Price (RRP): $1299 (starting price)
The Ultrabook touch market is heating up, and with the launch of Intel’s fourth-generation processors, these computers are apparently better than ever. Sony’s take on this space is to make the lightest computer you’ll probably ever see and feel, and wow, it’s an impressive piece of kit.
Announced just under a month ago, Sony’s VAIO Pro is the company’s take on what the Ultrabook experience should be. Two models are being released in the line-up, with the VAIO Pro 11 starting at $1299 and competing against thin and light machines like the Apple MacBook Air 11, which starts at $1099.
Sony’s machine is different, and from a specification perspective, superior in some ways.
We’ll start with the screen which sits at 11.6 inches, and yet packs in a Full HD resolution of 1920×1080, which equates to roughly 190 pixels per inch, higher than the MBA 11’s 135 pixels per inch.
This screen supports touch, and even includes Sony’s Triluminos colour gamut technology, which can be seen on the 4K Ultra High Definition BRAVIA displays.
Under the hood, you’ll find Intel’s latest Core technology, the fourth-generation processor and chipset technology which aims to improve battery life, graphics, and keep system performance strong across the board.
In our review unit, there’s an Intel Core i5 clocked at 1.6GHz, paired with 4GB RAM and 128GB of flash storage. Graphics technology hasn’t quite reached the full extent of Intel’s Haswell, and HD4400 is used here, not the HD5000 of other Haswell computers.
Windows 8 is the operating system included here, with wireless supported through 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and even Near-Field Communication. Ports arrive in the form of two USB 3.0, a headset jack, SDXC card slot, and a lone HDMI port.
A camera is included too, running the HD capable Exmor based webcam at the top of the frame.
While the touchscreen will likely be a primary way of controlling Windows, there’s also a gesture supported touchpad underneath the backlit keyboard.
The chassis is constructed from carbon fibre and aluminium, which should make the machine both light and durable, while a plastic cover protects a small port under the laptop for the addition of an extra battery pack.
Sony also has a redesigned power charge brick which features a USB port to recharge your other devices.