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I cant imagine why anyone would opt for the outdated Sandy Bridge processor with Ivy Bridge now alive and kicking.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
- Microsoft Security Essentials misses 39% of malware in Dennis test
- Ofcom tells BT to fix faulty connections within two days (well, some of them)
- Zuckerberg cashes in Facebook shares to pay taxes
- Lucky Redditor gets Secret Santa gift from Bill Gates
- Tape up your webcams: hackers disable warning lights
- Microsoft yanks Surface update until New Year
- Obama urged to rein in the NSA
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Christmas is cancelled: Apple starts selling the Mac Pro
- Spotify revamps apps for Windows and Mac
- Play it again: Berlin's Computer Game Museum
- Switching from iPhone to Android: what I miss, what I don't
- Tech City: Easy to score when you move the goalposts
- How to remove SkyDrive from the Windows 8.1 Explorer
- Switching from iPhone to Android? Switch off iMessage
- Why is Google pumping more money into Firefox?
- Sky Broadband Shield review
- Samsung Galaxy S4: how to double your battery life
- Motorola Moto G review: first look
- IBM Watson meets Willy Wonka
- Windows XP: Microsoft’s ticking time bomb
- The top five SMB security trends for 2014
- Backup your life: how to keep your data safe
- Best gifts for Christmas 2013: tech gifts for less than £200
- Online "experts" are full of hot air
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2013
- Closer to reality: photorealism in computer graphics
- Windows 8.1: Top 10 advanced features
- Securing the Internet of Things
- Internet of Things: five unlikely hacking risks
- Jon Honeyball's money's-no-object Christmas gift idea
- The importance of load balancing
- Windows Phone App Studio: an easy way to create your first Windows Phone 8 app
- The end of Windows XP support: what it really means for businesses
- Don't rely on Chrome's password vault
- Using Buffer to manage your social media
- Microsoft needs its own Steve Jobs
- Forget credit cards: hackers want your Facebook account
- Can't get fast enough broadband? Here's what to do
- Leap Motion and the battle against UI stagnation