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Sony Vaio T13 hands on review

The INQUIRER takes an early look at Sony's first ultrabook
Thu May 24 2012, 17:18
Sony Vaio T13 ultrabook open side

The INQUIRER got some hands on time recently with Sony's first ever ultrabook, so we took a quick look at how it compares to the Dell and Asus-led competition.

The TF13 was unveiled earlier this month alongside its T and S Series siblings

The most noticable element differentiating the device from the sea of Macbook Air rip-off ultrabooks is its design. Instead of having the same soft, edges seen on most ultrabooks the TF13 features squared off edges.

The hard lines give it a far more utilitarian feel than a number of Asus and Dell devices.

Sony Vaio T13 ultrabook side

Another element that separates the T13's design from its competitors is its size, with it measuring in at 17.8mm thick - making it noticeably bigger in hand than its Asus and Dell competitors. It weighs in at 1.6kg, so more in the realms of a standard laptop.

The ultrabook's chassis is made of a magnesium alloy which, in general, gives the T13 a solid, sturdy feel. The one potential weak point we noticed when testing it was the screen, which as well as being fairly bendy, is locked to a fairly flimsy looking hinge.

The T13 is powered by a Sandy Bridge Intel Core i3 processor and backed up with 4GB of DDR3 RAM. In our tests, the unit felt responsive and snappy, though we didn't have a chance to really put it through its paces, with Sony not letting us clock the processor's actual speed.

Sony Vaio T13 ultrabook closed

The device also packs a hybrid storage system made up of a 320GB HDD and a 32GB SSD. This means it boots from sleep mode incredibly quickly - a useful touch if you plan to use the ultrabook on the go.

The T13 features a 1,366x768 13in LED display, which remained incredibly clear with impressive viewing angles, even when viewed in low lighting conditions.

The device has xLOUD and Clear Phase audio technology features built in, meaning that it should also have some pretty decent sound quality, though during our time we didn't have a chance to really try out the T13's speakers.

Sony Vaio T13 ultrabook open

The T13's keyboard was fairly decent, being reasonably comfortable to type on. The one criticism we had was that the keys at times didn't feel very springy when pressed. The trackpad was also responsive, recognising multi-touch gestures with ease.

Sony claims that the T13 has a standby battery life of 90 days, which due to our time constraints we didn't get to test.

The T13 features two USB ports along its left side, one of which is actually USB 3.0. On its right these are complemented by a VGA port, an HDMI one, an Ethernet one and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Sony has remained tight-lipped about pricing, though representatives did confirm it would be released in the UK sometime in June. Check back at The INQUIRER closer to the time for a full review. µ

 

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