Sony VAIO T13 review
Ultrabooks were undeniably an expensive luxury when they first appeared last year, but they are gradually coming down in price. With more people willing to buy one, Sony has finally decided to enter the ring with its first Ultrabook, the VAIO T13. It’s a mid-range machine with a mechanical hard disk and previous generation Sandy Bridge processor, but don’t let that put you off – you can pick one up for a very reasonable £680.
First impressions are very positive – Sony’s signature VAIO styling looks very sleek, and in this 18mm thick chassis you’d be hard pushed to separate it from the much more expensive VAIO Z series. It’s built from plastic rather than metal, with the brushed aluminium lid being the one exception. There are few signs of flex in the main body, but there’s much more give in the screen.
The display is a 13.3in panel with a fairly standard 1,366x768 resolution. Brightness can be set to a very high level, and the glossy display makes colours appear bright and vibrant, but we still found light reflections quite troublesome. Thankfully there’s a large amount of screen tilt, although the viewing angles from the TN panel are average at best.
Once we’d found a workable viewing angle, we had no problems working on the T13 thanks to its spacious Chiclet-style keyboard. There’s not a lot of travel in the keys, but they spring back instantly, giving you plenty of feedback when typing. You don’t get a numeric keypad, and there's no backlight, but the full-size keys are still a pleasure to use.
Sony has also done a great job with the all-in-one touchpad – we don’t normally like these designs, preferring physical buttons, but the multi-touch gestures make it much easier to use than the touchpads from other manufacturers we’ve used in the past. A two-finger tap will right-click, so you don’t even need to press down on the pad to access context menus. The touchpad is more than large enough to span the entire desktop in a single swipe, thanks to the widescreen layout that matches the laptop's display.
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