May 20, 2013
- Sleek, attractive design
- Good-looking 1080p display
- Accurate touch display
- Good overall performance
- No Blu-ray drive
- Small touch pad
The all-new Sony VAIO T Series 15 has an attractive design, a beautiful 1080p HD touch display, long battery life and very good performance. It does lack a Blu-ray drive, which would have put it over the top, and the touch pad wasn't the best.
The design of the Sony VAIO T Series 15 is definitely one of the major selling points for this laptop. It has a brushed aluminum exterior with stylish chrome accents. The edges have a unique cut to them that completes the design. Apple typically is known for its products to have an attractiveness, but this Sony VAIO does just the same in our opinion.
Sony does classify this laptop as an Ultrabook, but the size and weight put it just outside that category in our eyes. It measures 15.0 x 10.0 x 0.9-inches (wdh) and weighs just over 5-pounds. The added size and weigh mostly comes from the built-in optical drive, which is usually absent on other, more traditional, Ultrabooks.
The keyboard is a full-sized, island-style layout and has a numeric keypad. Sony designed the keys to be almost flush with the keyboard deck, which results in a strange experience. The keyboard is backlit much to our delight.
The touch pad, however, did not make us happy. The size of it was way too small, especially since there is plenty of room on the top and bottom to make it taller. The small size prevents you from effectively doing any of the Windows 8 gestures.
It is obvious that Sony put a lot of effort into perfecting the 15.5-inch display because it's one of the best touch displays we've used to date. It has a full HD 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution and sports edge-to-edge glass to continue the sleek look of the exterior chassis. The quality of the display was very good with crisp text and vibrant colors. The only thing we would have liked to see was better viewing angles.
The touch aspect of the display was very good. It is a capacitive display, so it's multitouch-enabled and it was very accurate. Performing the Windows 8-touch gestures was easy and worked flawlessly every time.
For ports, the Sony VAIO T Series 15 has one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-out, VGA-out, Ethernet, the usual audio jacks and a memory card reader. The one USB 3.0 port is sleep and charge enabled, meaning it will charge connected devices even when the laptop is powered off. There is also a multi-format DVD burner optical drive, but it's too bad a Blu-ray drive isn't included to take advantage of that 1080p display for movie viewing. Wireless connectivity includes both 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
Our review VAIO T Series 15 included an Intel Core i5-3337U (1.8GHz), 8GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive, a 24GB solid-state drive and integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics. The solid -state drive means your Windows 8 operating system files will be available at the ready for speedy boot up times.
In a PCMark 7 benchmark, this laptop earned a score of 4,115. In comparison with the rest of the category, that's about 1,500 points higher so overall performance is good. In our real-world testing, our experience agreed with the benchmark. The integrated Intel graphics are this laptop's weak link. As a result, don't expect to do any 3D gaming but multimedia viewing is no problem.
Battery life with the included, sealed battery is just over 4-hours, which is right on par with the category average. The sealed battery means you can't swap out batteries if the situation ever arose.
For more Windows 8 laptop reviews, visit our Notebook & Ultrabook Reviews page.