Find your laptops manual in Sonys support pages, check the specification sheet / page for details of display.Originally Posted by smokinfish
Alternatively you can try to run sudo ddcprobe and sudo xresprobe vesa to get more information. Also command lspci | grep -i vga may reveal some useful information.
If I'd have to guess, your problem with resolution is driver related, not about monitor setting (vertrefresh/horizsync). In my experience that's more common with CTR monitors.
It's not really that difficult to tweak xorg.conf file, lots of Linux newbies have succeeded. Yes, it's a shame that autodetection fails every now and then, but making a tool to guess some settings and correcting xorg.conf would be fixing the problem at the wrong end and it would never be ready.
A howto page and helpful community forum is a more flexible (even though burdensome) solution until the problem has been fixed by time (old monitors do not autodetect) and programmers. Some distributions make it easier. Buying a preinstalled computer with Linux on it, makes it a non-problem. If this discussion needs to be continued, let's move it to more appropriate forum and prevent cluttering this thread, which is more about getting the first aid, collecting all the tips&tricks to make Xorg.conf resolution/refresh-rate related settings in Ubuntu. Thank you very much.