Sony VAIO S Series review, guide and deals

VAIO S Series Overview

VAIO S SeriesAfter the last-gen Sony VAIO Z was transformed into a lightweight machine with a docking station, the S series came up to replace it and has since taken the crown as Sony’s premium all-rounder. The 13-inch and 15-inch models can be considered as competitors to Apple’s MacBook Pro line and Dell’s XPS series with identical display sizes and specs. The S Series features a magnesium or carbon fibre body with aluminium and comes with a DVD/Blu-ray drive and a hard disk of a capacity ranging from 320GB to 1TB. The 13-inch model is available with 1366x768 and 1600x900 pixels screens while the 15-inch version features a Full HD 1920x1080 pixels display. The S Series features NVIDIA GeForce GT640M LE graphics along with Intel’s integrated HD graphics.

Full review of the VAIO S Series and key features below...

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VAIO S Series review

The magnesium body of the regular S Series models are offer a very good premium design with a higher-end 13-inch carbon fibre version also available. Although not unibodies, the S series still offer a very high quality finish with good durability. The different design sets them apart of most competing laptops which try to mimic the MacBook Pro’s looks. Also, the weight of the S Series laptops is quite astonishing with both the 13-inch and 15-inch versions weighing much lesser than competing models with optical drives such as the MacBook Pro. The displays of the S Series are quite good with excellent viewing angles and a high contrast. On this front, the S series easily beats the MacBook Pro with its higher resolution displays. Processor choices include Intel Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs along with 4-12GB of RAM and 500GB-1TB HDDs and SSDs up to 512GB. Sony’s trademark keyboard is excellent as is the track pad, which features a large surface but no mechanical buttons. There is a sheet battery available with the VAIO S series which doubles the backup of the regular battery life but adds a little girth to the laptop. The battery life of the VAIO S Series without the sheet battery was just average but with the sheet battery it was very good, especially for a laptop with dedicated graphics. The VAIO S series is an overall all-rounder with great performance and a very thin and light design. Although in some cases the MacBook Pro may outclass it, such as with its unibody design, the S series remains a worthy competitor and the 15-inch version’s 4.2-pound weight is especially amazing. Although the S Series may not be as portable as Ultrabooks, it still offers a much more complete package with both dedicated graphics and an optical drive. To sum up, the Sony VAIO S Series consists of two great, powerful laptops with an excellent design and can be configured extensively to your own liking. People who don’t need the DVD/Blu-ray drive or dedicated graphics should take a look at other Ultrabooks such as the Sony VAIO T series but they will miss out on several premium features such as the high-res display.

The Good
The Bad
  • Great design
  • Excellent high-res screens
  • Good overall performance
  • Extremely light design
  • Battery life without sheet battery could have been better
  • All USB ports on one side
  • Average speakers
  • Top-end configurations are very expensive

VAIO S Series Main features:

  • 13.3-inch and 15.5-inch versions
  • Resolution: 1366x768 or 1600x900 pixels (13.3-inch) and 1920x1080 pixels (15.5-inch)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT640M LE / Intel HD 4000 graphics
  • 320GB to 1TB HDDs available
  • SSDs up to 512GB present
  • 4-12GB of RAM
  • DVD/Blu-ray drives
  • External 4400mAh sheet battery available
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds (15.5-inch) and 3.5 pounds (13.3-inch)

 

Other Laptops to consider

  • Apple MacBook Pro
  • Sony VAIO T series
  • Samsung Series 9

If you are considering buying an VAIO S Series then these laptops are worth looking at as possible alternatives to the VAIO S Series.