laptop computer sony vaio sb series
Sony VAIO SB, as configured our review unit (model VPCSB1BGX) offers the best overall performance of any ultra-portable laptop, we have not tested. It is light and thin, and a pleasure to use, despite some minor discomfort. Pity, then, that this facility is $ 2,500. The base model starts at just $ 900, but this configuration does not dominate our benchmarks that our review model did.
Add to that a very capable processor, 8GB of RAM, integrated Intel graphics and switchable between a GeForce 6630M with 1GB of graphics RAM, and a fast 128 GB SSD. Not enough? What about dual-band 802.11n networking, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, a combination of BD-ROM and DVD burner, and support for Intel WiDi wireless display. How they crammed all the good things in a lightweight, ultra-slim 13-inch laptop is beyond me.
All the equipment was enough to give 144 WorldBench 6 score, more than any character we've seen in other laptops of this size and weight. It has all the power to destroy the battery? Far from it. Battery test our roundup SB VAIO lasted an impressive 7 hours, 19 minutes. A physical switch above the F3 key to change the "courage" (integrated graphics), and "speed" (a separate graphics card). We ran our tests of battery life on the "courage", which allows the discrete Radeon graphics, cut the battery life of the party, or worse. We also tried the optional battery slice, which is well adapted to the bottom of the laptop as a whole and makes the machine more often than one-third inch, and nearly half a pound heavier. This accessory provides approximately 5 hours of battery life.
There is much to like about the design of the Sony VAIO SR series. The matte screen is only a resolution of 1366 x 768, but it is typical for a 13.3-inch screen. Color, contrast and brightness are very good, and the horizontal viewing angle is better than most laptops I've seen. Vertical viewing angles are poor, predictable, however. The screen is either too light or too dark, if the lid is opened too far or not enough.
The left side of the system is sparse, with only the BD-ROM and DVD-burning optical drive combination. All the action is along the right edge, which has a Memory Stick slot, one. SD card reader, VGA and HDMI, USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and power connectors Those who love the physical switch to disable Wi-Fi will be happy to know that there is one along the front edge.
As usual, Sony charges for its software system with too much for my taste. I'm not a fan of pop-out base at the top of the screen, or as Norton Internet Security constantly nagging you to pay after the 30-day trial is over. It's great that Sony bundles of 8 Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements 8 and PowerDVD, though.
Also included is ArcSoft software web camera, media gallery Sony and Microsoft Office Starter 2010. If you're like me and prefer your laptop a bit lighter and robust, it is easy enough to remove most of those things.