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Sony Vaio S Series S13 hands on review

sony vaio s series 13 keyboard

Sony announced three series of revamped Vaio laptops last week and V3 went along to get a hands-on preview at the firm's product launch in London.

The new Vaio range comprises a remodelled entry-level E series, which Sony says is its most popular range. There's also the S series, which is the most powerful Vaio available, and the T series, which is the firm's first ever ultrabook range. All are due to hit shops in early June.

First impressions


At the launch we managed to play about on Sony's S13, a 13.3in S series model, which the Japanese electronics firm says is the fastest series out of the bunch.

This particular S13 model was powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, bundled with 8GB of DDR3L SDRAM, a hybrid Nvidia GeForce 640M LE GPU with Intel HD graphics 4000 and a 256GB Flash hard drive running on a Windows 7 professional 64-bit operating system (OS). Aimed at a professional audience, Sony says these specifications will be completely customisable when the Vaio series is available to buy.

The laptop certainly has a sleek, high-end look about it. The matt brushed-metal effect casing has been redesigned with a simple, minimal approach in design, giving a premium look which makes you immediately want to go and stroke it.

sony vaio s series 13

Another thing that instantly stood out about the S13 was its thickness. For a laptop boasting such high specs, it's surprisingly thin. At 24mm it's slightly thicker than Sony's first ever Ultrabook, the T13, which measures 18mm.

However, it's important to note that while being so slimline, the system somewhat compromises on sturdiness. Opening it up, we found the lid felt a little flimsy.

It‘s never a bad thing for a laptop of this calibre to be so slender but putting our hands on either side of the lid, it didn't take a great amount of applied pressure to bend it a little in opposite directions. This leads us to worry that the S13 wouldn't withstand even a minor drop on to a hard surface - especially if dropped while open. We believe a robust design for such a high-end machine is paramount, so build quality could definitely be an issue here.

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Lee Bell

Lee joined as a reporter on The INQUIRER in April 2012.

Prior to working at The INQUIRER, Lee was sponsored by the NCTJ to do a multimedia journalism course in London. After completing placements at local magazines and newspapers in both print and online he wrote for an online gaming news website, and it was here where his love for technology grew.

Lee's main coverage areas include processors, internet security, PCs, laptops and tablet news and reviews.

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