With Intel’s creation of the “ultrabook” category, Windows PC makers may have carved out a highly marketable niche for laptops that appeal to a wide array everyday consumers. Who wouldn’t want a powerful yet extremely portable computer, one that looks good, is easy to whip out in a coffee shop, and can handle a nearly all-encompassing range of number crunching tasks? We’re not talking about your child’s netbook, nor the powerhouse machine that weighs down your shoulder bag and breaks into your savings account. Instead, we’re looking at a close to sub-$1000 computer that weighs under 4 pounds, and can give you all the processing power that you need. Sony recently released its new Vaio S series, and I got a chance to play around with one of its newest laptops.
I’ve always been enamored with Sony products, from my first Walkman, Discman, and Watchman to the more recent, less popular and thus discontinued Vaio UX micro-PC and P-series. As Apple has gotten most of the attention as far as design goes, Sony has quietly maintained a strong eye for aesthetics, and it’s got a looker in the S Series laptops. One of the company’s core strengths will always be the display. The S Series boasts a beautiful LED backlit display (1600 x 900 for my premium test unit) that provided sharper images than what I was normally accustomed to on other Windows PC units. As mentioned above, the thin and light sleek look is created by the Magnesium alloy chassis with aluminum arm rests and hinges. There’s no doubt that the metallic look is in right now, and Sony took note of this when designing this machine. It should be noted that the Platinum Silver option is a premium one, as you can opt for a variety of colors including black, white, blue, pink, and red. Sony also often includes additional unique features (not to be confused with bloatware, which my test machine thankfully did not have much of) with their machines. For example, on my S Series, there was an option to toggle between “stamina” and “speed”, as well as a dedicated buttons to support, web browsing, and a few other Vaio related programs.