It was in our performance testing, however, that the Sony VAIO VGN-AW11XU really shone.

Thanks to a combination of very fast processor and SSD RAID storage, we measured a phenomenal 113 points in our WorldBench 6 benchmark test. Remember, in this extended real-world assessment, few laptops exceed 100 points.

Graphics performance was almost as impressive, giving 35 frames per second in FEAR at Maximum Quality. We even tried Crysis on the Sony VAIO VGN-AW11XU, normally reserved for dedicated gaming desktops, where the Sony recorded 90fps in our ‘low' test (1024x768, Low quality, DirectX 9).

Switching settings to High quality resulted in a still impressive 19fps. Only the battery life test showed the AW11XU's Achilles' Heel, with a lifespan of just 91 minutes in our Productivity test.

OUR VERDICT

The Sony VAIO VGN-AW11XU is a triumph in build and display quality – and in sheer performance. This comes at a high purchase price, yet there is little to touch it if you need a luggable computer with dependable image reproduction and desktop-class computing power.