Battery Life, Portability Index and Conclusion
Battery Life and Power Consumption
Ultrabooks are meant to be sleek and portable, but if the machine’s battery life isn’t very good, it wouldn’t be of much help. To test how long the battery of the Fit 13A would last, we used Powermark, which puts the machine through various workloads, and records the approximate amount of time needed to completely drain the Fit 13A.
Its battery performance of 3 hours 56 minutes didn’t overwhelm, but it’s still within expectations. If you were working with less CPU intensive applications like document editing or casual web browsing, the Fit 13A would be able to last almost a full work day. That’s because the Fit 13A has pretty good power management, and consumes much less power than we expected. With more thoughtful power-saving measures, you’ll be able to pull a lower figure than what we manged and squeeze even more battery life out of the Fit 13A.
Portability Index Ratio
Our portability index ratio is a gauge to see if the machine’s balance of mass and battery life is good enough to warrant users bringing it out of the house. Its ratio of 2.565 is within an expected range, though it isn’t as good as the Acer S7 or Toshiba Portege Z30, which have better numbers due to either longer battery life, or lighter body.
Take note that while the Sony Vaio Duo 13 has a ratio of 4.216, it doesn’t mean that it’s almost twice as portable. Due to the nature of the chart, what it actually means is that you’d be get much more work done if you were to bring the Vaio Duo 13 out with you because it has more than 30% battery capacity than the Fit 13. This is why the Vaio Duo 13 ranked much higher as its dimensions and weight doesn't differ much from the Fit 13. You can compare their figures here.
Conclusion: A Pricey Fit
To recap, the Sony Vaio Fit 13A is a notebook that’s positioned in between the Vaio Duo 13, and the Vaio Pro 13. It’s able to transition into a tablet with ease, thanks to its extremely robust hinge, allowing users to flip the display over, which is then held very firmly in place with strong magnets.
Out of all the ways a notebook can convert into a tablet and back again, this method employed on the Fit 13A is definitely one of the more thoughtful ones. It’s smooth, and can be done without flipping the notebook around with both your hands (like the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro), and also enables the notebook to retain full size keyboard and a full-sized trackpad.
Its thick aluminum lid screams and feels premium. Although the lid and display combined makes the machine a tad thicker than the usual Ultrabook, it still weights only 1.31kg, so portability isn’t an issue. For reference, the 13-inch Apple Macbook Air also weighs around 1.3kg.
Besides featuring an easy conversion process to a tablet and back, the Fit 13A also comes with a multi-touch display and an N-Trig digitizer for increased interactivity options, something which most manufacturers are unable or unwilling to provide.
However, the Sony Vaio Fit 13A isn't as competitive as some of its contenders from a price and value perspective. Compared to its S$2,199 (Intel Core i5 edition) price tag, the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro which is equally flexible and a better overall performer for S$2,099 (Intel Core i7 edition) is hard to ignore and so is the S$1,488 (Intel Core i5) Apple MacBook Air (even though it can't transform). The Fit 13A costs as much as S$2,699 if it was to at least match the Lenovo counterpart from a specs perspective - not withstanding the performance discrepancy which the Sony still has to live with.
For this price, the Fit 13A is also unable to provide a higher than full HD display (such as QHD or QHD+), which we’ve seen on the latest flagship devices from Lenovo, HP, Dell and ASUS. if you're wondering, the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro boasts of a QHD+ display, which is 3200 x 1800 pixels resolution. So it seems all that the Fit 13A has to command for its price is its Sony pedigree, excellent design and great build.
The good news is however, if you’re willing to look past its 'just adequate' display resolution, non-competitive benchmark performance, high price and flexing keyboard well, this machine will not disappoint. It looks great, has a premium build, performs relatively well for the average user, converts to a tablet effortlessly, and an N-Trig digitizer for writing or doodling on your notebook.