Sony Vaio Y Review
Sony’s candidate in the thin and light category is the Vaio Y. Introduced in the Philippines last February, the Sony Vaio Y is a 13.3″ notebook powered by an Intel 1.3GHz CULV.
The is painted matte silver all-over with a black base (the one is actually an engineering unit) and a somewhat textured palm rest. The body is, as expected, thin and light with added design accents pretty common to most high-end Vaio laptops.
There are a couple of buttons Sony added on top of the full qwerty keyboard — an Assist button for out-of-the-box customer support and a Vaio button that triggers Transfer Support (for when you want to migrate your content/documents from one Vaio laptop to another).
The full-sized keyboard features chiclet-type keys that are very well spaced and comfortable to use. The multi-touch trackpad,, slightly shifted to the left, is wide and a bit textured with the left and right clickers separated at the middle.
The 13.3″ screen is a good 1366×768 pixel resolution and glossy which makes the display bright and crisp but is prone to glare when used outdoors or against bright light sources. What’s a bit annoying is the Vaio Gate (a shortcut bar that docks on top of the screen) that messes up a portion of the screen and blocks off the tabs when using the browser of full screen. Fortunately, you can either hide that or completely turn that off on start-up.
As for performance, we got a pretty nice results from the Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 @ 1.3GHz and the 2GB DDR3 RAM (upgradeable to 8GB DDR3 RAM). Windows Experience Index gives it a base score of 3.4 (from the Intel GMA 4500MHD) while the CPU gets a nice 4.1 sub-score. Video playback on YouTube HD is smooth at 720p but a little choppy on 1080p.
Complete benchmarks and CPU/GPU screenshots are posted in the PC Labs. The numbers are as expected of a CULV system and within range of other SU7300 we’ve tested before.
The complete specs are on the higher end of the spectrum as well, starting with WiFi 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity. Storage is provided by a 320GB Toshiba SATA HDD. Aside from 3 USB 2.0 ports, its got an HDMI port, an ExpressCard slot, and SD Card/Memory Stick reader.
The 6-cell battery is rated at 5,000mAh or 54Wh (BatteryBar shows 57,240mWh @ 10.8V). I get an average 5 to 6 hours on balanced settings and BatteryBar gives it a nice rating of just under 6 hours (close to the promised 8 hours by Sony).
That’s already a good balance between performance and battery life.
As expected of any Sony line of laptops, the Sony Vaio Y comes with a premium price of Php54,999. It’s probably the only thin-and-light CULV model around that’s priced above the 50k range. Now that’s what it means when they say you’re paying for the Sony brand.