Feeds
70%
Sony Vaio SB 13.3in laptop

Sony Vaio SB 13.3in notebook

Handy dandy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Fan-boy

Flicking the switch across to Stamina mode and opting for 50 per cent screen brightness and no active applications produced a much more reassuring time of 7 hours 56 minutes, suggesting that the battery nestled under the keyboard is actually more capable than the first impression suggested.

Sony Vaio SB 13.3in laptop

Stylish looks, but not OTT

The word 'nestled' really is appropriate, as the SB is the latest in a string of laptops with a battery that can’t be detached simply by unlatching a few spring-loaded catches. You need to remove a plastic panel on the underside instead. It’s not terribly onerous - there are only two screws and no muscle involved. Those who want more battery life without digging in their laptop’s innards can buy an external battery that clips to the bottom of the chassis for £100.

The SB is pretty well covered for ports: a single USB 3.0 joins a pair of 2.0 ports, while the HDMI and VGA ports cover pretty much all output eventualities. Two separate slots cater for SD and Memory Stick cards. There’s no mic jack, so you can only connect a pair of headphones.

Sony Vaio SB 13.3in laptop

There is a good array of ports on the SB's thick sides

My review model came with a multi-format DVD writer, although in return for a somewhat steep £350 you can specify a Blu-ray drive. Sony has followed Apple’s lead on the method for ejecting the drive, using a button above the keyboard. It’s non-standard but works well, and the drive will pop open whenever you press the button, even if Windows hasn't started booting.

You can spec in a 3G modem for £100, and there are a range of SSD and HDD storage options on offer. Pick the SKU that's right for you.

Verdict

The Sony SB series is an interesting system. It’s heavier and chunkier than the 13.3in MacBook Air, but cheaper. It's lighter than the 13.3in MacBook Pro - 1.6kg to 2.0kg - and has more than either Apple. As a handy, portable machine that will take almost anything you can throw at it it’s ideal. It's just a shame it's so darn noisy. ®

More Notebook Reviews

Apple
MacBook
Air 13
Dell
XPS 15z
HP
Pavilion
dv7
Acer
Aspire
5755G
Toshiba
Satellite
P775

The essential guide to IT transformation

70%
Sony Vaio SB 13.3in laptop

Sony Vaio SB 13.3in notebook

Stylish 13.3in notebook with Intel Core i5 chippery and lots of pre-loaded software.
Price: £899 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?