Notebooks Guide

Sony Vaio Pro 13 (Core i5) review

Sony Vaio Pro 13 - Start of a Promising Comeback

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Launch SRP S$1999

Overall rating 8.5/10
Design:
8.5
Features:
8
Performance:
8
Value:
7.5
Mobility:
9
THE GOOD
Lightweight
Good design
Premium materials
Large trackpad
THE BAD
Flexing in certain areas
Shallow (but rigid) keys
Expensive


Battery Life and Portability Index

Battery Life and Portability Index

The Sony Vaio Pro 13’s computing and graphics performance wouldn’t exactly blow you away, but bear in mind, it’s not designed for that purpose. The whole point of getting an Ultrabook is so that you can have a notebook that’s able to perform most tasks with adequate crunching power and a long battery life to stay as much time as possible away from a power socket for on-the-go usage.

 

Futuremark Powermark 

To see how long the Vaio Pro lasts under load, we put it through the Powermark benchmark test. This test puts the machine through a series of tasks such as webpage rendering on browsers, playing and editing of photos and movies. Such a test is meant to mimic the typical usage of a notebook, so that you are able to get a good gauge on how long the machine’s battery will last under constant use of such everyday tasks.

We’ve also put the Vaio Pro 13 against the Sony Vaio Duo 13 which has a slightly more powerful processor, but a much larger battery, the Aftershock Halo which has a full-powered mobile processor and an even larger battery capacity, as well as the Apple MacBook Air (running Windows) which has a weaker CPU but is also endowed with good battery capacity.

Please note that the results for the Aftershock Halo is derived from the "Home" benchmark found in PCMark 8, as it was unable to complete our Powermark test reliably. Our internal tests found that the near identical workloads of the "Home" benchmark in PC Mark 8 and Powermark, which gives very similar battery life results too.

As plotted in the graph above, the Sony Vaio Pro 13, did reasonably well with an up-time of almost four hours. It isn’t the best timing we’ve noted for a notebook of its class, but it’s still impressive especially when you consider how small the Vaio Pro 13’s battery capacity is (it's the smallest with a rated capacity of 37.5Wh). Also note that this 4-hour battery life could be further stretched if the machine’s volume and brightness are tuned down, and if you’re using it for even less intensive tasks.

 

Power Consumption

While the Vaio Duo 13 has the best battery life of the three notebooks, which is directly attributed to its larger battery capacity, when we look at the results closer by calculating the power consumption of the notebooks, the less powerful Sony Vaio Pro 13 naturally came out tops. However, the odd one one out from the results collated is the MacBook Air. That's because the MacBook Air was operating in the less optimized Windows environment and not its native OS X and OS-specific drivers. However, this is a necessary evil as that's the only way we can cross-compare notebooks to a certain degree.

 

Portability Index

The Portability index used here is unique to HWZ, and uses elements like battery life, volume and weight to determine how portable a machine is in its class. Machines with good battery life and are lightweight will naturally register better portability ratios (higher the number the better). However, that doesn't mean the Vaio Pro 13 is three times more portable than the Aftershock Halo. It just means it has a better mix of battery life and far less weight, compared to the Aftershock machine.  While the average Portability ratio for a 13-inch Ultrabook from the last generation lies between 2.0 and 2.5, the Sony Vaio Pro 13's extra light weight propelled it to a much higher portability standing to garner a ratio of about 3.5. The more capable Vaio Duo 13, although a few hundred grams heavier, possessed a good enough leap in battery life to obtain an overall better ratio of over 4.2.