Feeds
70%
Sony Vaio SB 13.3in laptop

Sony Vaio SB 13.3in notebook

Handy dandy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Review Not everyone wants to lug a 15.6in notebook around - even less a 17-incher - so the 13.3in category has always appealed to folk keen for plenty of performance without the bulk. Sony has long offered 13.3in machines, the latest being its SB series, part of its broader S series.

Sony Vaio SB 13.3in laptop

Available with a non-glossy screen. Hurray!

The SB contains a vast swathe of pre-installed software in an effort to make it easier to get the hang of than other laptops. Good job there's plenty of disk space for all this stuff, though the smart user will uninstall a lot of it.

Still, if the onboard software isn’t going to set the world alight, there’s plenty elsewhere to like. The 13.3in screen is bright, with a handy ambient light sensor above the keyboard to adjust brightness on the fly. The resolution of 1366 x 768 is commonplace, but it makes more sense here than on some of the 15.6in laptops that have darkened my doorstep recently.

Sony Vaio SB 13.3in laptop

The keyboard and trackpad are decent

A minor but potentially essential point for those who work in variously-lit environments is that the SB’s screen is - praise be - matte, rather than glossy.

Open the laptop up and you’re greeted by a muted, dark metallic-blue finish and a standard chiclet keyboard. The understated styling works really well, making the SB look classy without over-reaching, and the keyboard is a very solid, if slightly hollow-sounding affair.

The trackpad is a slightly-off centre number that does multi-touch, although whether tricks such as pinch-to-zoom work depends enormously on the application at hand. It’s next to useless most of the time - a bit like the fingerprint reader squirrelled in between the mouse buttons. Does anyone use these?

Sony Vaio SB 13.3in laptop

A switch to toggle between integrated and discrete graphics seems like a good idea... until you use it

There’s a Stamina/Speed switch above the keyboard, which reminds me of the days when desktops had a Turbo button. Flicking it across changes the graphics chip in use from the on-CPU Intel GMA HD 3000 core to the more powerful AMD Radeon HD 6470M.

Unfortunately, its implementation is flawed. For one thing, the flicking a switch depending on what taks you want to perform isn’t terribly user friendly. Secondly, the software that the switch deploys occasionally insisted that every application be closed down before the mode could be switched, although this didn’t happen every time.

Application security programs and practises

Next page: Under-performer

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day
Microsoft's form 8-K records decision 'not to ship a new form factor'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.