When Intel first announced its bid to encourage manufacturers to make laptops slim, beautiful and appealing. PC needed to compete with the MacBook Air. Robust computers with decent battery life were just around the corner. It’s taken a couple of years but new devices such as the Sony Vaio Pro are finally delivering. It is weighing barely a kilo and yet untroubled by any application. This is a laptop in an age of cheap products that it is worth spending £1,000 on.
Wjth thjs laptop, you get a carbon-fibre body, a full-size keyboard with a trackpad, the latest Intel 4th-generation processor and the kind of full HD display which clearly benefits from the expertise in TV. Design-wise you get a distinct experience which is clearly not trying to ape Apple, this is a touchscreen, Windows 8 laptop for a start, but it is also one with sharply angled corners.
There’s a fundamental problem with a slim, lightweight touchscreen laptop, which is unless you touch the screen very lightly, there appears to be something in the whole construction. In practice, Sony say their laptops are tested to destruction, but the feeling is not the one that’s inspiring. Even if the strength comes from their being some give, it’s hard not to question the build quality. Similarly, this is a laptop with sharp corners and sharply angled keys.
Although this is a business machine to be used on aeroplanes and on desks, its screen is lovely for films and media and its battery life was seven hours in regular use. A larger battery can make it up to 25 hours. There are usual irritants like Windows 8 and a PC so there are loads of bloatware additions which is not required and plenty of 'security' pop-ups infuriate. There’s always updates to install. Sony's charger includes an additional clip that lets you turn an ethernet connection into a wifi signal for up to four devices, and is far less likely to be lost than a cable adapter. Overall, the Pro 13 is a great PC for users who value style and substance, if you need a PC there aren’t many better out there.
Processor Up to Intel i7
OS Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro
Memory Up to 8GB DDR3 1600MHz SDRAM
Storage Up to 512GB SSD
Screen 13.3” Full HD (1920x1080) with wide (16:9) aspect ratio; capacitive touchscreen; TRILUMINOS® Display for mobile; X-Reality™ for mobile
Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 4400
Others WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n; Bluetooth® Ver. 4.0 + H; USB 3.0 (x1), USB 3.0 with USB charge (x1); HDMI out; SD memory card slot; stereo speakers with ClearAudio+ mode ; Front facing web camera with powered by ‘Exmor R for PC’; TCG ver1.2 Security chip (on Windows 8 Pro); NFC; HDMI to VGA adapter; AC powered Ethernet to Wi-Fi Router
Dimensions Approx. 322 mm x 17.2 mm x 216 mm
Weight Approx. 1.06kg