Sony VAIO T Ultrabook Review

After biding their time, Sony has finally introduced their variation of a Ultrabook, the Sony Vaio T. While Sony is not new inside the tiny computer game (earlier having introduced a VAIO Z, VAIO X, plus VAIO P), the Vaio T is the initial of its laptops to be advertised because an Ultrabook. While they can be a small late inside the Ultrabook game, Sony took their time to develop plus shape the Vaio T about the newest Ivy Bridge processor family plus their highly-regarded HD 4000 images. How does Sony’s affordable Ultrabook stack up up against the competition? Read about to locate out.

Sony VAIO T Review

The Sony Vaio T below review comes with all the following specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-3317U (1.7GHz, TurboBoost to 2.6GHz, 3MB cache)
  • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
  • Memory: 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Display: 13.3” 1366 x 768 resolution
  • OS: Windows 7 Professional
  • Storage: 500GB HDD + 32GB mSATA SSD cache drive
  • Battery: 4-cell 4050mAh
  • Wireless: Atheros AR9485WB-EG 802.11 b/g/n
  • Ports: Ethernet, HDMI, VGA,USB 3.0 (x1), USB 2.0 (x1), headphone jack, SHDC card reader
  • Dimensions: 12.72” x 8.9” x 0.71” (32.31 x 22.61 x 1.8 cm)
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs (1.54 kg)
  • Warranty: 1 year depot

Build plus Design

A little, lightweight Ultrabook, the Sony Vaio T is hardly noticeable inside a messenger bag or backpack. The Vaio T shares a great deal of the same shape qualities because its higher priced brother, the Vaio Z; but, the T is aimed more at folks that desire premium styling without the main cost walk which countless premium designs control, neither have the requirement for a full-voltage processor (hence why the Vaio Z isn’t defined because an Ultrabook). Instead of carbon fiber, the T is composed primarily of aluminum plus plastic trim, placed over the back edge of the computer and also the center of the best edge. The top of the lid has a brushed metal styling with all the Vaio logo emblazed inside the center inside a chrome-like finish synonymous to the back edge.

VAIO T lid

While there is not any noticeable flex inside the keyboard, it’s fairly simple to bend the show some levels inside every way with moderate force. It goes without suggesting which it’s bad practice to handle a laptop by the show, thus it’s wise practice to be thoughtful to not apply excessive force found on the show to avoid damage. Aside within the show, the rest of the laptop is rock strong. One interesting feature is the fact that there are 2 prongs found on the back edge of the computer which prop up the laptop’s body at a slight angle whenever the show is opened. Whether it’s a benefit is as much as the individual user; personally, I like having keyboards which are raised at an angle, however, others can not like this feature.

Keyboard plus Touchpad

The Vaio T’s keyboard, like practically all Ultrabooks available, is a compromise about standard due to the little, thin package. However, the keyboard is sub-par even compared to additional Ultrabooks including the Lenovo IdeaPad U310. Key travel found on the Vaio T is specifically brief, bottoming out because shortly because we press down about a key. Any less key travel plus it might feel like you’re really tapping the fingers found on the palm rest. A saving elegance for this keyboard is the fact that it attributes a standard keyboard design, plus excludes odd switch location including the U310’s unique function keys being found on the appropriate edge of the keyboard. The Vaio’s just additional keys (Assist, Internet, plus Vaio) are from reach enough to not be accidently pushed. Pressing Assist may launch Sony’s VAIO Care upkeep software. Clicking the Internet key can launch the user’s standard internet browser. The Vaio key can launch a window, asking we if you would like to launch either PlayMemories or Media Galley.

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In comparison, the touchpad found on the Vaio T is effectively crafted plus doesn’t feature any compromise. At 4 inches broad plus regarding 2 along with a quarter inches tall, the touchpad is very big. It has a synonymous consistency to the aluminum palm rest, though the touchpad is recessed to let the consumer to recognize whenever their finger is about either the palm rest or the touchpad. Clicking anywhere yet the bottom-right found on the touchpad produces a pleasing left-click (the entire thing is a giant button).

extra buttons plus energy button

Display

At 1366 x 768, the amount of screen property is just average, however, this might be the norm for many tiny Ultrabooks out available today (though several do come with 1600 x 900 displays). Just about everything about the TN panel utilized inside the Sony Vaio T is average: color standard, black degrees, watching angles, etc. The show is very bright compared to the Lenovo IdeaPad U310, though. Overall, there’s nothing very great regarding this show to report.

Audio

Sony’s Vaio T absolutely has enough amount to meet an end consumer plus possibly a limited neighbors whenever sharing a movie, though the speakers about this computer are noticeably tinny, particularly whenever played at above 50%. Should you took an iPod Touch’s internal speaker plus manage to enhance the amount as much as typical computer degrees, you’d have sound just somewhat worse than this Ultrabook. A pair of quality headphones or earphones will be very suggested.

Ports

As an Ultrabook, the quantity of ports found on the program is somewhat limited, yet this might be to be expected inside these a little package. Like most Ultrabooks, the Sony Vaio T lacks an optical drive, though with all the rise inside cloud processing, flash storage, plus media downloads straight to customers’ computers, this piece of the program has become more plus more irrelevant because time passes.

On the left, you just have the 2 USB ports as well as the cooling vent for the computer internals.

VAIO T left side

On the proper, you have the rest of the ports: a headphone jack, card reader, HDMI plus VGA movie out choices, plus Ethernet port. There’s a little orange light (involving the headphone jack plus card reader) which serves because an activity light for any card is stuck inside the slot.

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The front has 3 signal lights for (from left to right) power charging, HDD activity, plus wireless signal. Additionally found on the front edge of the Vaio are the 2 speaker “grills” (absolutely more like little slots).

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Just like the front, the back of the Sony Vaio T is clean of any kind of ports, just containing the show hinges.

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Heat plus Noise

During regular surgery, the Sony Vaio T is a quiet machine. The consumer won’t hear the mechanical drive or the enthusiast whenever only browsing the internet or doing different low-intensive jobs. Whenever typing found on the keyboard, the individual keys result in the same type of sound because any different Ultrabook keyboard, though these keys are somewhat louder than the keys found on the Lenovo IdeaPad U310. However, whenever benchmarking, the enthusiast becomes a miniature jet engine, generating its presence recognized to anybody inside a moderately-quite space (classroom, house, etc.). Even whenever not benchmarking, the enthusiast might kick in throughout YouTube movie playback, thus delivering a Vaio T into a collection may not be a wise decision.   We took certain movie to demonstrate the type of sound the enthusiast generates whenever the program is stressed:

Sony VAIO T Fan Noise Test

One positive thing regarding the Vaio T is the fact that it remains cool throughout utilize. Whenever idle or beneath a light workload (typical of Ultrabook use), this Sony computer remains cool at a program temperature of between 25 plus 40 deg C. The just method to receive the Ultrabook to heat up was throughout benchmarking, as well as the absolute highest temperature obtained was by running IntelBurn Test, that produced temperatures of 81 deg C. All measurements were taken at a area temperature of 68 deg F.

Software

Like many notebooks, the Vaio T comes with pre-installed software within the factory which, for the many piece, duplicates functionality with Windows-included software. Aside within the typical Microsoft Office 2010 Starter plus anti-virus trial (Kaspersky Internet Security 2012, inside this case), The Vaio T comes with a slew of VAIO-branded softeware. Many of the is utilized by the VAIO Gate media dock situated found on the top edge of the show, that is opened by clicking a rounded tab which hangs found on the top-center of the show. Media Gate is a photograph, movie, plus music organizer which combines the functions of Windows Media Gallery plus Media Player, albeit inside a nicer-looking package. VAIO Collaboration Apps are a family of applications which let a consumer to control their alternative Sony items within the Vaio T, like a PlayStation3, Bravia TV, Sony Blu-ray players, etc. PlayMemories Home is another Sony-produced software product which enables end consumers to organize images, and edit them plus burn media to a disk from in mentioned system (though for the latter, an exterior DVD drive will be necessary because the Vaio T has no built-in optical drive). Music Unlimited is a link to Sony’s online music shop, plus VAIO Care is a upkeep system which centralizes program info, updates, install/uninstall, troubleshooting, plus contact info (for Sony support).

Aside from Sony-made software, the Vaio T involves Skype, a link to eBay’s website, Intel’s AT service signup (a link to signal up for Intel’s anti-theft service), plus ArcSoft WebCam Companion 4 (that enables an end consumer to capture movie, edit it, plus add objects to movie including masks, picture frames, etc.).

Battery Life

From full charge to Window’s 7% alert, the Sony Vaio T manages to run for a pretty decent six hours plus twenty-one minutes found on the 4-cell power whilst browsing the internet plus utilizing Window’s “Balanced” performance program. Performing typical daily jobs like internet browsing, document function, as well as the casual YouTube movie, almost six along with a half hours within the tiny 4-cell power is very wise.

VAIO T underside plus battery

A handy feature which the Sony Vaio T has is the fact that when the laptop’s power is running low about force, the force switch may flash about plus off to visually inform the consumer regarding the power. It absolutely grabs the user’s attention inside a method which the Windows task bar cannot.

Performance

In 3DMark Vantage, the Sony Vaio T scores a good 2439 3DMarks, with a GPU score of 1984 plus CPU score of 7855, that puts the i5-3317U about par with all the full-voltage i3-2330M, over effective enough to suit the requires of typical Ultrabook utilizes.

3DMark Vantage – Measures 3D images performance, high scores are better

Laptop 3DMark Vantage
Sony VAIO T – Intel Core i5-3317U, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 32GB mSATA SSD, Intel HD4000 2,439 3DMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon – Intel Core i5-3427 2.3GHz, Intel HD 4000, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD 2,755
HP ENVY 4t-1000 – Intel Core i3-2367M 1.4GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB 5400RPM HD, Intel HD 3000 1,320
Lenovo ThinkPad X230 – Intel Core i5-3320M 2.60GHz, 4GB RAM, 7200RPM HD 3,165
Lenovo ThinkPad X220 – Intel Core i5-2410M 2.30GHz, 4GB RAM, 7200RPM HD 1,611
Dell XPS 15 (Intel Core i7-2670QM, Nvidia GT 525M 1GB RAM, 8GB RAM, 7200RPM HD) 4,211
HP Envy 17-3000, Intel Core i7-2670QM, AMD 7690M, 6GB RAM, 7200RPM HD 6,970
Dell XPS 17 (Core i5-2410m 2.30GHz, Nvidia 550m, 6GB RAM, HD 7200RPM) 4,747
HP Pavilion dv6t Select Edition – Intel Core i5-2410m, Intel HD 3000 Graphics, 6GB RAM 1,845

Overall, Sony’s official Ultrabook scores an 8,014 inside PCMark Vantage, similar to alternative Ultrabooks with a synonymous hardware design.

Laptop PCMark Vantage Score
Sony VAIO T – Intel Core i5-3317U, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 32GB mSATA SSD, Intel HD4000 8,014 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon – Intel Core i5-3427 2.3GHz, Intel HD 4000, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD 11,696 PCMarks
Dell XPS 13 (Intel Core i5-2476M 1.60GHz, Intel HD 3000, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD) 9,826 PCMarks
HP Folio 13 (Intel Core i5-2467M 1.60GHz, Intel HD3000, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD) 9,026 PCMarks
Lenovo IdeaPad U310 – Intel Core i5-3317U ULV 1.7GHz, 4GB RAM, Intel HD 4000, 540RPM HD 6,433 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X230 – Intel Core  i5-3320M 2.60GHz, 4GB RAM, 7200RPM HD 7,603 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X220 – Intel Core  i5-2410M 2.30GHz, 4GB RAM, 7200RPM HD 5,764 PCMarks
SONY VAIO SA – Intel Core i5-2430M, AMD 6750M, 6GB RAM, 7200RPM HD 7,007 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420 – Intel Core i5-2410m 2.30GHz, 4GB RAM 6,056 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad T420 – Intel Core i3-2310m 2.1GHz, 2GB RAM 3,204 PCMarks

Boot instances for this computer are above average because of the SSD Sony pairs with all the usual laptop difficult drive. Time to login is lower than 10 seconds, with overall boot time beneath half a minute, cutting typical mechanical difficult drive boot instances inside half. Compared to an all-SSD laptop, the Sony Vaio T is not which far behind whenever beginning from a cold boot. Additionally because of the SSD pairing, the Sony Vaio T resumes from rest inside 1 or 2 seconds.

Conclusion

In its own appropriate, the Sony Vaio T is a good computer, with a great amount of performance to provide plus a lot of ports compared to additional Ultrabooks. It’s also a fashionable laptop, typical of Sony. But, the show is just average as well as the keyboard is uncomfortable to sort about for extended periods of time. Not to mention the enthusiast being a condition for viewing YouTube videos or operating any alternative task beyond easy internet browsing plus document function. What Sony has opting for the Vaio T, then, is the big trackpad plus Sony’s Fresh Start choice, that is a free configuration choice to free the computer of bloatware straight within the factory.

However, the Sony Vaio T encounters tough competition from alternative OEMs plus even from Sony itself; the Sony Vaio S 13.3” is just a hair heavier (3.8 lbs) plus provides a more effective i5-3210M plus whilst it doesn’t provide a crossbreed SSD way, it does provide devoted nVidia images. As for competition from additional Ultrabooks, the Samsng Series 5 Ultrabook provides a brighter screen (300 cd/m) than the Vaio T, is simply because lightweight, plus even provides an additional USB port.

Just considering the Vaio T itself, there’s nothing incorrect with it. It’s an affordable Ultrabook which brings together shape plus function, with a brushed aluminum lid plus all-aluminum construction, an i5 ULV, plus crossbreed SSD performance for simply beneath $ 800. However whenever considering the whole affordable Ultrabook marketplace, there’s nothing which makes the Sony Vaio T stand out. If Sony gave the Vaio T a some additional choices, like a 1600 x 900 13.3” show whilst keeping the cost at about $ 800, then it might blow the competition from the water at this cost point. But as it stands, the Vaio T is not a well-defined winner, and not a well-defined loser either.

Pros

  • Entry-level price
  • Affordable SSD-like performance
  • Low program temperatures
  • Standard design keyboard
  • OEM Fresh Start option

Cons

  • Shallow keyboard
  • Tinny audio
  • Fan noise

Where to Buy

The VAIO T Ultrabook are available direct within the Sony Store Internet beginning at $ 739.99