Sony VAIO T13 review
Currently the best low-priced Ultrabook on the market, but this Sony does have its weaknesses
Review Date: 15 Jun 2012
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £566 (£679 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
After many months of waiting, Sony has finally unveiled its first Ultrabook, the VAIO T Series. The real surprise isn’t just how long it’s taken to materialise, however – it’s the price. With the entry-level model starting at £679, Sony has delivered its Ultrabook at the lower end of the Ultrabook spectrum.
Those expecting a bargain-basement lump of plastic may be surprised. Sony has got the look of the new VAIO T Series just right. There isn’t the wow factor of Samsung’s pretty Series 9, but the blend of clean, crisp lines and chamfered edges make for a slim, smart laptop. The plastic underside cheapens the effect somewhat, but it’s more attractive than Acer’s Aspire S3, which is a similar price.
At 1.52kg and 19mm thick, the VAIO T13 is by no means the most portable Ultrabook we’ve seen. Build quality is generally good given the price – the base only flexes once you really exercise those forearm muscles – but the display on our review unit was less reassuring. Under gentle pressure the screen housing bends from side to side, but press harder and the plastic bezel actually clicks apart.
Getting the price down below the £700 mark has left Sony pinching the pennies elsewhere. The CPU on our model was one of the older Sandy Bridge Core i3 models, the Core i3-2367M, and without the Turbo Boost of its Core i5 and Core i7 cousins, it runs at a maximum of 1.4GHz. Equally, there isn’t room in the budget for a full-sized SSD. Instead, Sony has used a 32GB SSD caching drive as per Intel’s requirements, alongside a mechanical 500GB hard drive.
Performance is fine, though. The result of 0.45 in our Real World Benchmarks puts it a little way behind models with Turbo Boost-equipped Core i5 processors, but it’s more than adequate for general use. As ever, the weakling Intel HD Graphics 3000 chipset isn’t up to the challenge of our Crysis tests, with the VAIO T13 struggling to an average of 22fps even at the least demanding resolution and quality settings.
Fans are loud and noisy (sony's T ultrabooks)
Many people are reporting that T13 make too much noise even with light load. You can find many related threads if google "sony t13 fan noise"
By seoklee on 17 Jun 2012
I cant imagine why anyone would opt for the outdated Sandy Bridge processor with Ivy Bridge now alive and kicking. In the fast paced world of IT surely you have to futureproof a purchase as best you can...
By jamesv1001 on 17 Jun 2012
Why did Intel bother...
defining the Ultrabook name, when manufacturers / the press call every notebook that appears an Ultrabook, whether it fits the criteria or not?
By big_D on 18 Jun 2012
I agree, I find the display resolution is way too low, which has put me off of Ultrabooks.
1600x900 should be the minimum that they should consider for that size, although I'd prefer a 14" with 1920x1080 (or better yet, a real computer display with 1920x1200).
By big_D on 18 Jun 2012
Okay I'm being insanely picky but an Ultrabook with a screen 13.3" or less is 18mm high maximum according to the specifications. This is apparently 19mm.
By pveater on 18 Jun 2012
- Cook: Microsoft should have released Office for iPad sooner
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Universal wireless charging gets a boost from Microsoft
- Amazon Phone: release date, features and 3D display
- Apple offers sneak peak at OS X via Beta Seed
- American grip on web loosens ahead of key net meeting
- Apple fixes security flaw, fingerprint scanner with iOS 7.1.1
- Heartbleed: LibreSSL scrubs "irresponsible" OpenSSL code
- Windows Cloud: should Microsoft mimic Chrome OS?
- Lytro unveils its next light-field camera: the $1,599 Illum
- Hello Cortana, it's nice to meet you
- Windows 8.1 Update: an abject surrender
- The insane economics of Sky Now TV
- No such thing as a free app... so pay up if you want quality
- Time to outlaw crapware-laden installers
- Windows Phone 8.1 video: hands-on
- Office for iPad: key information
- Why every PC buyer owes Richard Durkin a debt of gratitude
- HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: 2014's big-hitters compared
- Windows XP end of life: key information
- How to upgrade from Windows XP to Ubuntu
- The great iPhone ripoff and how it works
- Heartbleed: what you need to know and do
- Data recovery: inside the clean room
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2014
- How much RAM do you really need?
- News of the weird: the strangest ever tech stories
- Five hyped technologies: disruptive or not?
- Piracy's dying: why we're all going straight
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?
- The best Android antivirus apps for 2014
- Headings vs headers: how to use both in Word