright 1080p display

Lows

  • A bit bulky for its display size
  • Keyboard can be hard to use
Gaming

Get over here! All the details on next week’s Mortal Kombat 11 closed beta

Mortal Kombat 11 will hold its closed beta period from March 28 through March 31, giving those who pre-ordered the game the chance to check it out prior to its official launch in April.
Computing

Is 14 inches the perfect size for a laptop? These 4 laptops might convince you

If you're looking for the best 14-inch laptops, there are a number of factors to consider. You want good battery life, an attractive screen, solid performance, and a good build. Our favorites that do all that and more.
Computing

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…
Gaming

From Combat Evolved to Guardians, here are the Halo games ranked best to worst

The Xbox and PC series Halo began in 2001, and 11 different games have released since then. These are the Halo games ranked from best to worst, including spinoff titles and expansions.
Computing

Calibrate your display to get it looking just the way you like it

Want to see images the way they're intended to be seen? Here is our quick guide on how to calibrate your monitor using your operating system or another tool, to make what's on the screen look as good as it can.
Computing

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.
Computing

Netgear’s new Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 router brings Wi-Fi 6 speeds to the masses

Available in May for $600, the Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 router allows for maximum Wi-Fi performance on smart home devices and offers everything needed for gaming, streaming, and other high-bandwidth applications. 
Computing

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.
Home Theater

Smart speakers are about to get an IQ bump thanks to new Qualcomm chips

Qualcomm announced a new chipset that is designed to make the next generation of smart speakers sound, listen, and connect better than ever before, and it could soon be in your living room.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Computing

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Computing

Old Nvidia graphics cards to get ray tracing support in upcoming driver

Nvidia's RTX ray tracing technology will no longer be limited to RTX graphics cards. An upcoming driver update will add support for low-end ray tracing to GTX 10-series and 16-series graphics cards.
Computing

Apple iMac gets more powerful with new Intel CPUs, Radeon Pro graphics

Apple on Tuesday, March 19 refreshed its iMac lineup with new models featuring slightly more powerful Intel processors and new AMD graphics cards. The new 27-inch 5K model comes with options for Intel's six-core or eight-core ninth-gen…