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


Keep it Up to Keep Up

Keep It Up Sony

The Sony Vaio Pro 13 costs S$1,999 (Core i5, 128GB SSD configuration), and is slightly pricier than many Ultrabooks in the market, mainly because it comes in a premium package - complete with HD touch display, carbon fiber and aluminum alloy build, large trackpad, as well as a slim and very lightweight body.  However, it does have a few imperfections that take away some of its shine.

Firstly, is the fact that it has a 'patchwork' body which introduces more flex than a unibody design would. Next would definitely be its shallow keyboard, though some users may not mind it as the keys offer adequate tactile feedback due to increased key resistance. It is also a very quiet keyboard and some may actually prefer such an attribute (probably because the Japanese hate to be a public nuisance).

Lastly, there are other notebooks out in the market that cost a great deal less, and have better build quality or components. Take the Macbook Air for example; it has a better build quality (aluminum body, better keyboard, etc.), but costs almost S$500 less. The only thing you won't get with the Air is a full HD display and a touch enabled screen. It may be heavier than the Vaio Pro 13, but some consumers might not be convinced that it’s worth paying a few hundred dollars more for a body that weighs a few hundred grams less with a full HD touch display. 

But then again, there are users who would gladly fork out more for a beautifully designed Windows 8 notebook that weighs just six grams over a kilogram. These are the users who are able to see past the Vaio’s (not very serious) concerns, and see the gem that is the Vaio Pro 13. These are also the people who are more than willing to pay extra for a machine that Sony has spent a great deal of effort putting together, and admirably did not introduce an intentional handicap to avoid cannibalizing on its other premium notebooks like the Vaio Duo 13.

If you’ve got the chance to try Vaio Pro 13 out for yourself, you can’t help but get the feeling that Sony is trying to make a comeback to its heyday where its brand is synonymous with design and quality. If Sony keeps on making quality products like it, and price them appropriately, there aren't many reasons why your next Ultrabook wouldn’t be a Sony.