Feeds
70%
Sony Vaio SB 13.3in laptop

Sony Vaio SB 13.3in notebook

Handy dandy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Website security in corporate America

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
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM
Reg staff not allowed to enter, god dammit
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate
Belay that toil, me hearty, and park your scurvy backside
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.