Sony VAIO Pro 13 Ultrabook: A fine balancing act
The Sony VAIO Pro 13 Ultrabook gets most things right at a mouth-watering price
At 1.06 kilograms, the Sony Vaio Pro 13 (SVP1321WSNB) is the lightest 13-inch touchscreen Windows 8 ultrabook that money can buy today. The super-light body is accordingly complimented with a slim profile, the Vaio Pro measures a measly 17.2mm at its thickest point. The smooth (matte) finished carbon fibre body ensures a solid build with almost no traces of creaks or bends that one would normally associate with thin and light laptops.
The Vaio Pro is very well-suited for frequent travellers and business users looking for a sleek machine that exudes class and craftsmanship. The Sony Vaio Pro came very close to scoring an almost perfect in our design and build quality test if it wasn’t for some tiny (yet critical) design limitations. The 13-inch touchscreen has a rather limiting tilt angle, something that can befrustratingly restrictive if your work desk (environment) requiresyou to frequently adjust the screen angle, especially on laptops with excessively reflective displays like the Sony Vaio Pro 13.
Coming to the hardware front, the Vaio Pro 13 (base model) runs on the latest Intel Haswell platform, promising improved processor architecture and better battery life. Given the slim profile, you obviously can’t expect a power hungry (number crunching) beast of a processor and GPU combo to power this ultrabook. However, it does offer a fairly equipped Intel Core i5-4200U dual-core chip running at 1.60 GHz with a maximum turbo boost capability of 2.6 GHz on a single core. <
The 4GB onboard (soldered) RAM and 128GB SSD coupled with Core i5-4200U make for a fairly zippy machine as long as you don’t intent to do run serious gaming and graphics intensive tasks on this ultrabook. The Vaio Pro 13 passed our battery life tests with flying colors, logging eight hours and 15 minutes of battery life on a typical office workload environment with the Wi-Fi on and the screen brightness set to 50 per cent.
The Full HD 1080P IPS touchscreen display is one of the highlights of this ultrabook, the display is sharp and produces vivid colors, The ‘touch’ side of the display is excellent, complimenting the heavily touch oriented Windows 8 UI. Touch based games and applications on a Full HD IPS screen can be a lot of fun. The bright/vivid display is well complemented by its in-built speakers. The Vaio Pro 13 won’t fill the room with sound, but it will deliver a fairly pleasant personal aural experience.
Overall, the Sony Vaio Pro 13 isn’t perfect. But it manages to deliver a well-rounded package that is normally a scarce commodity in the ultrabook space. At an asking price of Rs 74,990, there isn’t a single ultrabook in the market today, offering the same level of quality, refinement and performance.
CPU: Intel Core i5-4200 1.6 GHz
GPU: Intel HD 4400
RAM: 4GB DDR3
OS: Windows 8 Pro
Storage: 128 GB SSD
Display: 13.3-inch, 1920x1080 pixel resolution
Weight: 1.06 kg
Price: Rs 74, 990
>> Slim profile
>> Long lasting battery
>> Adequate performer
>> Acute screen tilt angle